Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Can There Be Righteous Anger?

Is there such a thing as righteous anger?

Dr. Jeffrey Gibbs of Concordia Seminary very recently posted an essay on the subject.  He begins with thoughts worth quoting here:

"Finally, I am quite convinced that the United States of America in the twenty-first century is a profoundly angry culture, and in contemporary discourse anger (often labeled “outrage”) is almost regarded as a virtue. When someone with whom we agree “goes off on” someone with whose position we disagree, we applaud the anger, the belittling, the demeaning words. One factor that seems clearly (at least to me) to be at work behind the distressing number of shootings and mass murders in our country is the generally angry and violent tone of significant aspects of our culture. As Christians, if I am correct about this, we find ourselves living in an angry culture, and there is a great danger that the culture’s catechesis about anger will affect and infect the church."

Gibbs studied both the Old and New Testaments to find how the term "anger" or similar words are used, the context for their use, and the character exhibiting anger.  In nearly every case, the one exhibiting the anger is the Almighty God - and rightly so.

Gibbs' conclusion:

"I might highlight only one thing about this remarkable exhortation, and it is this: There is a place for anger, and for vengeance. But it does not belong to the disciples of Jesus; that prerogative belongs to God alone. As I heard someone say long ago, vengeance is too dangerous a weapon to be placed into the hands of sinners. This contrast is utterly consistent with how anger is portrayed, described, and mentioned in both the OT and the NT. Anger belongs to God, not to us humans—and especially not to the disciples of Jesus."

I commend his essay for your study.  Click here for the link

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