Thursday, May 2, 2013

Where is the righteous indignation? The holy anger?

Most sane people, until recently at least, would agree that child abuse is heinous. It is something that arouses in people an anger and feelings of severe indignation, in some cases, even violence. The very notion of an innocent and vulnerable child being abused by a horrid man or woman is beyond comprehension. The notion of baby abuse is even worse. Most people, including myself, refuse to even think about that because of the dread feelings abuse against children or babies breeds in the heart.

Though most sane people who become righteously angry at the notion of a child being abused will not enter into violence. Most will hanker for justice. They will vigorously pursue a due punishment for that abuser through all appropriate channels - to the utmost.

They will pursue justice through the court system. Of the abusing priests, they pursue justice through the Vatican. Some dedicate their lives to protecting abused children. Others dedicate their profession through a lifetime to obtaining justice for these kids.

All believers are children of God. To God, we are His kids. We feel grown-up, mature, and in earthly terms, we may be. But we are children.
  • Galatians 3:26 For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.
  • John 1:12 Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God--
  • Romans 8:14 For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God.
Even if we have been a believer for 50 years, we are still a kid to the LORD. We are his sheep, dumb, helpless, and shivering at the wolves who prey on us.
"The weak you have not strengthened, the sick you have not healed, the injured you have not
bound up, the strayed you have not brought back, the lost you have not sought, and with force and harshness you have ruled them. 5So they were scattered, because there was no shepherd, and they became food for all the wild beasts. My sheep were scattered; they wandered over all the mountains and on every high hill. My sheep were scattered over all the face of the earth, with none to search or seek for them."

“Therefore, you shepherds, hear the word of the Lord: As I live, declares the Lord God, surely because my sheep have become a prey, and my sheep have become food for all the wild beasts, since there was no shepherd, and because my shepherds have not searched for my sheep, but the shepherds have fed themselves, and have not fed my sheep, therefore, you shepherds, hear the word of the Lord: Thus says the Lord God, Behold, I am against the shepherds, and I will require my sheep at their hand and put a stop to their feeding the sheep. No longer shall the shepherds feed themselves. I will rescue my sheep from their mouths, that they may not be food for them. (Ezekiel 34:4-10)
We can see from the above verses that the sheep can be prey for the wolves in many different ways. When a worthless shepherd throws them to the wolves and feeds himself instead, it is a very bad thing- for the anger of the LORD burns in His chest.

What He is describing is spiritual abuse. This occurs against the children of God by those in positions of trust. We are enduring a flood of worthless shepherds these days, as well as worthless prophets, false teachers, and unregenerated "believers".
"A steady stream of false teaching has been cumulative so that it is wider and deeper now than it has ever been in human history. False teaching about God, about Christ, about the Bible, about spiritual reality is pandemic. (source)
Pastors who plagiarize are abusing the sheep because they are giving voice to satan and turning the pulpit over to the kingdom of darkness. Teachers who introduce destructive heresies ruin the people who listen to it. (2 Timothy 2:14). False prophets who speak a dream they've made up dilute the word.

So my question is, when a pastor or leader or teacher abuses the flock, why don't we become as righteously angry as we do with secular child abusers? Why, so often, is there more focus on the victimizer than the victims? His feelings? His reputation? His restoration? Why do we not get more righteously angry about spiritual child abuse? Their feelings? Their restoration? Their needs in the face of recovery?

Look at how harshly Paul dealt with those whom the Spirit commanded to be turned over to judgment.

"This command I commit unto thee son, Timothy, according to the prophecies which pointed to thee that thou by them mightest war a noble warfare; holding faith and a good conscience which some having put away have made shipwreck concerning the faith; of whom are Hymenaeus and Alexander whom I have delivered unto Satan that they may learn not to blaspheme." (2 Timothy 2:14-19).

There is a place for righteous anger in a holy setting. We're commanded to limit it, but it is OK to feel it.

"Be angry, and yet do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger." (Ephesians 4:26). Here is what

Dr. John MacArthur says about righteous anger:
"You have a right to be angry about some things.

Psalm 97:10 says: "Ye that love the Lord hate evil." And Psalm 69:9 David says: "Zeal for Thine house is eating me up. The reproaches that are falling on Thee are falling on me." He's saying, God, I can't tolerate what people do to Your name. It infuriates me.

Now I admit I get angry sometimes. I hope to God I never get angry about what happens to John MacArthur, I hope I always get angry about what happens to God's holy name. And I hope I never stop getting angry about that. We should have a basic, built in, - that is a programmed anger over sin, a programmed anger over evil, that puts us in a beatitude mentality so that whenever I see sin be it in you or be it in me, I mourn in my spirit. That kind of anger is the sinew of the soul.

F. W. Robertson, a great saint, tells in one of his letters that one time he met a certain man who he knew was trying to lure a young girl into prostitution. And he was so angry he bit his lip until it split open and bled.
The anger that is selfish, passionate, undisciplined, uncontrolled is sinful, useless, hurtful. It must be banished from the Christian life. But the disciplined anger that seeks the rightful place of a righteous God is pure and selfless and dynamic.
This sermon goes on to offer practical ways to allow holy anger to rise to the surface but not to let it consume you.
"anger that is unselfish and is based on love for God and concern for others not only is permissible but commanded. Genuine love cannot help being angered at that which injures the object of that love.

