The Debate

The Passover of the Jews was near, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. In the temple he found people selling cattle, sheep, and doves, and the money-changers seated at their tables. Making a whip of cords, he drove all of them out of the temple, both the sheep and the cattle. He also poured out the coins of the money-changers and overturned their tables. He told those who were selling the doves, ‘Take these things out of here! Stop making my Father’s house a market-place!’ His disciples remembered that it was written, ‘Zeal for your house will consume me.’ The Jews then said to him, ‘What sign can you show us for doing this?’ Jesus answered them, ‘Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.’ The Jews then said, ‘This temple has been under construction for forty-six years, and will you raise it up in three days?’ But he was speaking of the temple of his body. After he was raised from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this; and they believed the scripture and the word that Jesus had spoken.
— John 2:13-22


Following the shooting in Parkland, we have seen a lot of division of the issue of how to deal with gun violence in our country.  Those who seek more gun control would like some of the access to semi-automatic weapons tighten.  Many of the posts are angry in tone.  Accusations are made toward those who would prevent any new laws from being passed.  There is real anger on behalf of students and parents as well as others around the country toward those favoring the status quo.

For those who would protect the second amendment, any restriction becomes a slippery slope.  Once one law is passed, it may be easier to make further restrictions the law of the land.  To infringe on this right would make it much easier to infringe upon all rights because the people would be at the mercy of the government.  There is real anger on behalf of gun owners toward those who would restrict their freedom.

There is real anger on both sides.

Our church tradition has named anger as a deadly sin for over a thousand years.

At the same time, we have traditions of our heroes in the faith becoming angry.  Particularly, we think of the prophets becoming angry over injustice.

Jesus is pretty angry in this Sunday’s lectionary reading: John 2:13-22.

It seems that dispensation is made for righteous anger.  If we are angry for a cause that will help others, then we seem to excuse it.

Our trouble is that when we are angry, it is always righteous anger, isn’t it?

Certainly, both sides of the gun debate are righteous in their anger.

So what does this mean for how we are to live as Christians?  What does it mean in dealing with the natural emotion of anger?  We are not robots – is it sinful to feel something we cannot control?  And shouldn’t we allow anger to fuel our action if that action is helping others?

We’ll explore this on Sunday as we worship God together – and as we worship, we remember that we have people on both sides of the issue worshipping with us.  It is Christ who makes us one.

In Christ,

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