Thursday, October 27, 2016

Angry God!

So the moving process for Theology House is, well, moving along. Messages yesterday to say the packers would come to start this afternoon rather than tomorrow. Then a message to say they might start this morning. Meantime the world moves along and not always in pleasant ways. Yes, I am looking at you "US election."

Speaking of the world in disarray, if we properly understand anger shouldn't we be angry if God is never angry? The link below kinda makes that point!

This on the angry God and our anger is very good, and sobering, on a number of levels (H/T Bryden Black).


Father Ron said...

" It is right to be angry at injustice, at the powers that seek to kill and oppress and destroy. This righteous anger lifts us up off our feet and drives us onward to do battle, irascible and determined, with these wicked powers."
- Extract from B.B.'s proffered article on anger -

Pause for thought: The killing of Gays in Uganda and other African Provinces of the Anglican Communion is just one such situation for which the Bishop of Liverpool, +Paul Bayes, is advocating 'righteous Anger'. See link below:

Peter Carrell said...

Justice is indiscriminatory, Ron!

Glen Young said...

The rights of the gays in Uganda is the right to have their lives held in the value as everybody else;not the right to be gay.Perhaps +Paul could give us his Scriptural basis for advocating 'righteous anger' against the Church; because it has not conformed to neo-darwinistic/cultural Marxist/humanistic secularism.

Peter Carrell said...

Hi Ron and Glen
I may not publish any further comments which focus on gay issues or gay people.
I did not publish the link to the article in order to re-run "the issue."
There is plenty to ponder in our world re justice, injustice, anger, righteous anger, unrighteous anger and the wrath of God without segueing straightaway into "the issue."

Andrei said...

Do you care about the dead children of Donbass Fr Ron?

Do you care about the women taken into sexual slavery in Iraq and Syria Fr Ron?

Do you care about the women trafficked from Eastern Europe and sold into sexual slavery Brothels in Western Europe and the USA Fr Ron?

HET! there is only one evil in this wicked world that captures your attention and is the central point of your focus

Peter Carrell said...

Hi Andrei
I do not usually like comments such as yours immediately above, with its direct address of Fr Ron.
However I am publishing it on the basis that Fr Ron does not have to answer your questions (I can assure you that he does care) and, more importantly, on the basis that all readers here should be aware of the spread of evil and injustice in our world.

Glen Young said...


I only commented on that issue, because you had allowed Ron to bring it to the fore, along with his justification of +Paul advocating that form of 'righteous anger'.I consider, that I made a valid Theological point in questioning whether it is possible to advocate 'righteous anger' to justify something which the Scriptures do not accept.So I will pose the question in slightly different terminology;Can "righteous anger' exist, apart from taking a stand
for the Sovereign God and His Holy Word, and if it can,on what basis?????

Andrei said...

Apologies Peter - I know you honor politeness and that is to be respected

Sometimes shock therapy is needed

If you have lived in New Zealand, Australia or the USA for all your life you have been really sheltered from the horrors of this world for generations and that leads to a perspective which places importance on things that are in the scheme of things really trivial

My parents never overcame the traumas of their youth, they didn't say much but enough

I could share traumas from my childhood but I wont

It is easy to feel despair as the armies gather in the places they have gathered before and the war talk grows louder - its all so far away

It is easier to focus on Max Key shouting "real men ride women" at two cyclists - hey ho

Bryden Black said...

One of the many things that “proffered” article does, I suggest Ron, is to ask us what do we make of the mass media nowadays? Alternatively, what does the mass media make us? For another quote to note is: “I felt listening to my car radio a thousand miles away that my people had been attacked, and attacked by them, from outside.”

Part of the trouble is our seemingly incessant exposure has made many comfortable consumers even more apathetic in the West: compassion fatigue is real. But then something ‘personal’ hits us - like this writer’s - and an unfamiliar ‘energy’ runs through us. Classic Christianity would not suppress the ‘passions’ exactly - any of them - but would ask how grace might take these natural features and channel them afresh. I’m sure you are aware classic mendicant spirituality has much to say on these matters.

And then there’s still the matter of a more discerning exposure to the media, a media that always inevitably views from a perspective (that of the news editor and/or the camera operator; there’s always stuff just outside the frame, or from ‘across the fence’ that’s omitted). Our own media in NZ is a most curious ‘channel’, a potpourri of imported articles and news stories, from various ‘stables’, coupled with a staggering parochialism. As an exercise: note for one week what news item leads, on the radio - and from what station?! On what TV channel?! Etc.

