Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Pushing the Moral Envelope

"In the temple courts he found people selling cattle, sheep and doves, and others sitting at tables exchanging money. So he made a whip out of cords, and drove all from the temple courts, both sheep and cattle; he scattered the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables. To those who sold doves he said, 'Get these out of here! Stop turning my Father’s house into a market!'" John 2:14-16

Not all anger is an immoral anger. There is such a thing as righteous anger. What determines whether anger is justified is its motivation. Is it merely an emotional lashing out or is it a response to extreme immorality? We are correct to be angry at the atrocities committed by the likes of Adolf Hitler or Charles Manson.

1 Peter 3:15 tells us to interact with the world using "gentleness and respect," and this is true. But sometimes we take this command too far and slip into a culturally induced attitude that any confrontation is wrong. We often fear confrontation so much that we are afraid to stand up for what is right. If we were honest with ourselves, we would probably have to admit that we are using God's Word as an excuse to avoid a conflict that we know is necessary but do not want to have.

If someone is abusing other people, whether physically or emotionally, it is our call as Christians to step up and say something about it. We can do this with gentleness and respect, but those terms do not require us to just sit back silently and let it happen. If someone lives their life by constantly pushing the moral envelope without anyone ever telling them "no," they will continue to push more and more until they blaze a trail of broken hearts and damaged people in their wake.

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