Thursday, December 19, 2013
Outrage is Not a Fruit of the Spirit
The outrage machine is currently turned up to 100 over Duck Dynasty. In case you've been under a rock for the last 24 hours, here’s a recap: Phil Robertson, the patriarch of the Robertson clan, stars of the A&E reality show “Duck Dynasty,” has been suspended from the show for remarks he made about the sinfulness of homosexuality in an interview with the magazine GQ. Some of what he had to say was a simple restatement of historic Christian beliefs. Some of it was, to be honest, pretty crude. But the purpose of this post is not to re-hash what he said. Others can, and will so much more eloquently. The purpose of this post is to talk about the Christian reaction to this “scandal.”
Let me preface what I’m about to say with this: if you are upset about this issue, that is absolutely your right. I’m not telling you not to boycott A&E or not talk about it on Facebook or not tweet about it until your fingers hurt. My concern is people who scream about “Christian values” on the internet, but whose lives don’t reflect those Christian values anywhere else. Social media activism is not the same thing as sanctification. But very often, we believe if we are angry about the right things, then that proves we really do love Jesus. That’s not how it works.
If you are screaming about A&E’s attack on the faith today, you’re a hypocrite if you’re not in church on Sunday. If you’re eating at Chick-Fil-A because of their stand on Christian morals, but you cheat on your wife and beat your kids, then it doesn't count for much. If you tweeted about Hobby Lobby yesterday, but are fudging on your time sheet at work today, then you really don’t get it. If you spend half your time reading about the latest Christian controversy on the internet, and the other half looking at porn, then something is not right.
Growing in grace has nothing to do with posting, “Like if you love Jesus, keep going if you love Satan,” on your wall. I’m afraid we have far too many “Facebook” Christians, who live one life on their social network, and a completely different one in the real world. Maybe they can’t tell the difference between the two.
The bottom line is this; let your reaction to culture be informed by your faith, but please don’t let it be the whole of your Christian faith. Growing in grace is not mainly found in what we’re angry about. It’s mainly found in how we love, how we serve and how we share the Gospel with the world. Outrage is not a fruit of the Spirit.