Could I Have Some Outrage, Please, With Extra Salt?

by Andy Wood on February 7, 2009

in Life Currency, Love, Tense Truths

salt-and-light-2(Note:  This is out of sequence, but I couldn’t pass this by.  I’d like to know your thoughts.)

First, read this:

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.  If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit. Let us not become boastful, challenging one another, envying one another.  (Galatians 5:22-26, NASU)

Then read this:  A Botched Abortion in Mother’s Own Words

Then read this again:

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.  If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit. Let us not become boastful, challenging one another, envying one another.  (Galatians 5:22-26, NASU)

Please tell me you feel at least a little outrage.

Please tell me that you haven’t lived so long in a culture of death that this leaves you untouched.

But while you’re at it, please give me something better than violence or political rhetoric.

Where is the love?  There is a lot of talk these days about loving the Hooters girls, loving the bartenders, loving the homeless and the stranger – all in the name of Christ.  How about loving Dr. Death?  How about loving the people who work in clinics whose only reason to exist is to end the life of somebody’s baby?

Where is the joy?  It certainly isn’t in the pain of Sycloria Williams – before or after her botched procedure.  Do you have anything better to offer?

Where is the peace?  I’ll tell you where it isn’t.  A lot of what we call peace is just apathy.  Peace can only exist in a war-like, violent world.  Were there no wars, strife, rage, or deep anxiety, there would be no peace.  Peace doesn’t bury its head in the sand or shrug its shoulders at evil.  It leans in, all the while looking up.

Where is the patience?  What?  You thought an election or two, or a couple of Supreme Court nominees would make all this go away?  Creating a culture of life is a multi-generational marathon.

Where is the kindness?  My God, where is the kindness?  Wanna practice?  Let’s role-play.

Me:  Hi, I’m Belkis Gonzalez.  I own abortion clinics in Florida.  I once sealed a live baby in a biohazard bag and hid her in a cardboard box.

You:  Okay.  While I don’t approve of that, how can I serve you?

Where is the goodness?  Where are the Spirit-driven people who look beyond the sin to the factors that cause the problem in the first place?  Where are the ones who become the change they expect to see in the world?  Where are the ones who, in an attempt to remove evil from the world, start with their own crap?

Where is the faithfulness?  The follow-up to our commitments?  The accountability that is to characterize CEOs and politicians, preachers and pew warmers all alike?

Where is the gentleness?  You sure won’t find much on the steps of the Supreme Court in late January – on either side of the street.

Where is the self-control?  May I point out the obvious?  Unwanted pregnancies are nearly always the result of boundaryless sex.  And God forbid we have that discussion.  Statistically, Christians are no different from unbelievers.

You can read more here and here.

What are your thoughts?  Can you be outraged and walk in the Spirit at the same time?  What can we do to make a difference?

Somebody please, turn on the light and pass the salt.

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Mattie February 7, 2009 at 5:25 pm

Andy,

I read the article last night, as I held my 3 month old daughter. I can’t really describe how it made me feel, but “outrage” would surely be part of the description. Outrage at a culture that fails to recognize life. Outrage at a society that not only condones such behavior, but enshrines it as a right. Outrage at a doctor sworn to save life could “fall into” a practice of destroying it. Outrage that it’s all so very sterile and planned. Outrage indeed.

Yet Andy, I’m humbled by your post. I must admit, while my heart went out the the mother, I felt nothing remotely like the fruit of the Spirit for everyone else. I felt outrage. No doubt, I’m not alone, but it’s so convicting. There is so much within me that is still “bent.” And in the church.

Matties last blog post..Blank Canvas

will hapeman February 7, 2009 at 7:28 pm

The role playing did not work out for me.
it went
Me: Hi, I’m Belkis Gonzalez. I own abortion clinics in Florida. I once sealed a live baby in a biohazard bag and hid her in a cardboard box.
Willoh, “You unfeeling bastard! How can you make money destroying Human life! I could have taken that baby home and loved him/her and raised up a child that might do something positive. You are clearly the lowest form of life, right up there with Dr. Mengele. ”
Sorry I flunked. I would not be good in that situation with out preparing with prayer and fasting and some group support for wading into it. then I would want to say,
” What you did was horrible, an insult to God and man. Do you know there is a Savior who will bring forgiveness and healing even to you?”
but it would take the Holy Spirit and me being humble. On my own, in the flesh , it is too much. Just being honest.

will hapemans last blog post..I am a nervous wreck, Post traumatic ?

Andy Wood February 7, 2009 at 7:38 pm

Will – Me too, my friend! No doubt about it. That’s why Paul refers to these things as the “Fruit of the Spirit.” And, by the way, I think he means “the fruit of a consistent walk in the Spirit,” not a quick zap.

And please don’t think that I believe that kindness negates truth or ignores evil. But surely there’s a way to respond that moves us toward solutions rather than adds to the problem.

Andy Wood February 7, 2009 at 7:46 pm

Matt – I wonder if we could take the tension we feel between the outrage and the depths of evil and our hope in the greatness and mercy of God. Jesus died for that sin, too. But as salt and light, reaching beyond a quick fix or a political messiah (ha!), surely we can, as we walk in the Spirit, help find more impacting solutions.

Thanks for your candor and encouragment, my friend.

Jeofurry February 12, 2009 at 1:03 am

Andy,
I ran across this post after coming here from a comment on Will’s blog. I wrote a post a couple of weeks ago about the verses in Matthew that talk about the love of many growing cold. I think this story is another good example of that, and I know that combating the problem is not an easy one. Last week, I was hit with a situation in our church that called for every bit of patience, love and understanding I could muster. I got firsthand practice in trying to display love to someone who had seriously betrayed my trust and several others and didn’t quite understand the depth of the hurt. I found out that tough love is the hardest kind of love to give, but it is necessary.
I have to agree with Will. If I were in that conversation, I am not sure I could have kept my cool and honored God with my response. I do think my response would be better today than it would have been last year though, because God is still working on me. Righteous indignation and outrage is not an easy thing to pull off. We find it hard to balance between grace and truth without swinging to one side or the other. And when we do succeed, we are more likely to take arrows from both sides.

Jeofurrys last blog post..From the Pastor’s Desk Column for 2/9/09

Andy Wood February 12, 2009 at 10:28 am

Jeofurry,

You’re absolutely right. To me, this is one of our greatest current examples of putting into practice what Jesus said about loving our enemies. Given the current scene, who, other than a Muslim terrorist we may personally know, is a better example of an enemy?

That said, there is a place for outrage and anger against the sin! Finding the balance is elusive, and either way, it feels we’ll get caught in the crossfire. But it’s still a balance worth pursuing. I hear the benefits are “out of this world!”

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