Tuesday, February 22, 2005

 

A Need For Anger

Thank God for C. S. Lewis. Were it not for his astounding insights and his remarkable ability to convey them, I (and countless other Christians) would be lost in the wilderness. One such example lies in the Psalms, a beautifully poetic Biblical book, but one that does present a formidable challenge to interpret and comprehend. I am referring specifically to the "angry" Psalms, and there are many of them. These are the verses that curse the enemy and convey a spirit of hatred. (think: "Wilt thou not slay the wicked oh Lord?")

If you assume all scripture is divinely inspired, how do square this type of sentiment with Christ's own words ("love thine enemies")? This is no easy task for small-minded gents like me. Here's where Lewis comes in. In the third chapter of "Reflections on the Psalms" he writes of the authors of the Psalms, "If the Jews cursed more bitterly than the Pagans this was, I think, at least in part because they took right and wrong more seriously." He also suggests, "the absence of anger, especially that sort of anger we call indignation, can...be a most alarming symptom. And the presence of indignation may be a good one."

Lewis does not absolve the Psalmists from their personal vindictiveness apparent in such writing. However, he does conclude - quite reasonably I believe - that these passages are useful in combating a wishy-washy mindset. "Against all this the ferocious parts of the Psalms serve as a reminder that there is in the world such a thing as wickedness and that it (if not its perpetrators) is hateful to God."

Now, more than ever in today's environment, I can see the importance of this message and the need to overcome apathy and take a stand.

Exhibit A: Hizballah: "Death to America"
Earlier today, top House Democrat Charles Rangel said it was bigotry to use the term “Islamic terrorism” to refer to groups like Hizballah, and questioned whether a worldwide Islamic terrorist movement even existed.
Hizballah leader Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah would beg to differ, in speeches broadcast on Al Manar TV February 18 and 19: Death to America. (hattip: Charles Johnson)

Who, me, indignant? Angry? After reading that, you bet I am.

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