A Time for Anger
By Bob Russell
Many Christian leaders are encouraging believers not to get angry about the moral freefall that is taking place in our nation right now. The general counsel is, “Stay calm. God is in control. The world is acting like the world. Our responsibility is not to judge the world but to love the world. So, be nice. After all, we don’t want to turn people off to the gospel.”
Much of that is true. This is no time for believers to become panicky, hateful or violent. The Scriptures teach us to be “…slow to become angry, because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires” (James 1:19-20). Although we’re in a fierce spiritual battle, “…we do not wage war as the world does” (2 Cor. 10:3). We are never to do bodily harm. We are never to destroy someone else’s property. We are not to lose our tempers and attempt to overcome evil with more evil.
However, it seems to me that we could use a little (well maybe a lot!) of righteous anger right now. The Bible urges us to, “Be angry and sin not” (Eph. 4:26 KJV). When greedy merchants exploited the temple and prevented genuine worship, the Lord Jesus got angry enough to grab a makeshift whip and cleanse the temple of the excess.
There is an anger that’s appropriate. There is an anger that is motivated by love. A father who doesn’t get angry at a reckless motorist speeding down the street where his children are playing lacks character. Bede Jarrett OP said, “The world needs anger. The world often continues to allow evil because it isn’t angry enough”.
This morning, America awoke to the horrible news of an overnight terror attack inside an Orlando nightclub that claimed dozens of victims. Many of us are understandably angry at the killing of innocent civilians and the seemingly inept policies of our government to effectively deal with Islamic terrorism.
I believe some Christians’ lack of indignation is not a sign of their spirituality but of indifference. For example this past week a congressional panel reported on some appalling discoveries from abortion clinics that should infuriate us…but for the most part, it doesn’t.
After undercover videos seemingly showed a Planned Parenthood staffmember trying to market infant body parts, a select panel was appointed to investigate abortion clinics and various companies that were reportedly doing exactly that. That investigative committee has now released their report showing the extent of the “fetal-tissue harvesting operation” and what the committee’s chairwoman alleges are violations of the law.
One of the more disturbing exchanges was contained in a set of January 2015 emails. When a customer with StemExpress inquired about the availability of aborted tissue, a clinic employee promptly emailed back, seemingly while an abortion was under way, “There is one case currently in the room, I will let you know how the limbs and calvarium (skull) look to see if you are able to take them in about fifteen minutes’
Less than an hour later, the employee reported, “the calvarium is mostly intact,” while “the limbs ….are totally intact.” StemExpress, which works with Planned Parenthood, is a California based company that procures body parts and fetal tissue and sells to researchers.
Representative Marsha Blackburn (Republican, Tennessee), head of the House Select Investigative Panel on Infant Lives, is now making a fresh request for a federal probe. “I believe the investigation will move forward because this is so appalling,” she told Fox-News.com.
Democrats, including Presidential Nominee Hillary Clinton, are angered not by the killing and harvesting of babies but at the report! They call it “…a nearly year-long witch-hunt targeting women’s access to safe and comprehensive health care.” But most Christians are not angered at all. We sit back and say nothing because we don’t want to be labeled unloving or political. The Bible warns about a conscience that has become seared with a hot iron. Apparently we’ve been exposed to so much evil that we’re not appalled by it anymore.
Jesus got so angry with people who abused little children that He warned them they deserved to have a millstone hung around their neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea. You can’t love the Lord Jesus Christ and not get angry about the horrific ripping apart of the unborn babies whom He has been knitting together in their mother’s womb.
Maybe instead of just calling people to calmness and passivity, Christian leaders should be calling for some righteous anger right now. Not anger that results in physical violence but anger that produces courageous confrontation, political involvement and positive action.
Three decades ago a group of mothers whose children had been killed by drunk drivers got angry enough to establish “MADD – Mothers Against Drunk Driving.” The number of drunk driving deaths in the U.S. has been cut in half since MADD was founded in 1980, due in large part to the fact that a few women got angry enough to do something about it.
Norman Bales wrote, “We are far too tolerant of the things that are repulsive to God.” Martin Luther once claimed, “When I am angry I can pray well and preach well,” Obviously there is a time when controlled anger is appropriate. If not now, when?
“Rescue those being led away to death; hold back those staggering toward slaughter. If you say, ‘But we knew nothing about this,’ does not he who weighs the heart perceive it? Does not he who guards your life know it? Will he not repay each person according to what he has done? (Proverbs 24:11-12).