Monday, June 29


It has been brought to my attention that on past occasions my Facebook posts dealing with social issues have  been perceived as my being angry and, therefore, are considered not to be in keeping with my professed "Christianity," as though anger and/or righteous indignation are somehow incongruous with the Christian faith. I disagree. 

Hardly a celebrity, I nevertheless believe I have a significant following on Facebook, and most people would agree that the majority of my posts are lighthearted and hopefully are so regarded as being uplifting and void of overly-opinionated flights of voiced dissatisfaction. Still, I would be far less than honest with myself or with my followers if I didn't admit that on occasion  I do climb high upon my white steed and charge headlong into some topic of personal aggravation. So yes, I do allow my anger to come to the fore. Steadfastly, I make no apologies for that genuine emotion.

Whether by omission or commission of the observed offenders of my sensibilities, the character flaws that bring my blood to a slow boil are abject stupidity, incompetence, hypocrisy, laziness, arrogance, ignorance and occasionally a mismatched fashion assemble. (But the latter shall be reserved for a future rant...)
To suggest that a "Christian" must always abstain from the employment of anger or otherwise bear the slings and arrows of incrimination for failing to live up to the tenants and precepts of an always perceived gentile faith is, if you'll pardon my indiscretion, ludicrous. One only need to consult the scriptures of the Bible to discover that even God himself was not without wrathful righteous indignation when occasion and circumstance warranted. Dig into the New Testament  gospels of Mark and John and one will read where Christ Jesus himself became righteously angry at the observed defilement of the temple courts, wherein the money changers were unabashedly deriving an ill-begotten profit by selling animal sacrifices to the Jewish sojourners who had come to the Temple to ritualistic repent of their sins. So incensed (read: angry) was Jesus that He fashioned a "whip out of cords and drove all from the temple area, both sheep and cattle; he scattered the coins of the money changers and (are you ready for this?) overturned their tables."  To those who sold doves he said, "Get these out of here! How dare you turn my Father's house into a market!" (John 2:15-16) With  no more than even a cursory reading of these verses, one would be in folly to suggest that Christ was more than just a little "hot under the collar." Let me be so bold as to suggest that Christ was angry and had every justifiable reason for being so.

So, let's abstain from the notion that a Christian is to suppress this most basic of human emotions in order to placate some misguided sense of Christian piety. Both God and his Son displayed anger when provoked to do so for justifiable reasons. And as humans, created in their image, we too are imbued with that same behavioral characteristic as well. Where this emotion becomes harmful and uncharacteristic of a Christian, or any rational individual for that matter, is when the anger spills over into spitefulness, vindictiveness, bitterness or a quest for unrequited vengeance. If in my past posts or posts yet to be published, I have slipped or may venture into the darker side of anger, then I stand accused as charged and offer my humblest apologies. 

But let's not falsely accuse me or any other professing Christian of losing their grip on their religion because they allow anger to color their opinions or quest for redress. I daresay that there was an undercurrent of angry dissatisfaction with the Catholic Church when Martin Luther pinned his ninety-five theses on the Power and Efficacy of Indulgences on the door of the All Saints' Church in Wittenberg. I dare say that the Christians of the colonies were more than just a little angry on numerous historical occasions with the despotic rule of Mother England. The Boston Tea Party comes to mind. And I dare say that Martin Luther King, Jr. was not immune from a sense of anger and frustration as he marched repeatedly through the south to protest the deliberate and malicious subjugation of the oppressed black citizens of this nation. No, don't tell me that anger has no role to play in a Christian of conscience. The righteous anger of many Christians have and will continue to strive to turn the pages of history for the betterment of all mankind. Equal justice for all is some times best sought and acquired when the flames of anger and righteous indignation are ignited.