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Dealing with post election anger 

Don't tell me as a Christian I can't be angry, and just to pray. I can do both. By Andy Fitchet

Anger
 

Anger is a funny thing for Christians. You see we can't decide whether it's OK or not. We should be nice, shouldn't we? We should be loving and kind - not angry.

So let me say this: I'm angry.

After the referendum I was angry. I was a firm remainer and have become a loud remoaner. I was angry that the public were lied to and that they swallowed up the bile of 'taking back control'. Of course not all Leavers did, some where very well informed and we just have different political opinions.

And now I'm angry again. The election of Donald Trump in the US is catastrophic for those of us who want to call communities together rather than define our communities based on 'we are not them' or 'we are better than them'. Yes, he seems to be moderating his stance but that's not what he was elected on.

After the referendum remainers were told to 'get over it, the country has voted!' Ignoring the fact that more people didn't vote than voted to leave, I am angry that I am being, along with 16 million other remainers, stripped of my EU citizenship which I value.

And now I am angry again.

The joy of social media is that everyone has an opinion - me more than most I'll admit. But it also means people say unhelpful, glib claptrap. Things like, 'It's OK, Jesus is King.' Or 'It's OK, pray for Trump'. Trust me I've been praying for Donald Trump for 18 months, and as far as I can tell, it's not working!

And yes Jesus is King - but he hasn't come back yet. Therefore we are still the stewards of the Kingdom called to be the light of the world and city on the hill which shines out truth.

It's a bit like telling someone, after a loved one has died that 'it's OK, they are in Heaven now.' That may well be true, but it isn't helpful. Yes the greater truth is there, but in that moment often they just want the person back and not be told 'it's all OK' when for them it obviously isn't.

That's how I feel about the Referendum and the US election. Yes I know Jesus is King, I went to Regent's Park College and we learnt that, but it doesn't mean I can't be angry about the way in which the world is going. Anger isn't the opposite of love, fear is.

Jesus is in charge, absolutely. However that doesn't mean it's all going to be OK now. Jesus is in charge, but Iraq and Syria is still happening. Jesus is in charge, but the Chilbok girls are still missing. I don't think it's good enough to just say, 'but it will be OK in the end' - we're not at the end, what do we do now?

I am angry that hate is winning. I am angry that lies are prevailing over truth. I am angry that the Church seems to be involving itself in peddling this nonsense. I am angry that we don't look more like Jesus. I am mainly angry that I don't know what to do.

Christians, in my experience, are good at theoretical answers: 'The Bible says things will get worse..' etc etc. Can I implore you, that's not helpful! It doesn't do anything to elevate suffering or comfort the broken and it definitely doesn't help missionally to a generation that doesn't believe in absolute truth.

Is it OK for me to be angry? Well, I'm still working that one through. However, I think that anger is a powerful emotion like love, which can compel action.

The question for me is does this anger come out of love? 'Surely not!' I hear you say. In some ways I think it does. It for the love of the communities that are being ignored or oppressed that I am angry with the oppressors. It is for the love of humanity that I am angry we are subjecting parts of it to acceptable hatred. It is for the love of the downtrodden that I am angry with those who are doing the treading.

Is it OK for me to be angry? On its own, probably not. If I do something about it, probably it is. 



Picture: Sholto Ramsay / Unsplash


Andy Fitchet is the Pastor of Whitchurch Baptist Church in Hampshire


 
Baptist Times, 14/11/2016
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