Sunday, May 29, 2016

Why is God So Angry? 

Psalm 95:10a, “For forty years I was angry with that generation...”

“That's my secret Captain, I'm always angry”
-Dr. Bruce Banner

Let us get this one thing straight. God can do anything he damn well pleases, including damn well. And if it pleases him to damn, then it is done, ipso facto, well. God's activity is what it is. There isn't anything else. Without it there would be no being, including human beings presuming to judge the Creator of everything that is.”
-Virginia Stem Owens

I teach an anger management class at the prison where I work in the Mental Health Department. Some important things we emphasize about anger is that anger is an emotion like any other emotion, emotions are not inherently good or bad, black or white, they are gray, they are neutral. Anger gets a lot of negative attention because it is associated with violence. Anger does not automatically lead to violence. Anger can be a problem but with some qualifiers. Anger is a problem if it is felt too often, if it is felt too intensely or if it leads to violence or conflict.

There is a lot of room for explanation and application but those are some good starting points with regards to looking at anger. Anger is often misunderstood. People often assume that we shouldn't get angry, it's wrong to get angry and if you are angry then there's something wrong with you. This is false. How else do we square the picture we have of God in the Bible? He's an angry guy.
You can't say that's He's not because He is many different things in the Bible but He is most certainly angry. Oh He's love and He's grace, He's a lot of other things but that's for another post. God seems to get angry a lot and He seems to stay angry for long periods of time.

Why is that? Being God you would think He would get over things quickly.

My answer to that would be this, have you seen the news? Before the 24-hour news channels, God had his own, tuned to us in His personal office. The news is full of disturbing stories, hate filled stories, crushing, soul-grinding stories of such intensity as to bring depression like a wet blanket on the sunniest of days.

Remember that one time God got so angry He killed everyone and decided to only save a couple of people who were not too bad and some animals along with them? That's not a nice nursery story, that's mass extinction on a cosmic level. That's some DC/Marvel comics level storytelling before they ever thought of such a thing. That is serious anger, built up over many years, taken out in a most creative and violent way.

People tend to categorize God the way they want, God is this or God is that or God is nothing. If God is not in step with the current beliefs, trends, politically correct culture of our times then He's not God at all. But God is not a comic you can retcon and redraw and refit to conform to popular sentiment. God is God and woe to those who piss Him off.  

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