‘I’m Not Going To Take This Anymore’

There is a need for some righteous indignation:

A defining feature of the modern West is a total lack of concern for what is happening, with most folks completely focused on themselves and their own little world. Few will speak out about the vital issues of the day. Few will become disturbed, even upset, about the state of affairs in this world.

The truth is, there is a place for righteous indignation. Of course we must make sure that our anger is righteous! But there is a place for the Christian to be upset with evil, injustice and all that is ugly and perverse in this world. Too many believers however are simply apathetic and indifferent.

It is like the old joke about the student being asked by his teacher, “What is the difference between ignorance and apathy?” To which the student replied, “I don’t know, and I don’t care.” Not being concerned about the things that matter is actually sinful. We should have a holy anger over evil and sin and the destructiveness they bring – beginning of course with ourselves.

Some believers think that love (often poorly defined) is our only option – our only way to proceed. But to love at all means you will NOT tolerate that which harms the beloved. Paul makes it clear that we are to cling to that which is good, but we are to hate that which is evil (Romans 12:9).

Some Christians might ask what that has to do with love. But simply read the whole verse. It says this in the ESV: “Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good.” The opposite of love is not hate, but indifference. When we no longer care about anything or anyone, we have stopped loving.

But when we truly love, we will hate what God hates. Many Scriptures speak to this. Here are just a few:

“O you who love the Lord, hate evil!” Psalm 97:10

“Through your precepts I get understanding;
    therefore I hate every false way.” Psalm 119:104

“The fear of the Lord is hatred of evil.” Proverbs 8:13

And all the great saints have known these truths. A few quotes:

“We cannot love God without hating what He hates. We are not only to avoid evil, but we must be armed against it and bear a hearty indignation toward it.” Charles Spurgeon

“It is well to be a good hater.” Charles Spurgeon

“Love is no anemic thing. It is indignant and makes a Christian bold in the presence of evil. It gives rise to zeal for the honor of God, and to a selfless regard for others.” Amy Carmichael

“To love is also to hate. The heart that is drawn to righteousness will be repulsed by iniquity in the same degree. The holiest man is the one who loves righteousness most and hates evil with the most perfect hatred.” A.W. Tozer

“While the love of God is a reality beyond comprehension, it is important to see that the love of God is the very reason for His hatred. We should not say that God is love and therefore He cannot hate, but rather, God is love and therefore He must hate. If a person truly loves life, acknowledges its sanctity, and cherishes children as a gift from God, then they must hate abortion. It is impossible to passionately and purely love children and yet be neutral toward that which destroys them in the womb. In the same way, if God loves with the greatest intensity all that is upright and good, then He must with equal intensity hate all that is perverse and evil.” Paul Washer

Indifference and apathy are the real enemies here for the believer. We should have a holy zeal for God and all that he cares about. Jesus said it was zeal for his Father’s house that led him to flip over tables in the temple (John 2:13-17). If a Christian asks, ‘What would Jesus do?,’ sometimes it would be worth reminding him that overturning tables is not out of the realm of possibilities.

It can be a better option than just caring about nothing and being stirred to action by nothing. Terrific quotes about apathy and the like can also be offered here.

“Could a mariner sit idle if he heard the drowning cry? Could a doctor sit in comfort and just let his patients die? Could a fireman sit idle, let men burn and give no hand? Can you sit at ease in Zion with the world around you damned?” Leonard Ravenhill

“I am aware that many object to the severity of my language; but is there not cause for severity? I will be as harsh as truth, and as uncompromising as justice. On this subject, I do not wish to think, or to speak, or write, with moderation. No! No! Tell a man whose house is on fire to give a moderate alarm; tell him to moderately rescue his wife from the hands of the ravisher; tell the mother to gradually extricate her babe from the fire into which it has fallen; — but urge me not to use moderation in a cause like the present. I am in earnest — I will not equivocate — I will not excuse — I will not retreat a single inch — AND I WILL BE HEARD. The apathy of the people is enough to make every statue leap from its pedestal, and to hasten the resurrection of the dead.” American abolitionist William Lloyd Garrison

“At the final bar of judgment, when those of us who are Christians stand face to face with our Maker, the gravest charge that will be made against us will be that we were so unconcerned. We lived at a time and in an age when the very foundations of civilization were being shaken, when the very world in which we lived was rocking, when we witnessed things such as men have never seen before. We saw the spiritual and moral, as well as the political, declension all around us, and yet we did nothing about it. We were apathetic and unconcerned. We did not feel a great solicitude that would not allow us to rest by day or by night.” Martyn Lloyd-Jones

And there is plenty to be concerned about. You really SHOULD care that 80-100,000 babies are being slaughtered here in Australia each and every year. You should get a bit passionate and upset about that. It SHOULD move you to action when you see marriage and family being dragged through the mud by the activists. It SHOULD spur you on to get involved when you see our very young children being directly targeted by sexual militants.