Learn the respective biases; and accommodate for them. And then step inside the shoes of an Andrei or even a Shawn. But then such personal ‘exercises’ had better be performed with some care: whenever you’ve seen fit to try to take a bead on my own ‘matrix’ on ADU you’ve been mostly a mere 40% on target ... A final exercise is to avoid falling foul of TS Eliot’s famous phrase, “We had the experience but missed the meaning” (Dry Salvages II). Any true Christian process of ongoing conversion and/or sanctification involves not only what Barth termed “Beginning again from the beginning”, but an increasing self-awareness of why and how we almost - almost! - inevitably jump to particular conclusions and/or topics. Viz. Your very own comment, the first cab of the rank in this thread. NOT at all what the article prompted overall to my mind ... And my own opening paragraph above was actually not the first thing in mine either ...

Father Ron said...

Dear Bryden. My background was one of endemic poverty. Brought up before and during the Second World War in Coventry, in a family that reached its total of 10 children after I had migrated to New Zealand. I knew what it was to be hungry, cold and ill-clad. It was this experience that has given my life meaning. What about you?

Bryden Black said...

Thank you Ron for some of those details of your own provenance. And I am quite sure much of it would displease the God and Father of the Lord Jesus Christ. Abp William Temple’s endorsement of the Beveridge Report (1942, which prompted the entire “Welfare System” in UK in due time) springs naturally to mind too. Yet we in the West now take all this for granted - for better or worse ...

For I am also reminded of one of my great grandmother’s pieces of advice to her elder son: “Remember, Arthur, always to put something back into the kitty!” And as a most successful Canterbury and later Commonwealth businessman subsequently, he and his business partners surely did! Nor did it end with them. My own parents, after their move to then Southern Rhodesia following the end of the Second World War and their marriage in Christchurch, continued to expand their own kitty massively: missionary education, schooling and clinics on their own farm, national medical endowments (infant mortality and mothers’ deaths in child-birth being every bit as bad as you would have known it - probably worse ...), and beyond ... For indeed the Creator continues to be ‘angry’ at such “Giant Evils” (Beveridge) as “squalor, ignorance, want, idleness and disease” in any society.

Nor of course are these “five” banished from our own land in the 21st C! That’s why I myself am involved (among many other things!) with a group undertaking primary research into poverty in NZ, which has already received bilateral parliamentary acclaim. BUT ‘the government’ cannot ‘fix’ poverty! The experience of welfare systems around the globe now recognises it has to be a multi-pronged approach; only genuine co-operation among many groups and parties may alleviate such scourges.

And all the while, Jesus’ profound analysis from Mark 7:17-23 still stands across the board:

Then Jesus went into a house to get away from the crowd, and his disciples asked him what he meant by the parable he had just used. “Don’t you understand either?” he asked. “Can’t you see that the food you put into your body cannot defile you? Food doesn’t go into your heart, but only passes through the stomach and then goes into the sewer.” (By saying this, he declared that every kind of food is acceptable in God’s eyes.) And then he added, “It is what comes from inside that defiles you. For from within, out of a person’s heart, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, wickedness, deceit, lustful desires, envy, slander, pride, and foolishness. All these vile things come from within; they are what defile you.” (NLT)

Just so, Jordan Hylden, the original writer of Minnesota Anger and the Angry God, famously quotes from Alexander Solzhenitsyn: “The line between good and evil passes … right through every human heart.” And it matters that it is so. It matters so much that of course the Creator gets mad at all the evil which erupts in his beautiful world; so should we! Yet that ‘energy’, properly reflected upon and thereafter acted upon, does two things necessarily: it confesses our own inevitable complicity in so much, so much action, reaction, and inaction; and it leads to a due change of heart, which has to be accompanied by concrete deeds (repentance, faith, and works, in the jargon!).

So Ron; a fuller response than yours. But my own experience of a wretched guerilla war in Rhodesia/Zimbabwe, when I knew folk from all sides well, and subsequent assessment of both that country’s later history, as well as other, western nations where I have lived, confirms for me the profundity of much of what Jordan has to say ... True; I have read a number of his pieces over the years, and ‘catch’ his ‘voice’ for the better as a result. For all that, this one piece over the internet is certainly worthy of significant attention—not least as we approach the end of 2016 and move into 2017 across the world, and in these fair Isles ...

Glen Young said...

"___and an unfamiliar 'energy' runs through us.Classic Christianity would not suppress the 'passion' exactly-any of them-but ask how grace might take these natural features and channel them afresh." Bryden: Oct 29th 3:18 PM.

Bryden, sometimes in life,a few words ,here or there catch one's attention and those quoted above do.It is not anything that we might experience or feel that is of any real moment;but given over to Christ,how the Holy Spirit can use our experiences and feeling to further the KINGDOM OF GOD.

Your words are a salient that everything about us,must be surrendered to Christ so that the Holy Spirit can 'cloth us in the armour of Christ, to fight the good fight'

Bryden Black said...

Thanks Glen: I sense you and I are, in the words of the lawyers, "in heated agreement". 'Tis but the formal vocabulary that differs ...