Ed Stetzer has a nice article this morning on the subject of “Outrage for Christians“
His point (which I agree with) is that for some Christians outrage is our go-to response when something happens.
There are of course situations where confrontation is Biblically called for…but they are much rarer than we think.
I personally believe “outrage” should almost never be the response of a Christian. Instead we should respond to situations proclaim Gods Truth in a clear and calm manner. However there are situations where Biblical confrontation is called for.
- When someone continues in sin after being warned about it
- And when someone preaches false doctrine
There are probably other situations where confrontation is necessary, but these two are backed up strongly by Scripture
We Confront when someone continues in Sin:
- 2Tim. 2:25 In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth; 26 And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.
- Gal. 6:1 Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted. 2 Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ. 3 For if a man think himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceiveth himself.
- Matt. 18:15 Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother. 16 But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established. 17 And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican.
- Hebrews 3:12 Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God. 13 But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin
Note that even these confrontations are done in calmness instead of outrage
And We Confront when someone preaches false doctrine:
- James 5:19 Brethren, if any of you do err from the truth, and one convert him; 20 Let him know, that he which converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins.
- Gal. 2:11 But when Peter was come to Antioch, I withstood him to the face, because he was to be blamed. 12 For before that certain came from James, he did eat with the Gentiles: but when they were come, he withdrew and separated himself, fearing them which were of the circumcision. 13 And the other Jews dissembled likewise with him; insomuch that Barnabas also was carried away with their dissimulation.
- Titus 1: 13 This witness is true. Wherefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith; 14 Not giving heed to Jewish fables, and commandments of men, that turn from the truth.
- Gal. 2:1 Then fourteen years after I went up again to Jerusalem with Barnabas, and took Titus with me also. 2 And I went up by revelation, and communicated unto them that gospel which I preach among the Gentiles, but privately to them which were of reputation, lest by any means I should run, or had run, in vain. 3 But neither Titus, who was with me, being a Greek, was compelled to be circumcised: 4 And that because of false brethren unawares brought in, who came in privily to spy out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus, that they might bring us into bondage: 5 To whom we gave place by subjection, no, not for an hour; that the truth of the gospel might continue with you.
- 2John 10 If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed:
There are other reasons for confrontation of course, but I’m afraid too many Christians (myself included) spend their time looking around for a table to turn over (using the illustration of Jesus cleansing the temple).
it is true that sometimes God wants us to drive people out with a whip of cords…but most of the time we are called to use humble exhortation instead.