Anger Hurts Us

“Anger is an acid that can do more harm to the vessel in which it is stored than to anything on which it is poured.” -Mark Twain (unverified)

BTW NOTE: Among the things anger can corrode is our sensibilities, where we begin to see offenses, attacks, and scheming against us everywhere. It’s why to be a truly intuitive person, you have to get control of your anger or you will always misread situations.

Not Good

“Julian’s liberal theology was far from typical for the time, but her status as an anchoress protected her from accusations of heresy. While many of her contemporaries argued that the Black Death was a sign of God’s punishment of the wicked, Julian believed in a broader, more merciful theology, suggesting that God demonstrated only love, never wrath, for his people. Julian even applied her understanding of God’s love to sin, which, contrary to the medieval Roman Catholic Church’s stance, she viewed not as evil or the work of the devil but as a necessity for bringing one to self-knowledge. Sin, she argued, was a necessary part of free will because it created a greater understanding of the need for God’s grace. She even went as far as to claim that God did not forgive our sins. “I saw truly that our Lord was never angry, and never will be,” she wrote. “Because he is God, he is good, he is truth, he is love, he is peace; and his power, his wisdom, his charity and his unity do not allow him to be angry. . . . And between God and our soul there is neither wrath nor forgiveness in his sight. For our soul is so wholly united, through his own goodness, that between God and our soul nothing can interpose.” Michelle DeRusha, 50 Women Every Christian Should Know: Learning from Heroines of the Faith

BTW NOTE: Beware of any thinker that pits anger against love. We don’t even tolerate such thinking at a human level. If a husband were to cheat on his wife, her love for him would make her legitimately angry at what he had done. Why? Because love is more than a feeling, it is a commitment. And his infidelity jeopardized that commitment, and necessarily provoked her to anger. If she said to him, ‘Oh, I’m not angry at all that you did that,’ you would wonder whether their relationship was DOA already before the infidelity. The same thing applies to God. Any god that doesn’t get angry when we turn away from him, must not have been very invested in a relationship with us in the first place. The point of this: any God who never gets angry when we reject him, also can’t ever love us very much.

Cultural Observation: Pick Your Poison

““Pick your poison” a friend of mine says regarding the idols available to us. Some of us may feel free from the worship of money. But what about other obsessions: celebrity mongering (a recent survey indicated that a distressingly high percentage of teenage girls would rather be “the personal assistant to a famous singer or movie star” than a U. S. Senator or the president of a great university), or sexual addiction (pornography seems to be as much a problem for the church as it is for the rest of the culture). We pour money and energy into sports, into body image, into professional success, and into the acquisition of power. We grow angry at anyone or anything that threatens our freedom to spend as we please or to express ourselves as we please because we have become worshipers of unbridled freedom.” -Charles Drew

Why Social Life Shouldn’t Be Reduced to Politics

“One reason [Why Christian debates about politics become so heated], well documented by sociologist James Hunter, is that many Christians have joined the broader culture in the mistaken assumption that public life is the same thing as political life. 2 For this reason we tend to think that the only, or best, way to change the culture is through politics. But politics is intrinsically coercive, using power (rather than persuasion) to bring about change. And forced change tends to turn up the heat in public life; it tends to polarize people, transforming ideas into slogans, discussions into shouting matches, and the opposition into demons. This is the case even when Christians are involved; perhaps more so since Christians tend to feel that they have a mandate from God in their efforts. Christians need to rediscover that “public” is much larger than “political.” -Charles Drew