Evangelicals & Righteous Anger or One Hopes Jesus Asseses as Such
A bruised reed he will not break, and a smoldering wick he will not quench, until he brings justice to victory (Matthew 12:20)
Like I believe is true of the entire Trinity, I am mad, and I am mad all day, every day, and twice on Sundays (I love that expression). I am angry because our culture is imploding more profoundly each and increasingly so every day.
As one example of many, a recent retiree decides retirement was not as advertised, so he decides to reenter the workforce. So, he takes a job at a local FedEx office. He comes in to pick up his check, and he suddenly and most tragically enters eternity.
While in Chicago just enjoying my recent transition to retirement hood, the day confronted me with the news of a young child murdered when bullets riddled the back seat of the car she tragically visited on a bright sunny Sunday afternoon: McDonald’s. Talking with a fellow believer, some postulate the incident was gang-related. Some speculate the targeting of the child was intentional. Most of the time, we employ the term innocence too frequently and without merit, but if there was ever a good time to utilize the term, it most certainly is when taking a young time to McDonald’s for a Sunday afternoon meal.
It is not even 7:30 AM, and my day has ALREADY run the full gamut. I shudder to think what might be next on the horizon, but I know much will not inspire or uplift. I am by no means a Debbie-Downer but can the Holy Scriptures be any clearer. Take as an instance just passage:
And because lawlessness will be increased, the love of many will grow cold. Matt 24:12
We see this passage lived out in vivid color, 4k quality cover, and the Church is leading the parade every day. We have pastors like Raphael Warnock and Eric Dyson postulating some of the most disturbing things a rank pagan would declare, but both are supposed Men of the cloth. I need Sista Gurl Pam McKinney to cease placing me in more and more levels of depression. I jest, of course, about Sista Gurl Pam, not Warnock or Dyson.
Warnock openly declares abortion to be a human right. Tell that to the child killed in the womb. Dyson had the temerity to hypothesize the Apostle Paul, if he were writing to the Church today, would apologize for speaking against slavery in his day. If your reaction is to agree with Dyson instinctively, then only two reasons suffice. You are either not saved, no matter how passionate your dissent, or you are saved, and you are a total embarrassment to the brand. There goes my anger again, so keep praying for me (tongue in cheek).
I intentionally did not watch much of the Floyd trial, but I did catch some of the closing arguments. The words of African American prosecutor, Jerry Blackwell, struck a resounding chord with me and will forever stay with me. Blackwell said
While some believe George Floyd died from an enlarged heart, he actually died because ex-officer Derek Chauvin’s heart was too small.
Sin is so pervasive. It rears its hideous head in ways that are so subtle they become part of our normal response that we no longer see them as sinful. We accept the action as permissible. We do so due to inept anthropology and a bankrupt theology. We display no cognition of the sinfulness of man and the utter HOLINESS of a thrice-holy Triune God.
Just this morning, the Holy Spirit, the third PERSON of the Triune God, chastened me for matching fire with fire. Most regrettably, that is my go-to move. Someone aggressively stepped to me, and reflectively I know nothing different than responding in kind and then feel smug and self-satisfied about it. Why wouldn’t I? Satan is the god of the age, and he delights in creating the atmosphere where we can posit left can also be right, up can also be down in the same way and the same relationship. The Police are the criminal, and the Criminal is the victim.
Is anyone (and I only apply anyone to professing Evangelicals) yielding their ideology and/or their theology to the Holy Writ? God’s Word does reveal we most assuredly reap what we sow; if we choose to live by the sword, we will perish by the sword.
I awoke angry (and I can attempt to postulate it as “righteous anger,” yet I know all too well that is not the case 100% of the time). This is an excellent time to chase this rabbit trail. The Bible explicitly teaches that God does HATE the sinner, despite the many attestations to the contrary. It would be beyond the scope of a blog article to present a full-orbed Biblical rendering of all the relevant Biblical passages but let me share two:
The boastful shall not stand before your eyes; you hate all evildoers. Psalms 5:5 (emphasis mine)
The LORD tests the righteous, but his soul hates the wicked and the one who loves violence. Psalms 11:5 (emphasis mine)
I began this article quoting from Matthew 12:20. Please love to cite this passage, but they do ignorantly and argue the passage’s intent inaccurately. Yes, it is most accurate to understand Jesus will not crush a bruised reed. For that, there is no dispute whatsoever. But, not so fast. Who are the bruised reeds? The bruised reeds were those who did not know any better. Maybe they were poor and illiterate (during the time of Jesus; the average commoner could not read and write! These people were wholly dependent upon the cultural elites of their day. So, if the cultural elites were blind, what would be the disposition of the followers. It would be just what the Bible said it would be: the blind being led by the blind and both falling in the ditch.
So, yes, Jesus would NEVER crush a bruised reed, but He most certainly WOULD crush the Pharisees, Sadducees, and all the others who claimed there were of the Light. Anger is not inherently sinful. God can hate perfectly and does so exquisitely without adopting a sinful disposition. Not so for you and me. I frequently cross the line, all humans do.
So desist with the foolish notion God hates the sin but not the sinner! The Bible never teaches that pagan notion. God is angry all the day long, but He is not like you and me. Sometimes we are joyful when the situation is pleasant, but the nanosecond circumstances change; we change. I am angry, but I do so severely flawed and inadequately. I seek to grow in grace, so if you want to know how you can pray for me, there you go, have at it!
The state of our current climate is a moral malaise of our insipid world with no hope on the horizon. The sudden death of loved ones has ravaged my family. Many family members are on an express trip to Hell because they posit genuine hate and ill-will for fellow family members. The very people we should innately display the greatest level of love and affection.
We lionize people never worthy of such adulation. George Floyd is no hero! Daunte Wright was not noble. The teenager in Ohio, shot by the Police just yesterday, acted despicably, yet the Mayor and the city’s Safety Officer made her appear as the “victim.”
Immediately after the news broke about Floyd’s verdict, people in some of my Facebook running pages dedicated their runs to Floyd. George Floyd’s death, while tragic, in the sense of all deaths being tragic, George Floyd is a symbol of all that is wrong in this world.
Derek Chauvin’s actions were reprehensible, and I give no quarter to his repulsive actions, but I will not look the other way about Floyd as a human being. If I knew Floyd personally, I would find him to be someone I would have NO DEALING WITH WHATSOEVER. The same for Daunte Wright, the same for Adam Toledo, the thirteen-year-old shot and killed in Chicago.
I am mad because Chicago Mayor Lightfoot quickly announced the City of Chicago needed to revise their “chase policy” in light of the incident.
For those interested, check out my blog post I will publish later this morning, but to parrot my late Father, I simply say, “Negro, Please!”
This is INSANITY on friggin STERIODS!!!
Here’s the good news, at least in Rickyville! I am listening to Christian music, and music CAN soothe the savage beast! I close with remembering the sage wisdom of Ethel Lynn Bardley Kyles. My mom was fond of saying, “y’all ain’t gonna worry my last nerve.”
Well, I have several tasks to complete today, including working out, writing a paper, and preparing for an exam in my Hebrew class. I need to get all of these done BEFORE 6:40 PM. The Chicago Cubs play at 6:40 PM tonight. A man has to enjoy some aspecst of life, so he is not angry all the time. So, here’s hoping the Cubs don’t make me angry with another putrid showing.
You do not have to agree. If you do not, then drop me a line and let me know where I err in my thinking. I have blind spots like anyone else. Who knows, maybe you will convince me. If you do, then you will have to bring it. I am not a pushover, and I do not subscribe to non-Biblical ways of thinking. Until then, keep your hands to the plow and seek to serve for an Audience of One