Primitive religion is not believed, it is danced!

Arthur Darby Nock

Earth's crammed with heaven,
And every common bush afire with God;
And only he who sees takes off his shoes;
The rest sit round it and pluck blackberries.

Elizabeth Browning

Sunday, March 1, 2020

Carrying Anger, or not

“If our social justice is guided by retribution, we will simply perpetuate the use and abuse of power to inflict violence.”
                                                   Jamie Arpin-Ricci

“By making God more monstrous than us, we circumvent the need for redemption.”
                                                   Jamie Arpin-Ricci



it looks like men fired from their jobs for telling the truth

it looks like a post, underneath a meme about Speaker Pelosi
stating simply
hang the bitch

it looks like a woman
gunned down by her abusive husband
for daring to leave

It looks like a leader
Suggesting that Jesus was wrong
When he said, “forgive your enemies”
and then discounting the faith of others

we seem to be a world
wallowing in resentment
and retribution seems to be our response of choice

Ah the thirst to get back at those
who ‘done us wrong”

we want to make them pay
and so we turn bitter
and cruel

and soon there is nothing
but rage
and its consequences

and we justify it
by insisting our violence
has God’s stamp of approval

we bully
we intimidate
we reject
we harm

in God’s name

I have been there
too often
I am there
too often

this thirst for vengeance
sneaks up on me when I least expect it
and suddenly there I am

caught up in anger
and hate
and wishing someone harm

and thinking
Surely, God must agree
Surely God must see this person as I do
Surely God will approve my vengeance

Surely God doesn’t

If ever we would doubt
That God thinks our vengeance is wrong
All we have to do is go to the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5)

“You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘You shall not murder, and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.’ But I tell you that anyone who is angry with a brother or sister will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to a brother or sister, ‘Raca (Raca is an Aramaic word of contempt.  Think… idiot, thug, think ethnic slur) is answerable to the court. And anyone who says, ‘You fool!’ will be in danger of the fire of hell.”

The way of God is clear
We are not to “carry anger”
We are not to live out our anger

In case there was any doubt, Jesus takes it further

“You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor[i] and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of God.”

The fact is what starts as name called
Escalates to something far more destructive and evil

The path of resentment and retribution
Leads to something far darker and more sinister

We cannot walk that path
We cannot support that path

We cannot
If we do we are lost
If we do hate will lead to more hate
And violence to more violence

And we will have violated
The way of the one

Who beaten, and torn
And hanging from a cross

Said “God, forgive them”

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