Yet for the most part the church is silent. Just as it was mainly silent when it allowed the secular government to tell them that worship of the living God at church had to be banned because of Covid. It was deemed to be a non-essential service. Yet bars, brothels, gambling dens and so much more were often allowed to go right ahead.

How many believers actually spoke out about this? Far too few. Sometimes I wonder if we can learn a few things from our non-Christian neighbours. Sometimes they are willing to stand up and be counted, while we remain affixed to our lounge chairs and glued to our TVs.

Let me finish with one quite secular Hollywood film that can be mentioned at this point. It of course makes no claim to being a Christian film, but a famous scene in it is something I think some believers might need to watch. I refer to the 1976 film Network starring Faye Dunaway, William Holden, Peter Finch and Robert Duvall.

See this iconic four-minute clip from the film (pardon some strong language): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZwMVMbmQBug

I of course am not saying we should emulate all this – certainly not the swearing. And anger for the believer needs to be aligned with God’s anger. And it will mean turning even more to prayer, along with action. But I fear too many believers are not at all upset with anything. Maybe they need a bit of what the character Howard Beale told a TV audience from his network news studio: “I’m as mad as hell, and I’m not going to take this anymore!”


Since I know that some believers will get angry – but at me for writing this piece despite all the qualifications and provisos I offered in it – let me say a few more words. The biblical balance on this issue is needed. On the one hand we have texts like James 1:19-20 which say: “Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God.”

But on the other hand, we have verses like Ephesians 4:26: “Be angry and do not sin”. So which is it? I have tried to deal with all this elsewhere, so why not have a read? https://billmuehlenberg.com/2020/06/21/anger-prayer-and-the-justice-of-god/

[1501 words]


11 Replies to “‘I’m Not Going To Take This Anymore’”

  1. I asked four local government candidates a few questions before casting my vote yesterday. They were dumbfounded when I asked them about their values. Some people don’t know what amoral means, but they seem to think that by doing nothing, the social disintegration of Western civilisation will improve. Will the runaway horse be turned at the eleventh hour or will it continue to go “the way of the Book” as Johnny Cash once said? Not a rhetorical question.

  2. Bill
    You are – really – a skilled “thinker” who moves between what is most essential…

    Thanks !

    RÖ – Sweden

  3. God’s will has always been carried out thru the agency of man excepting creation.

  4. Thanks Bill. A great piece. And that movie except was perfect. If only we Christians would all yell out I’m not going to take it anymore. I am mad. We have to have a righteous anger so much so that we turn some tables. Also we need to pray for wisdom and let God lead us. The world is going nuts at the moment. In 5 years the world has changed so much it’s almost unrecognisable. I’m grateful that I have peace and joy in the Holy Ghost but there are so many that are suffering and confused. Lord help us to make a difference for some.

    Thanks heaps Bill. Bless ya.

  5. Thank you so much, Bill, for providing your readers with that classic video clip of Peter Finch as Howard Beale, “The Mad Prophet of the Airwaves”, in the 1976 movie, Network.

    Watching it is a cathartic experience.

    It is sad to record that Finch died in 1977, two months before the 49th Academy Awards ceremony, which honoured him with a posthumous Oscar in for his acting. Since then, the only other actor to receive a posthumous Oscar has been fellow Australian Heath Ledger.

    According to a 2001 Christian commentary on the contents of popular movies and TV programs, “The Howard Beale character is consistent with a standard definition of a biblical prophet.”

    The book goes on to quote a definition of a prophet: “The prophet therefore is subject to a particular kind of inspiration. It is in every case a strong subconscious experience of an ecstatic state in which a superhuman power comes upon the man whom it calls and compels, with or without his will, to do its service.” [Reference: Walter T. Davis, Jr, et alia, Watching What We Watch: Prime-Time Television Through the Lens of Faith (Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press, 2001), p. 261.]

  6. Thanks Bill, loved ‘The Mad Prophet of the Airwaves’ clip as I think that is where we are up to to wake people up.

  7. I hate rotten, evil people who are cruel to animals. It upsets me to see on Facebook & U Tube the horrible cruelty that some people do to poor animals. I just hope that God will punish those people by letting them rot in hell!

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