The great evil of the current epidemic of outrage is the threefold alienation which is its result.
For examples of the epidemic, see:
Words are a means of communication and of communion. Speech is our primary means of human connection. Outrage, particularly the social sort exemplified in the media, results in inverting this purpose of speech. Words which should connect us to one another, become tool of condemnation and isolation. Such speech separates us, not only into social groups but individually.
We cannot judge people in this worldly manner without laying that same judgment upon ourselves. The self, filled with hate and disgust, even as it achieves an imagined superiority, must simultaneously go into hiding (from fellow creatures, from the self, and from God). This is the threefold alienation of hate. In hate, we must turn from others, from God, and from our very selves, lest we discover that we too fall under the wrath of our judgement.
Moral correction without love (condemns the sinner and the sin) is ultimately to condemn the entire world, self-included, in one’s own heart. Thus we feel the terror of the law, consciously or unconsciously, at such times for we have invoked its authority. Yet the Author of the law speaks a Word of reconciliation and has enacted, demonstrated, and brought about the real possibility of such reconciliation upon the cross.
Merely human words which insist upon sifting and separating others according to their deeds, ultimately cease to have real value. For the Word that endures is a word which establishes communion and community. The lingo of outrage and offense insists on a community of law alone, a community that ceases to need words, for it ends in finally excluding all its members.
Outrage, which may have begun in attempting to protect something good, must end in pursuing nothing but its own outrage. It is the Word of reconciliation that peruses and protects the good in such a way that we are finally not aliened from it. This transcendent Word does so by containing that Good which both the outraged and outrageous ultimately desire. God’s Word facilitates our inclusion in such a Kingdom, through a supreme act of sacrificial forgiveness. It is this cruciform Word that shall abide and have meaning, that shall be spoken of and celebrated for all eternity, not in a spirit of outrage, but of gratitude.
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