I read Christians in the Age of Outrage by Ed Stetzer, and I would urge you to consider reading it as well. I will provide a link to the book on Amazon but will forgo attaching an affiliate link to the book, as I don’t want to make money from my recommendation.
Ed Stetzer places the plumbline of God’s truth firmly between ‘our outrage’ and ‘righteous anger.’ He exposes the hypocritical mask we hide fleshly outrage behind, trying to pass it off as righteous anger. He points out what righteous anger is all about, and if our expression of anger isn’t smothered in God’s love and compassion, then it isn’t righteous. He puts into words what has been a huge red flag for me for years. This is not a book that points fingers at ‘which side is right and which side is wrong’ – it points the finger at our motivations and blind spots when it comes to outrage.
This book is well researched and has detailed footnotes. Critical thinking is at the root of this gem. Critical thinking is defined as the process of thinking carefully about a subject or idea without allowing feelings or opinions to affect you. (Cambridge Online Dictionary). It follows three tenets.
“Curiosity is the desire to learn more information and seek evidence as well as being open to new ideas.
Scepticism involves having a healthy questioning attitude about new information that you are exposed to and not blindly believing everything everyone tells you.
Humility is the ability to admit that your opinions and ideas are wrong when faced with new convincing evidence that states otherwise.” – Tara DeLecce/ Grace Pisano (What is Critical Thinking? – Definition, Skills & Meaning)
If Christians ever needed to learn this skill, 2020 is the year!
“In the age of outrage, we are perpetually encouraged to view others purely in categories of friend or foe. Are they on my side or are they against me? Do they like my politics and politicians? Endorse my worldview? Embrace my ideology? Outrage is a product of the flesh. It is selfish, divisive, wrathful, and chaotic. In some cases, outrage pretends to be righteous anger, but underneath the veneer, it is simply driven by our fleshly desires. In contrast, engaging the Spirit takes the focus off us (our tribe, our desires, our anger, our anxieties) and places it on God and his glory. When we experience forgiveness in Christ, God entirely transforms the way we see people and communities. Before salvation, we saw others through the lens of our flesh; now we see them as new creations.”
Stetzer, Ed. Christians in the Age of Outrage: How to Bring Our Best When the World Is at Its Worst Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.
Outrage is a counterfeit of righteous anger. We must know the difference, or we will sully our global witness as Christ Followers.
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Until Next Week,
©2020 Katherine Walden