Sunday, October 7, 2012

Righteous Anger

The homily I heard on Friday was about anger, specifically Christ's anger.  This is a difficult subject for me to grasp, but it was exactly what I needed to hear (it's that always how it is?).  In order to really get into the content of the homily, I first need to share the Gospel upon which it was based: 

Jesus said to them,
"Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida!
For if the mighty deeds done in your midst
had been done in Tyre and Sidon,
they would long ago have repented,
sitting in sackcloth and ashes.
But it will be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon
at the judgment than for you.
And as for you, Capernaum, 'Will you be exalted to heaven?
You will go down to the netherworld.'
Whoever listens to you listens to me.
Whoever rejects you rejects me.
And whoever rejects me rejects the one who sent me."  (Luke 10:13-16)
In our modern society, Christianity has been "sanitized" to be nothing more than warm and fuzzy feelings.  But a Christianity based on warm fuzzies is not a Christianity based on Christ.  Jesus got angry.  (He flipped over tables on occassion, for goodness sake!) Anger is not a sin.  Sometimes it is the appropriate feeling for a certain situation.  Anger can lead us to sin, but anger in the right situations is necessary.

Christ was not afraid to inform others of their sins so that they may change their ways.  (And we should do the same.)  This is a hard thing for me to hear, because I like to think it's not my place to tell others what they should or should not be doing.  But sometimes, if done out of love and not out of a "holier than thou" attitude, it is appropriate to inform others of their sins.  I often hear, "Jesus accepted everyone just as they were" in order to justify sinful actions.  Essentially, those saying this are attempting to say, "It doesn't matter what you do.  Jesus doesn't care."  Well, that's wrong.  He does care.  If that's what you think, you don't believe in the same Christ I believe in and you haven't read the Bible.  Christ loves everyone just as they are, but that doesn't mean he doesn't want them to change their sinful behavior.  He called out the sinner, informing them of their sins and urging them to change.  Are we Christ-like if we turn a blind eye to the sins of those we love?

Linking up with:
Saints and Scripture Sunday


  1. Jesus's anger has meaning, but take a careful look at exactly to whom His anger is often directed:

    “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites. You lock the kingdom of heaven before human beings. You do not enter yourselves, nor do you allow entrance to those trying to enter." Matthew 23:13.

    And can we forget what He did about moneychangers at the temple?

    But other sinners see Jesus's mercy:

    The woman caught in adultery? "Neither do I condemn you. Go and sin no more."
    The soldiers who crucified him? “Father, forgive them, they know not what they do.”

    What seems to raise Jesus's anger more than anything is people who keep others from God. Corrupting the youth, burdening the faithful, exploiting people who have come to be with God, these are the sins that Jesus really went off on.

  2. James, you are absolutely right! I wrote about two common misconceptions about Christ/Christianity (that Christ was always warm and fuzzy and never got angry, and that Christ didn't call out others on their sins so they could change). I didn't necessarily mean to connect the two in a deeper way than that. We should be angry at the people, organizations, and societal movements that separate people from God.

    In other situations, it is right to (kindly, and through love) point out the sins of those around us so that they can become closer to Christ. I didn't mean that we should be angry at these people, that we should judge them or be unforgiving.

  3. I tried to submit a comment and it vanished somehow. :-( This is a wonderful post! I am bookmarking it, for sure. We are called by the Corporal Works of Mercy to admonish sinners, which many equate with "judging," but it is not. It is ok to get angry. As you mentioned, Christ got angry. Also, he told the woman caught in adultery to "go and sin no more." He didn't tell her to "go and do what you feel like as long as it doesn't bother anyone else." The culture of relativism is so pervasive in our society today. Many equate this with Christianity-- that we aren't Christians if we don't "tolerate" everyone's sinful behavior. It is very sad. I hope you had a great weekend! God bless, Lisa

  4. This passage and Matthew 12:41 always leave me wondering. How is it that God's chosen people, either Jews or Christians, find it so difficult to repent?


I'd love to hear what you have to say! You can also contact me directly by emailing me at