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May 28

Too Scared to Cry: Social Media Outrage and the Gospel

2014 | by Nathan Sherman | Category: Gospel,Mission,Quote

Russell Moore over at Desiring God has written about the culture of outrage that has seized cable news, social media, and even our churches. As he writes, Christians should be starkly different than our unbelieving neighbors in the ways we act and react, for we are not without hope:

We must learn to lament, because once we no longer lament we turn instead to anger, outrage, blame, and quarrelsomeness. The louder and more frantic the anger, the more we feel as though we’re really showing conviction and grit.

This is made all the more problematic when it’s easy to make a living out of perpetual rage, even if the only media outlet one has is a Twitter or Facebook feed. After all, nothing signals conviction and passion in this age more than the art of being theatrically offended.

But the gospel teaches otherwise.

The problem with carnal anger and outrage is that it is one of the easiest sins to commit, all the while convincing oneself that it’s faithfulness. After all, how many angry, divisive, perpetually outraged Christians are convinced that they are Old Testament prophets, calling down fire from heaven?

The prophets teach us that there is, in fact, a time to call down fire from heaven. But you had better make sure that God has called you to direct that fire to fall. If not, then you’re acting like a prophet all right — a prophet of Baal, screaming and raving for fire that never falls (1 Kings 18:29). No doubt, James and John believed themselves to be well within the spirit of Elijah when they wanted to call down fire from heaven on the Christ-rejecting villages of Samaria. Jesus wanted nothing to do with that spirit.

Rage itself is no sign of authority, prophetic or otherwise.

Read the rest here.