anglomedved: (angrybear)

Christ could get pretty angry. When the people in the synagogue were watching to see whether He would heal the man with the withered hand on the Sabbath (Mark 3). Or when He made a whip of cords and threw the traders out of the temple (John 2, Matt. 22). Or again in a series of very thinly-disguised parables against the Jewish hierarchy in the days before His death.

Anger is generally viewed as one of the key sins in the Christian tradition. Top of the lost of things to confess. "Batushka, I lost my temper with my mother, my son, my boss, or whoever".

But is anger always wrong? Is repressing it always right?

Is there not a good anger, one that is fully conscious of itself, knows that it is fundamentally right and justified, and for this reason controlled and not repressed into that semi-subconscious where the Evil One prowls so gladly? An anger which is not afraid to express itself, forcefully, at the right time, without boiling over at the wrong time?  Dare I suggest that properly controlled anger may even be a distinguishing virtue of the really adult male?

An anger, not because my selfishness has been thwarted or my pride hurt. But at situations where people’s development towards the 'perfect man, the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ' (Eph. 4.13), is blocked. And particularly in the Church. While Christ was far from complementary about the worldly power (Luke 13.32), he was scathing at the Jewish hierarchy who ‘shut up the kingdom of heaven against men’ (Matthew 23. 13).

I suspect an awful lot of people are angry in and about the Church, whom they see, either as a whole, or through the actions of individual bishops and priests, as ‘shutting up the kingdom of heaven against men’. Many feel that they cannot be angry in it, and slip out through the back door.

But is not the correct, the really adult Christian approach, rather to look straight at the icon of Christ, and say, 'Yes Lord, I'm angry. Purify my anger. Teach me Your anger.’


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October 2015

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