Hungry for Outrage
Outrage begins to eat us alive when it is not channeled into creative love. It does not produce the righteousness we rightly seek (James 1:20). And there is only so much love you can demonstrate in 140 characters on a glowing screen.
But there's something more insidious about our outrage. Journalist Katie J. M. Baker wrote that one reason she indulges in "hate-reading"—wherein one visits a website just to feel outraged—is that it "never makes me feel inferior. Instead, I've realized, it makes me feel superior."
I wonder if at the root of our Internet outrage is the need to show that we are righteous—specifically, more righteous than others. That the ancient impulse to justify ourselves apart from God is driving so much Twitter and Facebook rage (including my own). It wouldn't be the first time that religious folks "trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and treated others with contempt" (Luke 18:9, ESV).
The Reformed and the progressive bloggers, the Driscoll lovers and haters, the proponents of modesty culture and the despisers of it—all of us are equally under the power of sin. All of us receive the righteousness we so long for only through redemption in Christ Jesus. We can cultivate an online culture where we speak the truth in love only when we set aside the sour candy and feed on him instead.