Outrage is dead, and we have killed it. Americans, faced with an increasing parade of bona fide evils are more likely to causally shrug their shoulders and mumble “meh,” rather than express anything approaching authentic anger, shock or outrage at true evil. And we are even less likely to actually do anything about it.
When I was younger, it seemed to me that our values were much more aligned. We were still willing to call evil “evil” and remained capable of honoring and celebrating the good. Sin was still in our vocabulary and was something we tried to avoid, not a cause to celebrate as a faux civil right. We understood that defying moral law like natural law, would lead to bad consequences as surely gravity grounds all things. We were not perfect, but we still knew what was bad and we valued what was good.
Now, sin is passé and we try to pretend that “following our bliss,” no matter how debauched, has no consequences. We have moved from a place of values certainly, where there was still objective right and wrong, to what Rod Dreher terms “liquid modernity,” where our values now shift like sand in a hurricane. As a result, if our consciences are not completely seared, they are incredibly numb.
Why? The primary reason is that we have killed God and have foolishly replaced Him with ourselves and our almighty feelings as the sole judge of what is right and what is wrong. Yet, in the process, our values have not become “clarified,” as progressives promised; rather our moral compasses have become increasingly uncalibrated, both inside and outside of the church, no longer useful for ethical guidance. The tragic result is that we are becoming lost in a wasteland of spiritual and moral anarchy.
Faithful followers of Jesus Christ must steadfastly resist and oppose liquid modernity—by speaking the truth in love (Eph. 4:15) and living that truth out in the culture. As God’s image bearers, we ought rather be outraged by evil and sin—indeed we must hate it. But even more, we should be willing to do something about it. As a man, I am directly pointing my finger here at other Christian men. In so many of the important spiritual and cultural battle we face today, I often see courageous women standing firm and charging into the fight, while fearful, feminized, emasculated men, including pastors, refuse to stand for righteousness and lead.
Perhaps moral dumbing down has occurred because we are so committed to chasing our twin American idols of comfort and success, that we are willing to remain silent, compromising with evil. But compromise leads to our capitulation and capitulation to assimilation. Perhaps it is because we feel powerless, helpless to make any real difference in our scary post-Christian culture. But even a minority has the power to move the majority, and all things are possible with God. Perhaps we believe that, if we just keep our heads down, ignoring the growing darkness, we can at least maintain our employment or maintain our income and everything will be OK. But the totalistic trajectory of radical sexual liberty is all-consuming and will not allow us that option.
We are not powerless amoral victims in a cosmic play. We are the pinnacle of creation, created in God’s image. We are members of a cosmic royal family whose Father will prevail in the end and make all things new. We are ambassadors of the gospel and warriors of the cross. We are commanded to be salt and light—to join our Father in working and praying that His kingdom comes and His will is done, including justice. As such, we bear individual and collective responsibility for what we permit in our culture, communities, and families and for the dark consequences that flow from it. God can and will use us powerfully, if we allow Him to do so. As Maximus said in the film Gladiator, “[W]hat we do in life…echoes in eternity.”
God loves people and cares deeply about justice. As bearers of His image, we should join Him in opposing the evils of our day including pornography, sex trafficking, abortion, racism and the radical sexual liberty agenda that existentially threatens religious freedom, among others. Justice is in alignment with the Gospel, not in competition with it. We must learn to walk and chew gum at the same time—in other words share the Gospel and fight for justice.
It is time that we bring back healthy outrage. Be outraged. Cling to what is good. Hate sin. Hate evil. But allow God to harness and channel your righteous passion, directing it to opposing evil out of a deep God-inspired love of your fellow man and in holy service of the common good and human flourishing. Evil prevails when good men and women do nothing. Do the right thing. Be outraged and do something about it today.
— by Dean R. Broyles, Esq.
Broyles is a constitutional attorney serving as the President of The National Center For Law & Policy (NCLP), an organization fighting to promote and defend religious freedom. Copyright© The National Center For Law & Policy. Reprinted with permission.