Monday, May 14, 2007

Anger gone nuclear -- Presbyterian Outlook

Anger gone nuclear -- Presbyterian Outlook:
"Anger is to humanity what nuclear energy is to electricity. Powerful and creative. Volatile and dangerous.

God created anger, and for good reason. Anger stirs social workers to rescue abused children from violent parents. Anger provokes prophets to expose exploiting power brokers. Anger compels the courageous to break chains of injustice. Anger confronts religious hypocrites and drives moneychangers out of temples.

Then again, evil hijacks anger for destructive pur­poses. It batters spouses and children. It unleashes the privileged against the powerless—and vice versa. It propagates hatred. It murders innocents. It morphs into resentment, escalates into bitterness, depresses into isolation, and explodes into carnage. ..."
Dr. Haberer goes on to remind the Presbyterian Church and its various factions that we as a denomination cannot "feign innocence" -- the easiest way to work a crowd is to go on the attack, using pejoratives. Haberer highlights "Those liberals" or "those fundamentalists," "those gays" or "those homophobes". (I would add the characterizations "anti-choice" and "baby killers" to this mix.)

Haberer calls this "potshot preaching" and expresses great concern over the effect it is having on the overall climate of our denomination. He reads the letters to the editor, and while most are posted online and some find their way into print, there are some "so violate basic decency, that we are compelled to hit the delete key."

The Outlook is beginning a collaborative effort with Tom Ehrlich called "The Church Wellness Project". It is the hope of The Outlook that "... in publishing these columns is that Tom will help us all become the health­filled, transparent, humble, thoughtful, compassionate, prophetic, coura­geous and, ultimately, Christlike community of faith that knows how to turn even anger, like harnessed nu­clear energy, into a creative motivation—just as God intended."

The Outlook requires registration to read the articles online, but it is free, and I recommend it highly. It is one of the best sources for truly balanced and independent reporting of the life of the PC(USA)

2 comments:

Stushie said...

I wonder how Luther, Calvin, and Knox would have restrained their comments, and if they did, would the Reformation have been effective?

Denis Hancock said...

Good question.

Many Presbyterians are uncomfortable with the Scots Confession, due to its style of argument. We don't talk like that today. At least most of us don't. Yet the theology expressed in the confession is sound.

I'm not sure I would appreciate hearing John Knox thundering from the pulpit every Sunday, but I have to recognize his effectiveness and his contributions to what we are today.