Righteous Anger

7 Aug

“While women weep, as they do now, I’ll fight; while children go hungry, as they do now I’ll fight; while men go to prison, in and out, in and out, as they do now, I’ll fight; while there is a drunkard left, while there is a poor lost girl upon the streets, while there remains one dark soul without the light of God, I’ll fight, I’ll fight to the very end!”

William Booth

I think that sometimes it is ok to be angry as a Christian. I was thinking about this today. Anna Nicole Smith dies. I have no doubt that she was made in the image of God and dearly loved. But the news followed her story for how many weeks or months going over every single detail of her life? Even my dad’s beloved Fox News channel and his No Spin (like that exists) favorite Bill O’Reilly couldn’t resist covering this subject.

Why do we ignore that 30,000 kids die of malnutrition? Why do we ignore that 27,000 people are still in some sort of slavery and half of them are under 18 years of age. What about when Focus on the Family freaked out when Justin Timberlake and Janet Jackson had that mishap during the Superbowl and just ignore terrible injustices around the world that might be just a little more important?

A question I am trying to ask myself more and more is what things are really worth getting upset about?

What do I get angry about? It may sound weird but I think we have only so much rage to dispense. I don’t want to waste my energy getting angry at the delivery lady who has a bad attitude (yesterday) or a less than satisfying tax return. I want to harness that energy (we are able to use incredible amounts of effort when angry) for things that really matter. I know that religious people being angry conjours up terrible memories of the crusades but that was religious manipulation by people in power not a reflection of Christ. When Jesus got angry the lame were healed. It was a beautiful kind of anger. An anger that put the abuser in their place and brought life out of those who were viewed as a product or something to be owned or possessed.

I’ve found that anger will always be with me. But can be a powerful catylist when it is filtered through the love, grace and mercy of God. Sometimes anger is like the alarm clock that goes off when the poor and oppressed are neglected and wakes me up from the sleep of consumerism. It’s been said that the true atheist is not the person who doesn’t believe in God. The true atheist is the person who can stare into the eyes of another and not see the image of the one whom they were created in. Lately, recognizing that image in the oppressed has been stirring and anger in my soul.

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One Response to “Righteous Anger”

  1. Sarah August 11, 2007 at 8:18 pm #

    Absolutely. There are so many injustices in the world. However, we seem to be more interested in the missteps of Brittany Spears and 8 miners stuck in the ground, then tens of thousands of people living and subsequently dying in poverty we, as Americans could not fathom. I believe this is something we can be angry with. However, if our anger isn’t constructive, then we’re angry for no good reason. That’s why I don’t just tithe to the church. The American church is rich beyond belief. So I choose to tithe to places that need the money in order to provide for the basic needs of God’s people. I know writing a check isn’t enough. I’m just trying to figure out what is.

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