WWJD Series: Jesus and Anger Management
Jesus is almost always held up as the great, human example of love. He’s supposed to embody all that the Christian should aspire to (WWJD). When a Christian does something mean, unloving, etc, they often say they messed up and need to be more Christ-like. But since I now can look at the Bible objectively -i.e., without filtering it through a set of presuppositions that demand that it must all be (mis)interpreted so that it “looks good”- I see that being angry, hateful, vengeful, even going on the out and out attack, is really being very Christ-like. It’s just the sort of thing Jesus would do.
In fact, according to the gospels, he seems to have had some problems with anger management.
Let’s look at a few situations to see WWJD.
Fig tree withering:
Matt 21:18-19 “Early in the morning, as he was on his way back to the city, he was hungry. Seeing a fig tree by the road, he went up to it but found nothing on it except leaves. Then he said to it, “May you never bear fruit again!” Immediately the tree withered.”
Mark 11:12-14, 20-21 “The next day as they were leaving Bethany, Jesus was hungry. Seeing in the distance a fig tree in leaf, he went to find out if it had any fruit. When he reached it, he found nothing but leaves, because it was not the season for figs. Then he said to the tree, “May no one ever eat fruit from you again.” And his disciples heard him say it. ….. In the morning, as they went along, they saw the fig tree withered from the roots. Peter remembered and said to Jesus, “Rabbi, look! The fig tree you cursed has withered!”
John 2:13-16 “When it was almost time for the Jewish Passover, Jesus went up to Jerusalem. In the temple courts he found men selling cattle, sheep and doves, and others sitting at tables exchanging money. So he made a whip out of cords, and drove all from the temple area, both sheep and cattle; he scattered the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables. To those who sold doves he said, “Get these out of here! How dare you turn my Father’s house into a market!”
Matt 23:15 “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You travel over land and sea to win a single convert, and when he becomes one, you make him twice as much a son of hell as you are. Matt 23:33 “You snakes! You brood of vipers! How will you escape being condemned to hell?”
Matt 15:25-26 “The woman came and knelt before him. “Lord, help me!” she said. He replied, “It is not right to take the children’s bread and toss it to their dogs.”
Of course Jesus was supposed to be God’s son, so he came by his tantrum-prone nature naturally enough. After all BibleGod is a nasty piece of work by any and all meaningful standards.
Just look at these Godly examples:
Killing babies is OK. God supposedly knew the “Slaughter of the Innocents” was coming for centuries and was quite content to just let it happen. (Jer. 31:15)]
Killing babies is totally OK. God killed David and Bathsheba’s baby directly.
Killing babies, and older kids, and adults is all OK. Think of “Korah’s rebellion” or the “Bronze Snake” incident, or the “angel of death over Jerusalem”.
Killing people for minor lies is OK. Think Ananias and Saphira. And then he lets billions of others off the hook. That’s both vicious and capricious.
Killing kids for just being kids is OK. Remember Elijah calling a curse done on teasing children and some bears came out to kill them.
Killing people for just doing their job is OK. Remember Elijah calling down fire on soldiers.
Torturing people forever for temporal infractions is OK. Remember, God sends people to eternal torment if they don’t happen to believe exactly the right religion (and of course the right subsect of that religion).
Ya know, if you go to “Christian counseling” I don’t think you see this sort of Biblical approach to anger management. I mean come on, isn’t it all about WWJD?
Previously in this series: