Happiness and anger are God-given emotions that must be God-ordered and God-ordained. Anger is not something that Christians should be ashamed of. In fact, many believers today would probably be surprised to find out that we are commanded, in Scripture, to be angry. The apostle Paul says, “Be angry and do not sin…” (Eph 4:26) Right before Paul tells us to be angry he is talking about those who are “darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to their hardness of heart. They have become callous and have given themselves up to sensuality, greedy to practice every kind of impurity. But that is not the way you learned Christ!” (Eph 4:18-20) We need to be angry at sin when we see it but we shouldn’t sin in our anger.
There is so much corruption and sensuality in our culture that has been entertaining us Christians for so many years. There are scenes in movies that we, as Christian parents have seen, that would horrify us if our children were watching them. There are things I have seen on the silver screen, as entertainment, that I would be disgusted if my children had seen them. Rousas J. Rushdoony says “What disgusts God should disgust us.” Why would I be angry if my kids have watched something that I was entertained by? Where was my anger when I was laughing at something that should have made me furious? The response of parents should not be apathy but anger. We can’t cower under the fear of being labeled as hypocrites. Its one thing to stumble but it’s far worse to cause our little ones to stumble. Jesus said “Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him if a great millstone were hung around his neck and he were thrown into the sea.” (Mark 9:42)
The problem with America is that Christians are too nice. Christians have been so afraid of anger. Anger is a great and godly emotion as long as you do not sin. It is not a sin to be angry; it is a sin to sin out of anger. As a parent it’s always amazing to me how the same thoughts that would anger me coming from my kid’s mind would be ignored coming from my own. Words that easily slip out of my mouth with impunity are met with wrath if caught through the teeth of one of my kids. Am I saying that my kids should get a free pass? Not at all! I just need to be impartial with my judgment. I shouldn’t stop being angry; I should just be angry more consistently. What we need is an anger that moves us to solutions not to sin.
How do we laugh at the things that crushed our Saviour? How are we entertained by the things that caused our Lord to suffer? How can we joke about the things that nailed God’s Son to the cross? Why are we amused by the things that caused Jesus to be accursed? There are so many things in our culture that should anger us and move us to faithful Kingdom service. We need to be angry at sin and sin not. The very things that have been attractive to us are the things that are trying to steal, kill and destroy our children. There is a battle for the hearts and minds of our kids. The enemy in the battle has been masquerading around as our friend for years. We need the kind of anger the Psalmist had when he said “Do I not hate those who hate you, O Lord? And do I not loathe those who rise up against you? I hate them with complete hatred; I count them my enemies.” (Psalms 139:21-22)