The Church Needs to Get Angry

May 27, 2009 by

Eugene Cho asks if Christians just aren’t angry enough about grave injustices like human trafficking. He does so with some language your grandmother wouldn’t approve of (though he does use asterisks instead of typing out the actual word), so be warned.

Is it possible that we as Christians just aren’t angry enough about injustices like human trafficking and slavery? Perhaps, we’ve grown too desensitized, domesticated, and docile. I’m not trying to say this for the sake of the ’shock factor’ but I really believe there are times when the Church needs to have a deep[er] anger about the grave injustices of the world particularly when it involves the exploitation of children.

He goes on to talk about a movie screening his church did as a small way to begin to address this injustice.

What do you think? Do churches need to have more righteous anger over social justice issues? And here’s the uncomfortable question: What kind of marketing message does that send?

Post By:

Kevin D. Hendricks

When Kevin isn't busy as the editor of Church Marketing Sucks, he runs his own writing and editing company, Monkey Outta Nowhere. Kevin has been blogging since 1998, runs the hyperlocal site West St. Paul Reader, and has published several books, including 137 Books in One Year: How to Fall in Love With Reading, The Stephanies and all of our church communication books.
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11 Responses to “The Church Needs to Get Angry”

  • Jeremy Anderson
    May 27, 2009

    I’m all for righteous anger and I believe the Church has become comfortable in their bubble, allowing the world to suffer around them without getting involved. BUT… I’m more than just a little tired of little Jesuses trying to appear relevant by using the worst word they can think of. If it’s refuse, fine… call it sh*t. If it needs to be banished, then to hell with it… but what value or relevance does f**k have to do with us reaching out to a lost and dieing world?
    C’mon kids… lets step it up a notch.

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  • Jon
    May 27, 2009

    Unitarians seem to have a corner on the social justice market – by several miles. Evening watching a movie – watching a movie! – is a big step for many congregations.
    Is there some disconnect between morals and ethics in churches? One needn’t look far to find a solipsistic sermon on the sin of you and the person next to you, but what if inaction and apathy are sins? Is it the conservative politics of moral choice that precludes ethical actions?

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  • Jay
    May 27, 2009

    do more people read his article with this title or with the title, “Human trafficking is really bad!” for that matter, is it an article on CMS?

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  • Michelle
    May 28, 2009

    I’m glad you wrote about this topic and it’s relation to church marketing. It’s a grave injustice that evangelical churches widely ignore. We emphasize a personal relationship with Christ and a holy lifestyle, but we equate holiness with not engaging in sins. We leave out the importance of loving our neighbors, the second greatest command – and Jesus made it clear that anyone in need is our neighbor. The Golden Rule begs the question: if we were slaves, what would we want the church to do for us? James says that knowing the good we should do, and failing to do it, is sin.
    I also think our collective inactions is terrible marketing. Who wants to be a part of an organization that ignores the greatest problems of our generation? Many people do want to make a difference, but they don’t think of the church as the way to do good. If we started doing good, I believe our churches would be more attractive to outsiders.

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  • Justin
    May 28, 2009

    Yes, churches need to be righteously angry of social injustices.

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  • Rick Wilson
    May 29, 2009

    This is a topic that churches in America – at least the evangelical wings – has been way to quiet about. Seems like we get so focused on the “big two” – abortion and gay marriage – that we forget what T.D. Jakes calls a “Bible full of other issues” – social justice, poverty and the environment. I like Rick Warren’s “whole life” position. We have to care about everything Jesus cares about.

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  • dustpars
    May 29, 2009

    We don’t need to get angry – we need to wake up. We are much like the ‘sleeping beauty’ in this story.

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  • Stuart McDonald
    May 29, 2009

    The church is absolutely too complacent and too accepting of the social injustices of today. Too long have we just stood by idly and let these tragedies happen right under our noses and on our doorsteps.
    If God had a righteous anger, then aren’t we supposed to be like Him? The church is too afraid of what others will think of it, like the new kid on the playground, to do anything! We need to stop standing around and waiting for other people to do what God has called US to do. Stop being some PUNKS and stand UP for what angers God!
    The message that sends is that we care about the people that God cares about. If we get involved it says that not only do we watch out for our own, but we take the position that Christ took and we defend those who can’t defend themselves.

