Sunday, May 15, 2005

What makes you angry?

Manny of us have the notion that anger is a bad thing.

I just finished listening to one study by Rob Bell Called “beautifully angry.” It’s a great study I recommend you listen to. http://www.mhbcmi.org/listen/index.php

A question we often ask when we’re trying to figure out what on earth we’re here for is “what do we love.” “What can I see myself doing forever?” This is definitely a good question. Living in the kingdom is based around this concept, the heaven in the here and now kind of life. But another question we should be asking is “what makes me angry?” I don’t mean the petty insignificant kind of anger but the kind that potentially leads to healing.

Rob Bell gave a lot of statistics I’d like to share:
-2.6 Billion (this is 40% of the worlds population) do not have proper sanitation.
-1 billion people use unsafe drinking water sources.
-114 million people do not get basic education.
-584 million women around the world are illiterate
-800 million people go to bed hungry each night (300 million are children)
-There are 2.2 billion children in the world 1 billion of them live in extreme poverty.
-5 million in Sudan have no access to health care or a school.
-Every 3.6 seconds someone dies of hunger a majority being children under 5
-A woman in North America has a 1 in 3,700 chance of dying in child birth in south Africa it’s 1 in 16.
-There are more slaves alive now than in any other time in History, 27 million.
Do these things make you angry?

So many times we get furious about things that don’t really matter. We fight about the dumbest things; Sports, politics, religion, etc. We get angry about the dumbest stuff; a bad waitress, a slow stop light.

Anger is in essence a very good thing. Jesus got angry (mark 3) and it lead to healing. Do any of those stats listed make you angry?

Rob Bell described anger as a “nuclear force.” What if the nuclear power of our anger could be channeled? What if the church started to get it? What if the Church started fighting less about biblical trivia and more against the oppression and pain in this world, more against the statistics that were just listed?

The great voices in the Church are so focused on defeating “the giants keeping people in spiritual darkness” and say nothing about the physical darkness. Is there a difference? Maybe the darkness of the world that Bible says our battle is against (Ephesians 6:12) is the slavery, the poverty, the hunger.

God is redeeming everything! Are you angry about the same stuff He is?

12 comments:

Ashley said...

Great post!!! These are some great points we all need to think about!

Maryellen said...

I just read a post that lamented that Christians don't live like Christians...I heard once that Ghandi said, after studying the Bible in England, that if he had ever met even one Christian who lived like a Christian, he might have converted. I look at Isaiah 58 which talks about true fasting...to share your bread with the hungry and bring the homeless poor into your home,clothe the naked...and compare that to the words of Jesus, about the last Judgement in Matthew 25: 31ff for I was hungry and you gave me to eat...And still Christians argue more about what meditation means, and if we should use candles, and whether or not drums should be allowed in church. Bickering, finger pointing, proof texting, and the agnostics and atheists look on with distaste as people in this world continue to die of hunger. Yep, that makes me real angry!

Flip said...

Wow - I've never heard this perspective before and it makes a lot of sense. Actually a ton of sense. I really like this post.

Danny said...

Good points. And don't take this wrong way, but the person who talks about it is not the person that is going to change it. My question would be a direct result of this post, how can we begin to end impure water being used around the world?

As Wes doesn't like it when I post without giving an answer I'll give my answer in the form rhetorical questions. Should we not send people overseas to TEACH those in India and Bangledesh how to build their own sewer and water pipelines and systems? I personally know a plumber with a rather successful business here in Santa Maria. Could he not go?

How do we end child poverty? Should we not give the parents of children a way to provide for their famillies?

This stuff does make me angry, but we have to work very hard at this and it is not and easy process. I would also remind everyone that God does also care about the spiritual. The verse in Ephesians does talk about those of this world but also those of a "heavenly realm."

Anyone else have ideas on how we can end world hunger and poverty?

Liz J said...

Danny, my answer is "one at a time."

Wes, Another title to this post could be "What are you passionate about?" or "What ignites your fire?"

When I hear those statistics I am not necessarilly angry, but sad and discouraged, because I think "how can I help?" and I don't know the answer. I pray that the Lord will find a way. Maybe I should re-read what I said above: "ONE AT A TIME."

Flip said...

Last night after reading this post I watched a movie called "Hotel Rwanda" - if you haven't seen it, its based on a true story about the Genocide of the Tutsis. It angered me that little no help was provided to stop this. Then I wondered all night what could have been done - and wondered if I or anyone else knew of something like this happening what could we do?

The only thing I could think of was to raise awareness with the people around you - and try to talk to your Senator...but that's all you could do and may not be enough. You'd really have to rally enough people to make your voice heard.

etryer said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Heidi said...

I think one of the best things we can do is pray, be aware that these things are happening and be open to God's call. These are big numbers and they are big issues, but God is still bigger and he knows each of those suffering people by name and he also knows the people that he wants to send. It really isn't our job to WORRY about these things, but to trust that God is ultimately the one doing the work, he is just allowing us to be involved. If we are truly following where ever God is leading, he is going to take us places we never would be able to go by ourselves. Seek God about where he would have you be that one person in the one situation that is part of changing the world. One more interesting thought: Jesus said there will always be poor amoung us. what kind of implications does that statement pose?

just a few thoughts-
Heidi

WES ELLIS said...

Heidi,

I want to respond to your comment "Jesus said there will always be poor amoung us."

the verse you are refering to (John 12:8) Is a reference to a commonly quoted verse of the time contemporary to Jesus. "There will always be poor people in the land. Therefore I command you to be openhanded toward your brothers and toward the poor and needy in your land." Deuteronomy 15:11. Jesus message in this verse is not that they'll always be here so give up. In quoting Deuteronomy's verse, the second part of the verse would have been just as familiar. This is a command to be "openhanded" and free the slaves (Deuteronomy 15:12).

Scripture also gives prophesies of a land without slavery, a land without poverty or worry (Isaiah 54). I have to read up some more about what Jesus meant in quoting Deuteronomy.

For now I trust that Jesus commanding us to meet peoples' needs was not an impossible command. even if it is an impossible command and the poor will always be here I am still angry about the poverty in the world. Should I be angry at God?

Danny said...

Just a note of semantics Heidi, Wes said "anger" not "worry." He is not speaking of pissed off anger but an anger that comes from evil.

bschneider5 said...

pretty amazing!!!Bradsblog

Pastor Art said...

I will chime in here even though this is a couple day old and in this realm like ol’ lang zin (spelling).

Wes I am so overjoyed that you understand part two of Deut. Maryellen wrote earlier about Isa.58 the true fast. This fast is not from face stuffing but from cultural worldly mindsets - read it with that in mind the vision grows.

Most of our ministry has been with inner city poor, addicts, and people coming out of religions deep and dark slaves! I hate to burst any American bubbles here but the fruit of these belief systems brought forth the natural conditions that anger me as well as any of you, maybe more so because I understand being a slave with - in those systems from the inside. The yokes, the chains, the bonds, and the depths of despair are like worms eating at you.

The system of “Yahwehistic culture has with in it the mandates to care for the widow and the orphan. The refugees among us are to be treated as natural born. Every 50th year Jubilee each family is restored back to their inheritance. I could go on! How deep is my anger I know these provisions most be administered by the Body of Christ I know the release provided through grace which we withhold… how angry does that make me.

Some say teach a man to fish and… However that will not work unless that man understands that fishing has a point. For that man to continue to eaten by that worm fishing is pointless. We must teach. We must feed. We must heal. We most turn away from this world - view that what we gain here reflects blessing. More is at stake then just clean water ect, after all the Islamic people have clean water…
The ravings of an old mad man
Pastor Art