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Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Anger


Do you ever get angry?  Are you supposed to?  Christ did.  In John 2:14 – 16 (and the related passages in the other gospels:  Matt 21:12 - 13; Mark 11:15 - 18; Luke 19:45 - 48) we see Him throwing over the tables of the money changers and the sellers of animals for sacrifice.  He then beat them with cords to get them out of the temple.  He called the Pharisees names, hypocrites and whitewashed tombs.  Paul called the Galatian believers fools for abandoning the gospel, Galatians 3:1 - 3.  He criticized the Corinthian church for tolerating incest, 1 Corinthians 5:1 – 2.  When was the last time you saw this level of passion in your community of faith?  My guess is that most of the passion is stifled.  It is not viewed as loving to get angry about what happens in church.

There are a couple of things (my wife will testify that there are more than a couple) that will increase my emotional buttons.  One of the main things that does that is using Scripture as a spring board to say what one wants to say whether it relates to the passage read or not.  That infuriates me.  When a speaker reads a passage and then launches off on some marginally related message, that speaker is guilty of egregious malpractice.  The net effect of that is to remove the Bible from their listener’s hands.  It communicates that they alone have the truth and in order to understand the Bible we have to listen to them.

One other hot button is when speakers before groups of believers choose to share something other than the Bible.  Last time I checked it was the Scripture that was profitable in 2 Timothy 3:14 – 17, not what someone wrote about the Bible.

When folks tell my kids that perversion is acceptable as a lifestyle, that immorality is not, that it is narrow minded to think that killing 52,008,665 children since 1973 is not just a reasonable choice, that the Bible does not really mean what is says…  I get angry.

There are things about which I should not get angry that I do.  Part of this Christian life thing, part of the example we are setting for our kids, seems to me to be getting angry about the right things.

1 comment:

  1. Mike, you make an excellent point, as usual. God is an angry God (at times), the evidence for Jesus, as you point out, is controvertible if we believe the Gospel writers.

    For me, the issue is not the getting angry part. I do that too often, mostly at the wrong causes. Anger is a tough beast to control and keep corralled. It has the inconsiderate and inconvenient way of getting loose at the most inopportune times.

    It's interesting that Jesus' reason for expressing His (controlled) anger was His father's glory - "...My Father's house..."

    I can seldom be so sure I'm acting, even in view of the most righteous indignation, out of really caring for His glory, not my own emotion or convenience. Far more appropriate for me, I'm ashamed to say (but why should I be surprised; I'm a wretch), is Prov. 29:11, "A fool always loses his temper...." Problem is, I find it all too quickly again, ready for other destructive uses.

    You raise an important issue, Mike. I'm sure we need more such God-besotted emotion in our day.

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