As our world become more sinful, there will be an equal measure of issues the Christian will not and should not agree with. However, if we are not careful, indignation for other things whistles and the Christian follows like a puppy dog.
What is indignation?
Biblically, humankind’s consistent desire for sin provokes God’s wrath and indignation. He is displeased and takes offence at our behaviours. Hence, every person is judged individually based on those behaviours, and only repentance and a behavioural turnaround halts his judgement.
This is not the indignation I want to talk about. I am referring to us becoming indignant about things not of God; things we may have a right to become indignant about, but for the sake of the gospel, we don’t.
We know there is a righteous Indignation, where we defend God’s principles, and yet, I wonder if we need to become indignant about all the issues we have a ‘right’ to defend.
Rights or Wrongs
Presently, our laws provide us with many rights. Whether at work, at school, or in the community, we can often pull out the victim card and have government agencies and not-for-profit organisations helping us out. Sometimes, in earnest cases, this is valuable and very helpful, but other times all they seem to do is erode our individual societal responsibilities.
Along with that is a subliminal message that we are entitled to indignation when those rights are breached.
Where have we gone as a society?
Having just returned from China, it is noticeable that the western world exhibits far more indignation than it should — than it has a ‘right’ to.
As we read about indignation in the bible, we see the vast majority belongs in the domain of God. All except a very small hand full of scriptures, it is about God’s indignation against man.
Indignation is a sensation best left to God until we understand its length and breadth, negative power, and results.
We, as humble servants should for the most part, simply leave it there. Our main task is to become humbler, not indignant.
We can mistake pride for indignation, challenging a myriad of small issues under the guise of indignation, when really, all we might be doing is simply exercising our so-called rights through pride.
God wants our rights to be offered up to him voluntary, placing them decisively on the altar of sacrifice to be burnt up with the rest of our humanity. When this is done, the Lord can begin working with us as servants in a far greater capacity, achieving more than we could imagine.
The right indignation often gets us moving in the right direction.
For instance, many years ago, various religious ministers, politicians and others opposed black slavery and got is stopped, at least in the western world.
The indignation at abortions and infanticide has people from many nations rising up to challenge the evil within.
Nurse Florence Nightingale became indignant at the poor conditions British soldiers were subject to when wounded, and sought and created change. Further, Florence was a very sound writer, and used that skill to publish works on nursing hygiene, writing in simple English for the masses. All this prompted by her Lord.
When we are standing in line, and someone tries to push in, we become indignant, which is right, unless they have due cause. They are not just pushing in on you but all those behind you. That’s worth limited indignation.
Yet, there are many causes not of God, which have indignant people also up in arms, such as gay marriage and the removal of Australia Day.
If you are an avid reader of your bible, you should be able to discern between what is godly and what is not. This is recommended, because, our society is slowly becoming memorised by ‘causes’ which are simply satanic in essence, but heavily disguised as common law rights, environments rights, or human rights.
The end result will be a dramatically changed society, with the ‘indignant’ not stopping until the face of the nation and all it stands for is overturned.
For instance, gay marriage is not the end result progressives are seeking, it is merely the thin end of the wedge in the door — the beginning. Look at the story of Lot, where a group of gays hounded Lot at his own house door, and not one policemen went to assist, nor did it enter Lot’s head to call one. Righteousness was a sin in Sodom.
In these causes, there are sympathisers who are categorically dumb sheep and ‘useful idiots’ (to quote a Fabian socialist), who see not, hear not and understand not: and, diabolically, numerous are ‘Christians’ who feed in the wrong pastures and on the wrong food.
As the bible is continually watered down, we will find it harder to see the truth. That is a simple equation, and easy to understand. Stay In!
The lord says in Ephesians 4:26, “be angry and sin not”. So, there are times we need to activate the indignation switch and address situations.
However, I wonder how many times we rise up in indignation about our own flaws? You know, looking in the mirror and being as indignant about our own faults and mistakes as we are with the errors or miscalculations of others?
Are we as committed to the just judgement of ourselves as we are of those to whom we take umbrage or become angry or indignant?
Indignation is placed in us by God; but, like fire, it is to be controlled and modified. Also, like the fire ignited by our tongues, the cause and effect of our indignation needs to be carefully considered prior to unleashing it.
When a situation arises, and someone who cannot defend themselves is being bullied, or we see other similar oppressive issues, and we have the capacity to step in and offer assistance, God has told us not to turn a blind eye. Yet, in doing that, he is not calling us to become an advocate for every cause under the sun.
A Father’s Day note
Fathers differ greatly from one family to another. Despite the differences, though, all fathers are called to occupy this station of dignity and respect in a manner befitting it. Many scriptures focus on fathers and their natural and spiritual guidance of the family.
Being a father is a high and honourable calling, and all fathers, mothers and children are called to understand this status; and fathers are called to fulfil it.
Fathers are called to a precious role, well within their capabilities, and we can learn from our heavenly father and try and do likewise. Regardless of our situation in life, it is never too late to become the father we are called to be.
I will quote a movie I saw recently named, Denial, in defence of the holocaust.
In this scene, it was a Jewish historian and advocate’s legal counsel — her barrister — who was subtly guiding her in a major court case.
As they were talking during a break in the session, she said, “all I have is my conscience”.
He responded with wisdom from which we should all take note:
“they’re strange things, consciences. The trouble is, what feels best isn’t necessarily what works best. By all means, stand up and look the devil in the eye, tell him what you feel. Why not? It’s very satisfying. See what happens, and risk losing; not just for yourself, for the others, for everyone, forever”
And then he went on, talking about the need for strategy and self-denial in the place of raw argument and face-to-face challenge.
In the scene, it was very much like the Holy Spirit guiding a fleshly mind, and hoping his deep experience and understanding would be transferred to this passionate, younger, activist.
It is said that we can’t put an old head on young shoulders, and I think we have all found that to be true. However, a young head can still be found on older shoulders, as life is about wisdom, knowledge, understanding and growth, and some do not get the growth aspect all their lives.
We can remain infantile or under-developed in certain areas of the nine spiritual fruit, but do not consider we are. In the context of indignation, we remain passionate milk drinkers.
To the Lord, years matter far less than obedience to his word. It is through obedience he transfers wisdom into both young heads and older ones, enabling us to decide which issues to be indignant about and which ones to let through to the wicket keeper, as the Lord may have a higher vision for those matters.
When we wonder why we haven’t developed in an area or two, we may find we are shunning obedience and cherry-picking scripture to suit our indignant stance.