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Friday, May 13, 2016

May Christians Rant?

I get tickled at the rants I see on social media. They’re about: politics, social problems, family strife, unjust treatment, people with bad manners . . . . The list goes on! 

Rant simply means “a tirade.”

Should Christians rant? Or, maybe the question would be better worded: is it Christian to rant? Let’s look at it two ways.


Christian means “Christ-like.” You never see Jesus ranting. He calmly explains, but he doesn’t go off on a tirade. He doesn’t shout or sound off. He bore injustices with patience and calm. Consider these Scriptures: 
  • He (Jesus) was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth (Isaiah 53:7)
  • And when he was accused of the chief priests and elders, he answered nothing. Then said Pilate unto him, Hearest thou not how many things they witness against thee? And he answered him to never a word; insomuch that the governor marvelled greatly (Matthew 27:12-14).
  • Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously (1 Peter 2:23).
  • Godly love is characterized by longsuffering, not by raving. Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil . . . Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things (1 Corinthians 13:4-5, 7).

A complaining spirit is the opposite of godly contentment. Paul knew how to be needy, yet content. 
  • Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me (Philippians 4:11-13).


The flip side of this issue is whether Christians should ever expose wrong in a long speech (not a “tirade”). I believe that sometimes a protest is appropriate. (As we’ve seen above, it’s very important how we express ourselves. Our speech shouldn’t come across as unkind, biting, and nasty.) When is it appropriate to rant?

Directly to God, in prayer. God urges us to express all of our concerns to Him.
  • Trust in him at all times; ye people, pour out your heart before him: God is a refuge for us. Selah (Psalm 62:8).
  • And Hezekiah received the letter of the hand of the messengers, and read it: and Hezekiah went up into the house of the LORD, and spread it before the LORD (2 Kings 19:14). 
  • Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God (Philippians 4:6).
  • Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you (1 Peter 5:7).

Defending vulnerable people.
  • Defend the poor and fatherless: do justice to the afflicted and needy (Psalm 82:3).
  • Thus saith the LORD; Execute ye judgment and righteousness, and deliver the spoiled out of the hand of the oppressor: and do no wrong, do no violence to the stranger, the fatherless, nor the widow, neither shed innocent blood in this place (Jeremiah 22:3).
  • Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world (James 1:27).

And, spreading the gospel:

For he that will love life, and see good days, 
let him refrain his tongue from evil, 
and his lips that they speak no guile: 
Let him eschew evil, and do good; 
let him seek peace, and ensue it. 
For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, 
and his ears are open unto their prayers: 
but the face of the Lord is against them that do evil. . . .
But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: 
and be ready always to give an answer to every man 
that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you 
with meekness and fear (1 Peter 3:10-15).

May a Christian rant? 

Not for bad. 

Yes, kindly, for good.

Set a watch, O LORD, before my mouth; keep the door of my lips (Psalm 141:3).


  1. As always, well said. Thanks for addressing issues of our day. It is easy to get caught up in something that everyone else seems to be doing. My book in progress (that I am writing) is about two women who stood up for slaves in 1790's- 1830's. They spoke out against the evils of slavery,they wrote blogs. OK- so there was no internet, (so no blogs like today) but they wrote anti-slavery letters and had them distributed. They taught slaves to read, much to the displeasure of others. Then these two partially black sisters, free women of color, married white men. Whoa, really upset people. I don't believe any of it would have been considered a tirade. It was a gentle protest and quest to right wrongs. They started the first Sunday Schools for slaves on the little island of Antigua. Amazing women, praying I can do their lives justice in writing about their quest. No tirade, just a gentle quest in progress.

    1. So very interesting! I am amazed how much wrong was ignored because of prejudice--still is, for that matter. I believe it is always right to take up the cause of the oppressed, just so we do so in a loving, Christian, appropriate way. Excited to read your new book when it's published!

  2. Hmmm. Definitely something to consider. However, I highly doubt Jesus calmly 'taught' in the Temple while cracking a whip, overturning tables, and proclaiming His house should be one of prayer, but they had made it a den of thieves. Pretty sure that was the time and place for a heated rant. Of course when we rant, since we aren't deity, not all of what we surmise or do is completely righteous and with no negative or selfish intentions, so... yes, something to think about.

    1. Somehow I can't imagine Jesus would have ranted while overturning the tables. Wouldn't He (love incarnate) have been controlled while setting things right? Just my thoughts. We're not told, of course. Thank you for your thoughtful comment, Rebekah.


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