Outrage Is Easy, But Is It Good?

These days it’s so easy to be morally outraged. Everywhere we turn there is potential for outrage. Miley Cyrus on the VMA’s. Government policies on abortion. The sexual looseness of our culture. The widespread acceptance of every possible sexual lifestyle. The possibility for outrage is everywhere.

And there is a place for legitimate, godly outrage. But so often we treat moral outrage as if it is a virtuous thing in and of itself. But it’s not. In spite of what all the talk radio shows and Fox News hosts and bloggers say, moral outrage is not an inherently good thing.

Remember, the Pharisees were consistently morally outraged at Jesus. And Westboro Baptist pretty much owns the market on moral outrage these days.

Moral outrage without a heart of mercy is a slap in the face to God’s mercy. “Then his master summoned him and said to him, ?You wicked servant! I forgave you all that debt because you pleaded with me.?And should not you have had mercy on your fellow servant, as I had mercy on you?? (Matthew 18:32-33)

Moral outrage without broken-hearted prayer reveals a heart that doesn’t care about people’s salvation. “Or do you presume on?the riches of his kindness and?forbearance andpatience,?not knowing that God’s kindness is meant to lead you to repentance?” (Romans 2:4)

Moral outrage without a humble awareness of our own sinfulness breeds hypocrisy.?“The saying is?trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus?came into the world to save sinners,?of whom I am the foremost.” (1 Timothy 1:15)

Moral outrage without an accompanying trust in God’s sovereign rule over all things fosters fear. “He who?sits in the heavens?laughs; the Lord holds them [kings and rulers] in derision. Then he will speak to them in his?wrath, and terrify them in his fury…(Psalm 2:4-5)

Moral outrage without wise speech leads to slander, gossip, and unwholesome talk. “Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give?grace to those who hear.” (Ephesians 4:29)

Don’t settle for only moral outrage. There is nothing inherently good or righteous about moral outrage. Let’s ask God for a heart that is both outraged and merciful, angry and trusting, incensed and humble. Let’s ask God for his heart.

+ original photo by how will i ever

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I’m married to Jen, and I have three kids. I know a lot about Star Wars, and I live in a van down by the river. I’ve also written a number of books, which people seem to like.


  1. […] This article?first appeared on Stephen Altrogge?s website, The Blazing Center, and is used with his permission. Sponsor Join the Conversation on Facebook Beacon Display Ads Archives Select Month September 2013 August 2013 July 2013 June 2013 May 2013 April 2013 March 2013 February 2013 January 2013 December 2012 November 2012 October 2012 September 2012 August 2012 July 2012 June 2012 May 2012 April 2012 March 2012 February 2012 January 2012 December 2011 November 2011 October 2011 September 2011 August 2011 July 2011 June 2011 May 2011 April 2011 March 2011 February 2011 January 2011 December 2010 November 2010 October 2010 September 2010 August 2010 July 2010 June 2010 May 2010 April 2010 March 2010 February 2010 January 2010 December 2009 November 2009 October 2009 September 2009 August 2009 July 2009 June 2009 May 2009 April 2009 March 2009 February 2009 January 2009 December 2008 November 2008 October 2008 September 2008 August 2008 July 2008 June 2008 May 2008 NM.init({ClientID: 167}); RSS Feed About […]

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