How to Leverage Moral Outrage for the Gospel

By Michael C Sherrard

It is good to acknowledge the appropriateness of ones anger in the midst of evil and pain. It is right to be angry over injustice. It is right to be sick at crimes against children. It is good for you to feel a hole in your stomach as you look upon the devastation and loss of life caused by a natural disaster. It is right to think, “This is not how life is supposed to be.” The key is for anger to be directed rightly whereupon your steps follow the right path of action.

Moral Gospel Christianity

Acknowledging an individual’s sense of justice can lead them to repentance. When we are angry at evil, we are acknowledging that life has purpose. We are recognizing that there is a difference between good and bad. We are affirming that bad should be punished. But what does that mean for my bad actions? And from where did my sense of justice come in the first place?

If life is the result of an accident, how can life have a purpose? And if life has no purpose, why am I angry at what I think is unfair? My sense of oughtness is an indication that I believe in a standard of life. But what standard, an arbitrary one set by changing cultures driven by natural selection or a transcendent one that never changes even though societies might? Mankind’s sense of justice can point them to the good Judge. Affirm their outrage and direct it properly.

If you take people down this road, you will see how mankind’s universal sense of justice is to the gospel’s advantage. There is only one worldview that provides a justification for belief in inherent human value and thereby true morality. It is theism. A transcendent creator is needed for our sense of justice to have any value. Existence must have been intentional for life to have intrinsic and objective worth. And simply, when we look at the world and say, “That is wrong!” there has to be an eternally fixed “right” for our moral indignation to have any value. Leverage this understanding that all naturally possess and direct them toward the One who is not only the standard of life, but its very essence.

This blog was originally published at MichaelCSherrard.com


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3 replies
  1. Ed Vaessen says:

    “If life is the result of an accident, how can life have a purpose? And if life has no purpose, why am I angry at what I think is unfair? My sense of oughtness is an indication that I believe in a standard of life. But what standard, an arbitrary one set by changing cultures driven by natural selection or a transcendent one that never changes even though societies might?”

    You will have to prove that such a transcendent standard exists. The Bible does not look like a very good source.

    Reply
    • toby says:

      My sense of oughtness is an indication that I believe in a standard of life.
      Yes, we all have opinions based on knowledge (or lack thereof).

      But what standard, an arbitrary one set by changing cultures driven by natural selection or a transcendent one that never changes even though societies might?
      What if the unchanging standard is that everyone eat a handful of peanuts everyday and then over time 90% of society develop a peanut allergy?

      Reply
  2. Andy Ryan says:

    If sense of outrage and anger is evidence for a God then it’s a problem for your argument if people are outraged and angry by the actions of the God of the Bible. If we’re supposed to ignore or dismiss that anger and outrage then equally we should ignore/dismiss the anger and outrage that you claim is evidence for a God in the first place.

    Reply

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