You may have heard the story of White Magazine – a popular Australian wedding magazine that was thriving in a tough international market; thriving until the outrage agenda struck. Their explanation for closing the magazine is telling:
“We have been asked repeatedly why our magazine had not yet featured all couples … Recently we’ve experienced a flood of judgement … Instead of allowing us the space to work through our thoughts and feelings, or being willing to engage in brave conversations to really hear each other’s stories, some have just blindly demanded that we pick a side … The result has been that a number of advertisers withdrew their sponsorship out of fear of being judged, or in protest. We have had to recognise the reality that White magazine is no longer economically viable.”
The outrage agenda claimed another scalp. How do we respond?
I don’t think criticising the outraged, their philosophy or their ironic embrace of the Love is Love agenda is the answer. I know they are all for Love is Love and I know that their actions towards the Burrell Family and their magazine is outrageous! But if all we do is call people out and point out their ironic hypocrisy and contradictory thinking, then we just join the parade of the vicious and vocal outraged.
There must be a better way of engaging with our society as it drifts rudderless – and I want to suggest that the Beatles had the answer many moons ago – Love is all you need.
Ed Stetzer writes challengingly:
If we do not actually love the lost around us, we demonstrate that we have missed the point of the gospel itself. No wonder our witness is so anaemic! We don’t appear to understand that what we preach applies to ourselves first and foremost! We disqualify our right to bring a message of love by being unloving in the very way we live and proclaim the Gospel, and so deny the compelling power of the Good News. We cannot reach people and hate people at the same time.
The community we live in does not understand love despite their assertions and arguments. John instructs us with these simple words: “We love because he first loved us.” (1 John 4:19)
Christianity in a broken and rebellious world is going to be offensive. But we are not supposed to be. The Gospel and the love of God is the salve for this world’s pain, brokenness and anger. Again Ed Stetzer writes:
Christians are called to demonstrate this profoundly attractive love in a way that testifies to the Gospel and counters the lies, brokenness and violence of sin. The way we interact with others will dramatically affect whether the world is drawn to Christ’s love.
So consider your responses to the world’s hypocrisy Have you joined the choir of the outraged and become polarised to you own corner? Or are you choosing the most excellent way? What might that way of love look like? I’d love to hear your thoughts. I’ll share mine next week.