The Power of Angry Christians

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Recent headlines are full of angry Christians.

Anger is a natural emotion. It’s often not the first emotion we feel in a string of responses but the force of anger usually overshadows the initial reaction that inspired it.

Anger is like the alert system on the Starship Enterprise – when a threat appears on the radar screen, alarms sound, shields are raised, and the weapons system goes on standby. This is what anger does on the bridge of one’s emotional starship.

It’s our natural defense system. Our self-protective factor. Anger is our soul’s armor and personal nuclear missile. In each of our lives, it can be just as destructive as the bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Here’s the dilemma for Christians: God is our protector. God is our deliverer. God has provided us with armor and it’s not our own anger but His truth, His righteousness, His salvation, His Word. When we surrender our lives to Christ, we must also surrender our personal weapons system and our right to push our own nuclear button.

It’s a highly uncomfortable process. When we let go of anger, we’re left with the initiator of the anger – embarrassment, fear, hurt, injustice, shame, panic, powerlessness, sorrow, insignificance, or discomfort. Fear is the shield and cover for these other feelings, feelings that leave us vulnerable, transparent, and exposed. Feelings that make us aware of our weakness, at the mercy of a Higher Power. Feelings that remind us we are sheep in a wolf-run world.

It’s understandable when we clutch at anger to wrap around us like chainmail. It’s understandable when we seek to feel powerful to cover our own awareness of our vulnerability. It’s understandable, but it’s not God’s will.

God’s will is this: “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. Therefore put away all filthiness and rampant wickedness and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls.” James 1:19-21

As believers, God calls us away from the temptation of self-protection. He doesn’t call us to be a pack of wolves but a flock of sheep. He calls us to stand aware of those vulnerable feelings – our helplessness against evil, our vulnerability in the face of injustice, our weakness against worldly powers – and call on Him, rely on Him, trust Him completely to come to our defense.

Anger is a weapon of this world. The Christian is called to fight on a higher plane. The Christian is called to fight from a position that appears weak so that the glory of God is revealed.

Anger works – on one level. Like a fireworks display makes a mighty show of power. It produces an impressive amount of light and noise for a time but that’s all. It’s just a display. It is power completely unchanneled and useless in any practical endeavor.

Electricity directed through proper, unimpressive channels of cable, circuits, and wire makes no show of itself but can power a city.

God also has anger at His disposal but chooses to restrain it.The Lord passed before him and proclaimed, “The Lord, the Lord, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness, keeping steadfast love for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, but who will by no means clear the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children and the children’s children, to the third and the fourth generation.” Exodus 34:6-7 Are we not called to be like Him?

The proliferation of angry Christians is indicative of a rampant departure from obedience to God’s Word. It is armies of believers going “off book.” It is mobs of Christians saying “we have grown impatient waiting on our God to deliver, so we will rise up and deliver ourselves.” Show me the scriptural defense for this and I will join you but you won’t find it in God’s Word.

Anger feels powerful just as a fireworks display feels impressive but both are largely just flashy show. More impressive, more powerful, and in the end,sunset-50494_640 more effective is an army of sheep – fully aware of their vulnerability and limitations, who have meekly accepted the Word of Christ in their lives and have chosen to rely on Him for protection, for defense, for deliverance, and not on themselves or any worldly power.

The power of angry Christians is a lie, it’s a deceptive trap, it is no power beyond this world, this kingdom. We serve a kingdom come. The power of submitted, obedient Christians who embrace the meekness of the gospel of Christ can power the City of God for all eternity.

What about you? Are you choosing to don the armor of the enemy or are you willing to follow Jesus into battle on His terms? Your choice will make all the difference – in your life, in the lives of those you are here to serve, in this kingdom, and in the kingdom come.

Do you seek a powerful leader, loved ones? Read Psalm 104. There is your leader and He rode into Jerusalem on the back of a donkey, laid down His life in what looked like supreme weakness only to rise to everlasting life and eternal reign. There is your leader. Hosanna in the highest! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord.

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1 Comment

    The Conversation

  1. Joanne Urbany says:

    As always, you have spoken the truth. Well said!