It’s hard to remember a time when people were more angry. A civilized person ought to be, first of all, civil. Yet today there is no discourse, no respect for another’s opinion, no reasoning together for the common good. I am concerned, especially for the church.
One may argue: “Our society is decaying. We should be mad.” Yes, but we can be angry yet still not sin (Eph 4:26).
Our souls should be vexed at the darkening cloud of demonic infestation in our culture. Especially when children are caused to stumble, or the weak are exploited, or because the advance of evil ultimately means more people will die without Christ.
So, if we are angry, it does not necessarily mean we have sinned. It can simply mean we care.
My concern is, however, that unless this anger regenerates into something more redemptive—more Christlike—we will not see our world renewed. Indeed, anger that does not awaken in us redemptive action ultimately degrades into bitterness and unbelief.
Hell advances into our world on many levels, but I want to discuss only two primary areas.
The first is a brazen, widespread and alarming manifestation. For example, a corrupt law is passed or gang violence breaks out or a beloved public figure is scandalized. It makes the news, and people are talking about it. The shock waves caused by this demonic intrusion smash against our hearts—we’re disappointed, offended, stunned and often outraged.
While we’re in this state of mind, hell launches the second area of attack. No newscast features this next stage of warfare. On this front, the devil does not come flaunting himself openly. He comes quietly. In seething whispers he stirs the pot of our discontent until it boils. Ultimately, where once the heart of the Christian was full of faith and love, now bitterness, hatred and malice churn.
So, though we must fight the culture wars of our times, we must also preserve our capacity to love if we want to actually win our war. We must remember we are not fighting “against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world” (Eph. 6:12, KJV).
Sadly, I have heard many people say recently that they’ve lost their vision for America. What they actually lost wasn’t their vision. It was their love. For love believes all things, hopes all things and endures all things (1 Cor. 13:7).
Here is how I look at this:
I believe that if the Almighty’s highest plan was to end evil on Earth, He could do so in a flash. Why does He wait? He desires to bring believers to Christlike maturity.
In a moment evil would be gone, as it was with Sodom and Gomorrah. But we must never forget: Jesus did not come to destroy men’s lives but to save them.
What God waits for is us. Our Christlike perfection is the harvest the Father is waiting on. He desires to bring many sons and daughters to glory, and this world, with all its evil, is the perfect setting for bringing us to Christlike maturity. Here, we have real enemies God can use to perfect our love. In this environment, we have actual foes whose persecution helps to perfect our prayer.
Yes, we should be angry about what’s wrong, but we must be Christlike in making things right. We cannot just be political; we must be spiritual, like people from another realm.
Rightly there are times when we must defend the helpless among us. But concerning ourselves, let us consider again what Jesus commanded:
“But I say to you, do not resist an evil person; but whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also. If anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, let him have your coat also. Whoever forces you to go one mile, go with him two. Give to him who asks of you, and do not turn away from him who wants to borrow from you.
“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven” (Matt. 5:39-45, NASB).
You see, God desires mature sons and daughters who, while fighting for their world, open the door of love into His world.
To see our nation transformed, we ourselves must be transformed. Otherwise, we will risk becoming Christian hypocrites: angry that the world is not Christian but untroubled that we are not Christlike.
About the author: Francis Frangipane is the founder of River of Life Ministries in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and has traveled throughout the world ministering to thousands of pastors and intercessors from many backgrounds. Francis’ heartfelt prayer is to see Christlike pastors and intercessors established in every city, united before God, revealing the love of Christ to their communities. In June 2009, he retired from his position as senior pastor of River of Life Ministries and is devoting himself to prayer and the ministry of God’s Word. For more about Francis and his ministry, go to www.frangipane.org.