"But even righteous anger can easily turn to bitterness, resentment, and self–righteousness. Consequently, Paul goes on to say, do not let the sun go down on your anger, and do not give the devil an opportunity. Even the best motivated anger can sour, and we are therefore to put it aside at the end of the day. Taken to bed, it is likely to give the devil an opportunity to use it for his purposes. If anger is prolonged, one may begin to seek vengeance and thereby violate the principle taught in Romans 12:17–21..."
In Psalm 4, David shows us what to do with our righteous anger and it's consistent with what Paul said, "Be angry, and do not sin!" (From Bible.org)-
Twice in this very short psalm (Psalm 4) David refers to his bed. In verse 4, David speaks of being still, of not taking action himself. Apparently David has done all that he could, in the rebuke of his enemies as recorded in verses 2 and 3. Now, he remains still on his bed, not mulling over the sins of his enemies, or plotting their demise, but rather meditating on the virtues of his God.
Get angry if the sheep are abused. Spiritual abuse is terrible and ruins lives and souls. Be angry! But do not sin. You have a right to be angry about some things. You have a command to be angry about some things! However we should not let that righteous anger linger because it would turn to sour bitterness. If we are angry about what angers God and not angry over ourselves, it is a righteous anger. Keep your eyes on God, even when you are praying for justice for the abused sheep.

11 comments:

  1. Some actually do take a stand for the Word and are told to get in line with the teaching of this 'church' or be physically removed. Others speak out against heretical preachers and have lies told about them. Still others have been shown the door of "Christian blogs" for asking tough questions and refusing to allow false teaching to go unchallenged. Some brothers and sisters do get angry, righteously, and have a great reward awaiting them

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  2. I have listened to some who blat about the fact that this blog challenges some who are in error and would call it gossip. I hope you are reading this brother, standing in the truth and exposing false teaching is not gossip. You have fallen in with those who would sleep with evil. Repent and wake up. Take a look at the history of the organizations that these "ministries", the proximity of Freemason involvement is always near. The truth and something else is no longer the truth. How smart is that?

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  3. Are there any discernment ministries that you would recommend? I agree this is a real problem, but my pastor never talks about it and it's hard to stay informed. I used to read Apprising but I think that site has gone dead.

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    1. Hello thetwilightyears,

      I'm about to go to work but I can think of four good discernment ministries off the top of my head. When I get home this afternoon I'll post them, and I'll be thinking of some more in the meantime. Thanks for asking

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    2. OK:

      Do Not Be Surprised, a variety of discernment topics written in graceful language
      http://www.donotbesurprised.com/

      Tim Chalies, for book reviews, he also wrote a book on discernment
      www.challies.com

      CARM, Christian Research and Apologetics Ministry. They have whole entries on different people, like Joyce Meyer, etc, and whole entries on different religions, like Mormonism and Jehovah's witnesses, comparing them to the bible so you learn who and how they are false from the Word. An ordained minister writes it.
      carm.org

      Got Questions?
      www.gotquestions.org

      Justin Peters, a video lesson called "A Call for Discernment"
      youtube, in parts

      Todd Friel, Drive By Discernment, 70 lectures 15-minute on discernment before you get to work every day.
      "Drive By Discernment is designed to sharpen your skill to help you separate the true from the almost true. --Who, what and how to judge? --Can we judge the way people do church? --What are the modern day assaults on the Gospel?" a product you have to pay for, $20. I bought it, it is TOTALLY worth it!
      http://www.wretchedradio.com/store/product_details.cfm?id=370

      Christian Research Network
      http://christianresearchnetwork.org/

      Provender blog, A clearinghouse of sources on spiritual abuse and cult-like practices in groups and churches
      http://pureprovender.blogspot.com/

      that's a start... :)

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    3. http://www.endtimesinamerica.org/1/post/2012/03/end-times-look-who-is-calling-evil-good-and-good-evil-in-america.html saw this one awhile ago...and found it refreshing. Lord bless. <3

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  4. We as a church body have become tolerant, non-judgemental, lenient, permissive and accepting of things God condemns, expecting God to bless and supply all our needs.

    Few realize we are naked, pitiful and blind babes in need of a Father' care.

    Thanks for sharing.!!.

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  5. Excellent analogy! Well done, Elizabeth. This one's a keeper!

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  6. Ephesians 4:29-32
    Romans 12:19-21
    Isaiah 58:1-7

    Is it not good to warn those who sin? We hate the sin but love the sinner...so what does it mean to hate sin? It means to have no part in it, to depart from iniquity, not live in anger.

    Colossians 3:8

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  7. Is there ever a place for righteous indignation?

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    1. Yes, there is. When we are angry at what makes God angry, it is righteous indignation. The Apostles showed righteous indignation many times. Paul cursed several false teachers. (Gal 1:8-9). John the Baptist was angered by Herod's incestuous sin, also, called the Pharisees& Sadducees a brood of vipers.(Mt 3:7). Jesus Himself was angered by the merchandising of His temple. Mt 21:12-13).

      We have to be careful because we're sinners, not to allow the anger to fester, or allow satan to misdirect it. Then it would no longer be righteous.

      Aren't you ever angry at what people do in the name of Jesus? That would be righteous anger. And if you're not, why not??

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