Are there implications about the points you made for racial reconciliation beyond only interpersonal anger? - Len Tang
Definitely. Anger is at the heart of most racial tension and conflict, even though it is often disguised under other feelings or justifications. But of course, for any group or race to move toward another group or race will require them to deal with their anger in personal ways. I do believe that there is something contagious in a group though, so when one or a number of people change their minds about something, or move in a certain direction, this can rub off on others. Also, in terms of prejudice, a great deal of this could be attributed to personal anger manifested in communal ways as others find comfort in numbers. The bottom line is that the words of Jesus are relevant for both interpersonal and community contexts. Both must begin with the internal/heart righteousness that Jesus teaches.
Is anger a way of trying to control? - Shannon Lokar
There are many theories of what causes anger and how to rid oneself of anger. My assertion was that anger is the result of blocked goals – when our will or desires are blocked so that we feel frustration moving toward increasing degrees of anger. Therefore, if our desire or will is to control, we will feel anger if we are not able to do so. There are also people who learn that many people are intimidated by their anger, hence giving them opportunity to “control” with their anger. What we must remember is that we don’t have to give anyone this control – that is up to us. In other words, someone can’t make us do something with their anger. We have to give in and cooperate with that anger.
You said early in the sermon that comparing yourself to others to feel proudly better than them is bad, which I understand. But you also said that it's sad when you feel good when something bad happens to someone else. What if that makes you thankful to God because you aren't suffering? Can't that be felt without comparing yourself in a prideful way? - Xander Thomas
Feelings of gratitude and thankfulness are good things and can and should be done without comparing yourself to others in a prideful way. But if that “feeling” grows out of a comparison with someone else who is suffering, experiencing hardship, or is in a negative place compared with us, then it might be time to do a heart check to see what is motivating or driving the feelings.
If we don't need anger for anything, and if there is nothing that cannot be done better without anger, why do we even have the ability to be angry? Why would God give us that emotion? - Xander Thomas
Anger is a protective emotion given to us to protect us from violation. So it is not completely unnecessary, it is just that it often and usually does more damage than good. In that sense, it is better to see what might be accomplished without anger, rather than using it to motivate us if we can be motivated by a more pure motive.
Matt 5:22 - so if you call a person an idiot or any other word, has the person lost his/her salvation?
First, it might be important to say that I don’t believe that someone who is truly saved can ever lose their salvation. But with that said, Jesus does use strong words about the person being in danger of hell. Could it be that a person who would continuously call someone degrading names (like “idiot” or worse) does not believe in the dignity of the human person – that people are created as precious in the image of God? If you take this to its logical end, someone who does not have love for people as created by God, might also struggle with love for God and all that God stands for. That person, by their very nature, most likely does not feel at home in the kingdom of God. Someone who is not at home in the kingdom of God might not want to live a saved life either. Dallas Willard used to say “God will let anyone into heaven who can possibly stand being there.” In other words, if someone loves God and people – they will not desire to call people names. But if someone doesn’t care about these kinds of things – maybe they are the type of person who might feel more at home separated from God (the very definition of hell).