6th SUN ORD – “If you are angry with…”
It’s important to be taught by anger in our day and time. There’s so much of it. Let me begin, then, with this proposition – every act of anger serves to protect one from basic vulnerability, to deny one’s status as creature of God by taking the place of God. Yes, I’m claiming that even righteous anger involves avoidance.
Let’s test this proposition…
Matthew 5:21 (NRSV) — 21 “You have heard that it was said to those of ancient times, ‘You shall not murder’; and ‘whoever murders shall be liable to judgment.’
Matthew 5:22 (NRSV) — 22 But I say to you that if you are angry with a brother or sister, you will be liable to judgment; and if you insult a brother or sister, you will be liable to the council; and if you say, ‘You fool,’ you will be liable to the hell of fire.
Each of the 76 occurrences of orgizo, ‘to be angry, to rage’, has to do with God’s response to basic idolatry and infidelity. Thus, to take on God’s role of judgement and anger is idolatry.
It’s not the people who push our buttons that anger us, it’s our personal fears, inadequacies, insecurities, emptiness, or unworthiness that get ‘pushed’ and then we rage. We get angry against threats against our security, ambition, or simple opposition of our wills. “How dare they have the audacity to oppose us!”
And our ideologically compatible groups hype both fear and anger to 1) scapegoat another person or group 2) to create cohesion and 3) lend the aura of power and strength to vulnerable, divided persons.
Which is a good set up for lust – Thursday or Friday. You’ll want to tune in (!)