Wake Up, Church! Be Grieved, Be Angry, Be Free To Act

Just published at The Stream, one of my more important articles ever:A Time for Anger, A Time for Grief.”

The Western world is in spiritual crisis like never before. Persecution of Christians is on the rise. Spiritual apathy is increasing. The LGBT movement is literally attacking Christian faith through charges of its being hateful and homophobic — and that attack is successfully turning many away from life in Christ.

And the Church still won’t wake up.

Much of the reason is because we see these things and they upset us, but we don’t know what to do with it. We feel anger welling up, but we’re afraid of it. So we quench it. We pace the room, muttering about how bad things are getting, then, to make sure we don’t do something un-Christian in our anger, we sit down again.

We’ve got to get into action. Anger motivates action. Yes, usually it’s destructive action —
but it doesn’t have to be.

We’ve got to get into action. Anger motivates action. Usually it’s destructive action, but it doesn’t have to be. We can be free to angry; free to move into exactly the right kind of action — if we follow Jesus’ example and let our anger be tempered by tears. For the upset we feel is of both sorts: disturbing and grievous.

That’s the point I made in an article that might just be one of the most important I’ve written, just published at The Stream:A Time for Anger, A Time for Grief.” It’s not your usual biblical message, but it’s definitely biblical. And the usual messages have left us sitting immobilized — not the biblically wise place to be.

I urge you to read it and share it. Let it give you permission to wake up; to feel the kind of grief-filled upset that motivates and frees you to commit yourself to godly, positive action.

I pray it will help the Church quit pacing, quit muttering to itself, quit retiring to its easy chair, and get out and do what needs to be done in God’s name to demonstrate the life, love, and truth of Jesus Christ.


  1. Paul Leonard

    I’m not sure that “anger” is a healthy response to evil no matter it’s form. In fact, there is a push to try and anger us with the liberal movements so they can label us hateful and root us out. (Sin is sin, but they’ve found a chink in the armor on this one…) Strategically, the enemy is normally pretty skilled and we can’t respond to attacks without grace.
    What one is best served doing, is assuring that their own behavior and conduct is impeccable, and when asked give witness. But I don’t think we can or should police the non-believers ideals. But with divorce at 50% (which God “Hates” just as much) and all the other injustice… what non-Christians do doesn’t concern me.

    My response when pressed on the “marriage issue” is to give scriptural views, and state they can pile the wood and get their torches or leave me alone. Many balk when the other side is willing to die.

  2. Post
    Tom Gilson

    Was it unhealthy for Jesus to feel anger? Or is that an example we’re not meant to follow?

    Hatefulness is certainly wrong. We’ll gat labeled with it whether we display anger or not, however.

    Yes, Col. 4:6 and Eph. 4:15 should alsways guide the way we express our anger. Raw, untempered anger is bound to go wrong. But anger tempered with grief, by the power of the Holy Spirit, can produce actions imbued with grace, I believe.

  3. Clark Coleman

    Great article. I would add a caution that you have already phrased in another way: Of all the examples that Jesus set that are difficult for us to follow, combining anger with true grief and love for those who anger us is one of the hardest. We should remind ourselves of that fact every time we are about to grant permission to ourselves to feel anger. Hence the many cautions you already placed in your article.

  4. Matthew Snider

    Thanks for sharing this Tom. I believe our world (Christians) is changing and a lot of what we aim for daily is being lost.

    Remain in me and I in you!

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