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“Anger, an Appreciation”, by Peter J. Scaer

22 Oct

From his Facebook page (posted with permission):

Anger, an Appreciation: Anger is best served in small doses, a dark cloud of thunder and lightning, soon to pass over, to be replaced with blue skies and sunshine. Anger is a potent force, so often for evil, given our own dark natures. And yet, as I think back at my own life, I’m glad for some anger, for some outbursts. I think of my 7th grade teacher, a fine man, a man of passion, a lot of fun much of the time. And yet, if a guest appeared at a school assembly, and we did not show our guest the kind of respect he deserved, Mr. Ackmann would unleash a little load of fury, letting us know that our behavior was unacceptable, that he expected more from us. And he was right, and I am thankful. Fathers play this role for us, as was captured in the title of a short lived 70’s sitcom, “Wait Til Your Father Gets Home.” So also, in our nation’s history, some few have cried out in anger over the injustice of slavery, and to good effect. Others in anger over sex trafficking and rape have demanded justice. Our Lord himself is slow to anger, abounding in steadfast love, and of him we do well to be imitators. Injustice call for a little anger, anger at sin, anger at oppression, always tempered by the fact that the sin of the world is the sin that is in our own hearts. And yet, while our own anger is sullied by sin, we do well to call oppressors to task, to speak the truth to power. If our blood does not boil just a bit at rape of the helpless, at the killing of the unborn, my guess is that is not a sign of serenity, but of apathy. We dare not judge the world, because in doing so we judge ourselves, so the thinking goes. And yet, with ourselves, and with the world, we can be angry and merciful, passionate and compassionate, cry out for justice, and plead to God for grace. Ultimately, there can be no categorical difference between divine and human anger, especially as we have been created in his image, and He has become one of us, even as we are called ourselves to have the mind of Christ. Anger is a fire that must be tempered, lest it be consuming, replaced with senseless rage. It is the fire of youth that must be directed to good purpose. Fanned by the flames of sinful jealousy and pride, it becomes deadly, and must be extinguished. We are a people at peace, a people of the atonement. But we are not the Dalai Lama, and our joy is not that of the constant smile. And so, we cry out for justice, rebuke those who destroy and lead the sheep astray, even as we pray mercy upon them, even as we pray mercy upon ourselves.

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2 Comments

Posted by on October 22, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

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2 responses to ““Anger, an Appreciation”, by Peter J. Scaer

  1. Mark Surburg

    October 22, 2015 at 1:39 pm

    What is telling in this piece is the absence of any biblical texts that actually say this. When fallen man takes up anger, bad things happen at every turn. Far better is an approach that pays careful attention to what Scripture actually says about anger, such as this: http://concordiatheology.org/2015/10/the-myth-of-righteous-anger-what-the-bible-says-about-human-anger/

     
  2. infanttheology

    October 22, 2015 at 4:05 pm

    Pastor Surburg,

    Have not read the article yet. I guess there is a wider context to Pastor Scaer’s remarks I am not aware of….

    “In your anger do not sin” comes to mind…. I’ll be interested in seeing what the article says about that verse in particular.

    +Nathan

     

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