|Why are we so angry?|
Eph 4:26 “In your anger do not sin”: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, 27 and do not give the devil a foothold.
08 June 12. In the US, Pastor Creflo Dollar, a world famous mega church pastor and a host at Trinity Broadcast Network for "changing your world", has just been charged of hurting his daughter in an apparent assault. He is out on bail. So often, we are angry even though some of us have millions of dollars. All of us have sinned and those who judge should be vary of their own sins of anger. Yet, this was a man who made his profession by proclaiming his religious credentials and morality on a very high mountain.
The Transgender preacher - Sister Paula refuted a youtube comment someone wrote who said "I knew her, and everytime I saw her she was pissed off and in a bad mood". Often, we don't see ourselves in the mirror and life circumstances and injustices have a tendency of making us angry. There is no need to apologize for being angry but to reflect on our unnatural anger - and ask for God's healing and closing of our wounded hearts and souls.
The GLBT community has lost so much. We have a right to be angry - for so much of life has been taken from us by the majority and by people of faith. When we have lost everything even life itself because we are gay and subjected to constant taunts and trapped in an unseen closet, we shout back from behind the jail bars. We are denied acceptance, love, and relationships and even faith. For many, our future is bleak. There is a deep injustice done to us and the cry of our hearts and to God for justice and recompense.
In Singapore, we have the angry public outburst by a Mr Alex Ong, a 25-year-old pushing an old lady out of the bus who apparently did him wrong by pressing the stop bell too late. The incident captured on youtube video became viral appearing more like two aunties fighting with Alex wearing a nice scaf.
My first reaction was that Alex must have suffered incredible abuse and was hurting very deeply inside to be so angry. Was he angry about himself, his life, or the injustices of life. Just like He was defenceless, he lashed out at an old lady. He seems so gay and I have seen my gay friends lashed out at me almost as if using the very words spoken to them by their Pastors!
Whilst not giving or could ever give an excuse for harm done against the other, surely any criticism of Alex must have felt the cry within of pain and hurt. He has suffered much in life and we were the bystanders when he was bullied. We were as guilty as Alex when we did nothing. We were not told what he was made fun of yet it is so apparent the reason. I could sense his pain because I too had suffered much.
His facebook/blog later confirmed his side of the story that he had gone through "hell" in his school and at army. Being a low paying job, and now with a public track record, his life seems over. Perhaps, it has been over a long time ago - his self esteem and self worth destroyed by others. He saw their mocking faces and now cries out to "teach the old woman a lesson" in the bus incident using possibility the same words used by others on him.
We are no different from Alex, each of us angry in one manner or another. Consider, the likes of Pastor Rony Tan who we see raged in religious indignation when talking about gays even though gays are such a small minority and had nothing to do with him nor have caused harm to him. Why the anger and the determination to crucify gays and put them in jail? it's not about gays, it is the deep seated issues of the people of faith.
We also see Pastor Joseph Prince joked often on gays perhaps because he cannot reconcile the bible with the innate nature of gays. He is an excellent expositor of the bible, yet has never given a deep theological reasoning for his condemnation of gays in the comprehensive manner which he had approached the issue of God's grace. Perhaps his point of grace is the gay community that he too may find grace to give grace.
It is not the liberals which the Christians mainstream churches fear. It is the gay community because liberal theology can be disputed and debated in its humanistic outlook, but gays are a living testimony that contradicts their Christian theological construction. It makes them so angry that they begin to use religious text to condemn gays very loosely and out of context because deep inside they know the truth.
The Apostle Paul also had an issue with anger so much so that he pursued with cruelty and passion the persecution of Christians. The issue was with Paul because Paul was hiding something that he felt condemned by and therefore sought his righteousness by persecuting and accusing others of sinning against God.
It was God who changed Paul, and we need Jesus to change us. It is grace that can change us. Paul knew God's grace and mercy for He had seen God in the road to Damascus who should have left him dead. Yet, he was resurrected again from blindness after 3 days and could see the light being totally transformed. It is when we know that we are blessed and loved by God just by being who we are because of Jesus Christ death and resurrection that we are changed from glory to glory.
What do we bring to communion, bread and wine made by many hands and probably oppressed hands. Yet, even bread and wine we didn't bring, for Jesus brought them to table. It was His body and His blood. He is the alpha and the omega. In His hands are life and life everlasting.
There is the rainbow message of God with the inclusive message of God to all peoples of the invitation to have supper with Jesus. We are angry that God would invite the people from the margins of society first! because we deem ourselves to be more righteous. But our righteousness comes from Jesus and not neccesarily because we are people of faith. Tonight, God is not angry or even perturbed by us in our angry moments but His heart desire is for us to invite Jesus into our hearts that the grace of God may abound.
We have to reach a point of Grace when we just smile and put on grace because we have come to an understanding of the abundant grace of God in our lives in the very firm foundation of Jesus Christ that despite all that we have gone through in life - we are still alive. Jesus has kept us safe despite all.
I am reminded by Ps 91:
91: 14 “Because he loves me,” says the
Lord, “I will rescue him;
I will protect him, for he acknowledges my
When we see Christ in the Holiness of His presence, when His hands and arms embraced us and say to us "Welcome Home", we can at last "rest in peace" without anger in God's love, grace and mercy.