Monday, November 12, 2007

anger,,,right / wrong...gender...etc.

Be Ye Angry, and Sin Not

food for thought. This is an article i found today while researching nehemiah 13. In nehemiah 13 nehemiah gets pretty angry...and then we have the question: who, what, where, when, how ,why is angry good or bad?

A boy shows up near the battlefield, bringing food for his brothers. There he sees a strutting giant of a man, taunting the armies of Israel, who stand ashamed, afraid to take him on. The boy gets his dander up. “What’s the reward for the man who kills this Philistine and removes the shame from Israel? Who does this foreskinned Philistine think he is, defying the armies of the living God?”

Seized by the Spirit, a young man is granted a vision of the Kingdom of God. He leaves home, indeed turns away from life as any sane or righteous person would know it. He lives in the wilds, where he keeps body and soul together by grubbing up insects and digging out the honey from beehives. People come to hear his straight preaching: “Repent! The Kingdom of God is near.” But when the pillars of the religious community show up, he suddenly dispenses with the gentle language he had used for the common people and the tax collectors and the Roman soldiers. “Snakes! Who has gone and told you to flee the wrath to come?”

The tireless apostle, stoned and whipped and shipwrecked, arrested and beaten yet never cowed into submission, finds himself checked not only by the pagans but by false followers of Christ. These undermine his work by preaching that unless a man is circumcised, he shall not be saved. The apostle has already argued, at exasperating length, that to preach the circumcision is to preach salvation by a human work. Finally he cries out, “As for all those who preach circumcision, forget about their skins -- I wish they’d have their testicles cut off to boot!”
I’ve been taken to task recently for a notebook entry in Touchstone, wherein I discussed the irascible faculty of the soul, that ally of reason whereby we strive for what is noble and beautiful, and, when it is called for, rise up in anger against the unjust and the ugly. “Where is such a faculty to be found in the Bible?”

In such places as above, I guess; and in the account of David’s full-hearted dancing before the Ark, and in the tale of the three Hebrew youths who defied the King of Babylon, and in a hundred other expressions of zeal and high spirits -- for anger is only one of the many manifestations of this faculty.

But does the Bible have to spell out what is common sense? When Jesus knotted that rope of cords, we must deny his real humanity to suppose that he did so without any surge of adrenalin. And if his whipping the moneychangers was an act of genuine love (and we would deny his divinity to suppose it was not), then it is hard to see how that love could have been unaccompanied by the severe pleasure of seeing justice done.

Sometimes Christians are cowed into speaking as if Jesus were, in a minimal sense, justified in what he did; as if circumstances excused the anger. Thomas Aquinas saw it differently: the anger (and I am not talking about the deadly sin of wrath) is, properly understood, a gift of God to man, indispensable to many a welt-raising act of charity.

I’ve also been challenged to show why this “anger” is proper to the exercise of true manhood. Common sense, again: whose bodies are made for soldiership? Who enjoys the fight? Or are Christian soldiers supposed to fight with clothespins over their noses, condescending to mixing it up a little, but determined not to like it?

Yes, women possess the same irascible faculty, and when the security of their persons or their children is threatened, they are as fearless as lions. But in general, the zeal of the good woman will show itself in her wanting to keep herself and her children as far away as possible from the wrong. Nor is there anything sinful or shameful about that; it is her wholly admirable modesty in action.

Men are called -- sometimes -- to soldiership at the front of the battle. And for that, we need to train boys to meet the challenge. But no society has ever succeeded in fashioning such gallant knights without sometimes -- sometimes! -- separating the boys from their mothers and sisters. Must we really spell out the psychology of boys to show why? Are we afraid we might fail? We fail now. We are afraid we might succeed.

by: e olosen


stereojoe said...

so about a month ago i was folding my laundry when i heard a child screaming outside. i went outside to see a man angry and drunk dragging his 8 yr old boy across the lawn and up the steps to the house by his ankle upsidedown. i was mad.....very very mad!!!! i snapped i ran inside and told my brother to call the cops. "why" he asked. "becuase im gonna break this guys legs off" on my out the door i grabbed my baseball bat and went outside to confront this man. i told him what i really thought about him and warned him to treat his kids right or i was gonna break both of his legs and his drinking hand. he then made threats to me(im not a small man and remember im hold a baseball bat at the time). it took a lot of concentration to not follow through with my threats right then. about that time the cops showed up and yet again they did nothing to the man. they just sat him down told him not to do it again and then they came over and told us to call CPS. well it was later that i found out the other side of the story(which in the back of my head i knew there was one but i didnt care). he has 4 boys 6, 8, 11 and 13. their mother died 2 years ago in an automobile accident and he was not even apart of their lives when it happened. him and the boys moved in with his parents and then a year later his dad died. so in this house there is an elderly lady, 4 young boys, a man with a drinking problem(who could blame him right?) and oh...i forgot to mention the dissabled brother who is 40 something and a vegitable in a wheelchair. well now you all hate me right? well i hated myself after i heard of everything. so even in times of anger and retribution and robin hood type stuff, remember there is alway another side to the story.


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