Some of my more liberal friends will often use the phrase “righteous anger” when referring to their emotions regarding the current political climate. They’re angry that they (or others) can’t get ahead in the world financially, so they project their anger onto the “rich”, as defined by themselves or politicians. Or they see mothers who can’t afford to take care of the child growing in their womb, and they become angry at Donald Trump for defunding Planned Parenthood. They feel the mother should have a say in whether her child lives or not. Or they see a white police officer shoot a black man, and before the full truth comes out or the trial ever begins, come to the conclusion that the officer is guilty of murder, which fuels the anger they feel toward officers (white ones in particular, though largely unreported black cop on white man shootings do occur). Their supposed righteous anger informs them that all police are evil and need to be defunded and in effect, abolished.
Logic gets extinguished by anger.
Anger, the Bible says, is not in and of itself a sin, but we are commanded to “be angry and sin not.” We are commanded this because it’s not only easy to be angry, but to be angry about the wrong things for the wrong reasons, and to sin in the midst of that anger.
What murderer has ever murdered without an element of anger in his or her disposition? When are we bitter, yet not angry? When are we covetous and not angry that we don’t have something we wish for? When are we jealous and not angry that someone else has something we do not? When are we adulterous and not angry with our spouse?
I could go on about anger and its coordinating sins. The point is, we don’t often sin without some element of anger, and we aren’t often angered without sinning. And so, it’s important to perform a reality check when we say we are experiencing righteous anger, because the odds are not in our favor.
The Bible says the heart of man is desperately wicked. One has to wonder, then, when it comes to political issues, personal issues, etc, who’s to be the judge as to whether something is righteous or unrighteous. If our hearts are desperately wicked, and “none is righteous, no not one”, yet God’s ways are perfectly righteous as proclaimed in His Word, then mankind must look to God for wisdom in knowing whether anger is righteous, and where to aim that anger.
When we are angry at the fact that someone or many someone’s are richer than we are, we must search the Scriptures to determine how to deal with our feelings on the matter. Is it a sin to be rich? Or is it a sin to covet the success of another, and as a result, work to pass legislation to steal from the rich in order to “feed” the less fortunate? Should we be giving away people’s hard earned money to those who haven’t found a way to be as successful? Sounds like thievery. And it sounds as if those wanting the less fortunate to be more fortunate need to find a more righteous method of accomplishing that goal.
Is it a sin to spend our time advocating for the poor rather than simply attempting to feed the poor ourselves? Why is government always responsible for the less fortunate? I would be so bold as to say that the responsibility of feeding the poor, taking care of widows and orphans, etc is the responsibility of the Universal Church – not the government. Because people may think they want government to undertake in these issues. But by allowing government the power to do so to the degree it is currently gives the government too much control.
History would tell us that governmental control doesn’t typically end well, because (bad news!) government doesn’t actually care about the People. Power corrupts, and if one thinks that allowing the government to steal from the country’s wealthy citizens to help the poorer citizens works, and that the money will be dispersed fairly, one is sadly mistaken. It is the People who need to be caring for the People, not the government caring for the People. This is Biblical. And this is right. So to say one has “righteous anger” toward the rich and therefore is willing to steal from the rich is not righteous anger at all. It is fleshly, which is to say, it’s sinful. This is not to say government welfare is wrong. It’s just to say that if the welfare system isn’t kept in check, it becomes a monetary monster under the (supposedly) more palatable term: Democratic Socialism.
Then there’s abortion. A mother cannot afford or simply doesn’t want a child, yet there’s one inside of her, developing rapidly, heart beating wildly, spine and eyes and lungs developing more and more by the day. To say one has “righteous anger” and will therefore encourage that mother to kill her child is not righteous at all. It’s murderous, selfish, warped, and destructive of God’s creation.
Again, I could carry on, but I’ve probably angered enough readers. I believe the Bible when it says that no man or woman is righteous, and that all our righteousness is as filthy rags. I don’t like that truth, but it’s still truth. So when looking at today’s political, moral, and life issues, it’s imperative that we have wisdom, discernment, and truth from our Creator, because it cannot and does not come from within ourselves. Your truth isn’t your truth and my truth isn’t my truth. It doesn’t work like that. Absolute truth exists and it is found in Jesus Christ, who said “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life.” The single most important thing we can do is mine for the wisdom He has graciously given and search for Him with all our hearts.
The truth is, we don’t search Him out because we desire to determine what is right and holy ourselves. This is where America’s entire battle is being fought right now. It looks political, but it’s not. It’s spiritual. We are searching for truth, wondering what is true and righteous, which is not a bad thing. But we are looking in the mirror rather than to Christ for answers.
And it’s not going well.
I am righteously angry about that. I think God is angry about that, too, and I don’t want to experience anymore of His anger. I want Him to be pleased with us for looking to Him for answers and acting on what He has revealed to us in His Word. I want us to obey, and experience the joy and blessings that come from obedience. I want us to stop stealing from one another. I want us to stop killing each other in church gatherings, the grocery store, the womb, and the nursing home. I want to see police officers and the majority of citizens on the same side again (there will always be criminals and there will always be a bad cop here and there). I want to see an end to crimes against humanity. No more releasing viruses that kill droves of people across the universe. I want to see government sized down, so that the People can once again be free to know and do the will of God in their lives without interference. I want the People to start keeping their hard earned money once again – and be generous with that money.
I want a righteous God to come down and revive our hearts and minds, so we can be, in its purest sense, righteously angry. Because when the People are collectively angry at true unrighteousness, they can get back to being genuinely unified rather than manipulated or forced into faux conformity via gross governmental regulation.