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  • allie
    May 29, 2009

    The topic of anger has always been a dichotomy to me. Jesus’ anger was directed at the Pharisees, who spent their lives trying to put the law on everyone else, and when they realized they couldn’t keep it themselves, they added to it so they would appear righteous.
    God’s law is love. He admonishes us to love our enemies, be angry, but in our anger not to sin and not to let the sun go down on our anger. Anger, although not a sin in itself, is such a misused and misunderstood word I think. I’ve been angriest at those Christians who gather together to picket abortion clinics and gay rights parades. Christians aren’t angry enough? I do understand that we are talking about human trafficking here. And it is a horrible, horrible sin. So is the pastor who lures the young girl to his office and rapes her. So is the priest who abuses the young boy and the youth pastor who sneaks off into the woods with young girls and then comes home to repeat this over and over. Or the misguided missionaries that go out into the world without understanding of the true gospel who want to be God for the poor, onl y to exploit them and let them down? And watch while their children are raped by men and don’t do anything because they want to save the people. I personally know people who have experienced these things.
    The world is broken. It amazes me sometimes as I look around. Everything is in some stage of disease or another, from human life to plant life. Nothing is as it should be. Everything is dying. How can we be so surprised by these things, we were told about this in the Bible. God gives us righteous anger, but I really think our heart response should be more of a sorrow, a deep, deep sorrow that there is not a word for. Anger is to spur us to prayer and to whatever God leads us to do, but I don’t think we go with purity of intention until we take the logs out of our own eyes first and go with the understanding that we are all sinners, without God and the Holy Spirit we would be capable of doing these very same things about which we are angry.
    My question is this: How much faith am I supposed to have when it comes to the brokenness of the world? I do believe that God has everything under control, nothing escapes his notice, he makes beauty out of ashes. But does this mean that I am supposed to look for the the “causes” in the world that will make me angry and then go out and preach that, or am I supposed to look to the redeemer and go out and p reach that God has already made things right, that there is a bigger picture here, and that prayer accomplishes much? And that God experienced every sin committed by every man through the body of his son so that we can be totally forgiven and released from bondage?
    And what about Moses? He went up the mountain into the mist, got the ten commandments, came back down and found that the people had given up on him and made a golden calf to worship. Moses got mad and smashed the tablets and had to go back up. God was not happy about that. Didn’t Moses have cause to be mad? I think so. But God didn’t. And how happy was Jesus when Peter lopped of the ear of the soldier that wanted to kill him? He was trying to protect Jesus, shouldn’t he have been mad? How mad are we to be? What are we to be mad at? Where does forgiveness come into all of this and how do we get there in a healthy way? Or are we to see the injustices, be moved by the Holy Spirit to act according to HIS will, rather than our own need to feel like we can “help.” I don’t know, but it certainly is something that I think about a lot.

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    • Reply
      November 9, 2012

      I am saddened by the results of sin in my life, the life of my wife, my children and others around me, be they Christian or not.

      I am angered by the desire / desires of sinful people to rob others of their joy. But I am mostly angry with satan, the enemy of our souls, for constantly working to separate mankind from the love of God.

      You said, “But does this mean that I am supposed to look for the the “causes” in the world that will make me angry and then go out and preach that, or am I supposed to look to the redeemer and go out and p reach that God has already made things right, that there is a bigger picture here, and that prayer accomplishes much?”

      To which I would reply, God has called you to preach the gospel in word and in deed right where you are. Frequently however, Christians have difficulty in discerning God’s will with respect to their ministry, should I go here, should I go there, what does God want me to do, etc. But one aspect of our ministry is completely beyond our control that is that God has placed us here upon this earth at this time. God has predetermined that you should be here, right now.

      The Christians alive today are the ones God determined should be here which means we are God’s choice for the work that is ahead of the Church. Work where he has planted you.

      Be angry with satan’s constant effort to separate mankind from God but do not let your anger be your motivation to do God’s work. Rather be motivated by the love of God that is in you, to help a lost and dying people.

      The love of God is also frequently misunderstood. I ask that you consider this. The Old Testament is full of examples of the sacrifice that Jesus would offer on His cross. The New Testament from Acts forward points back to the work Jesus did on His cross. And of course the gospels tell the story of Jesus’ life and ultimate sacrifice on the cross. So the whole of the bible is about the cross.

      Many then say that the story of the cross is one of God’s love, which it is, i.e. John 3:16. But if the cross is about love then it is also about forgiveness for from the cross Jesus forgave His tormentors. Also by the cross He purchased forgiveness for the entire world.

      Matthew 18 also tell us the story of the unjust servant who after being forgiven all failed to forgive those who owed him. Likewise we as Christians have been forgiven all and therefore ought to forgive others. For the power of God’s love cannot be realized without forgiveness.

      Be saddened by the affects of sin.

      Be angry at the enemy regarding his endless attacks.

      Forgive everybody everything and love all.

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  • Stephen James
    June 2, 2009

    Hey, if it doesn’t interrupt my playlist, my latte, or my children’s lives why should I care about it?

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