Why Are American Christians So Angry, Even Making Death Threats?
In recent years, I have seen American Christians, especially white Christians getting so angry at government, Hollywood, liberal judges, and other Christians.
A majority of my tribe, yes I am a white American Christian, keep seeing the loss of everything they hold sacred. This would include moral values no longer espoused in film and television; governmental decisions, particularly at the federal level, that erode those same values; and society in general that seems more hostile to our faith.
There is some truth to those accusations, but what is disturbing is the response that many in the faith are espousing. The response I refer to is anger, extreme anger that go way beyond what Jesus teaches.
Let me cite an example. In the most recent issue of Christianity Today, the most well respected evangelical magazine, there is an article (Prophetic Reckoning) about many prophetic individuals who have apologized for their wrong prophecies relating to Donald Trump beating Joe Biden in the last presidential election.
Several of these “prophets” said they made mistakes and were repenting to us fellow believers for their wrong declarations and asking our forgiveness. So here is the shocking response for their repentance. These prophets got severe backlash and in some cases death threats from fellow believers.
Listen to this account from California ministry leader Shawn Bolz. He says that many of the former president’s Christian followers so believed that he was God’s man that they developed a “Messiah Complex”. As a result this was the response of those believers to Bolz saying he was wrong. “They attached their faith to that so much that when I repented, I became like an AWOL soldier who was no longer on the team,” said Bolz, who faced death threats for apologizing for his prophecy. One handwritten letter warned that “when Trump’s reelected again,” Bolz would be “strung up in front of the White House, killed as a false prophet.”
A Christian telling a fellow Christian that he would be strung up because he apologized for being wrong? I have always read in Scripture when someone repents of their sin, then God forgives them, and fellow believers should respond in love and restoring that person to full fellowship. In this example some Christians see the repentance as sin and their response is ostracism or death threats. Man, have we gotten this twisted in our understanding of how Christianity works.
As I was pondering this above mentioned response, I wondered what Jesus got mad about. In my research I discovered that He almost exclusively got mad at the Pharisees (those legalistic Jews), other religious leaders, and on occasion his own disciples.
We see Jesus twice getting mad at the money changers (Matthew 21:12-17 and John 2:13-17) who turned the Temple access from people wanting to worship to greedily extorting the poor from not being able to afford the “entrance fee”. He gets upset every time he wants to heal someone on the Sabbath and runs into legalists who see the rules more important than people (see Mark 3:5 as an example). We see Jesus’ biggest anger directed at the hypocrisy of the Pharisees. In fact, an entire chapter (Matthew 23) is devoted to this hypocrisy.
When he does get frustrated with his 12 apostles, it is because they are acting contrary to what he just taught. Remember when he told his boys that he was going to die on the cross and Peter pulls him aside to rebuke him. Peter receives a “get behind me Satan” for a response.
What I found fascinating is Jesus never gets angry at the government. Remember Rome is a heathen, cruel, oppressive government. He also never gets mad at sinful individuals, think of the woman caught in adultery (John 8:1-11).
But today’s believers are angry at everything Jesus was not. They are angry at the government if their person isn’t elected or laws aren’t passed to their liking. They are angry at the entertainment industry for not producing godly films. They are angry at people who espouse a non Christian lifestyle. As already mentioned they are really angry at fellow believers who don’t agree with them. And this anger has led to cruel, ungodly commentary, even as already mentioned, death threats.
There is this warning in Ephesians 4:26-27: “And don’t sin by letting anger gain control over you. Don’t let the sun go down while you are still angry, for anger gives a mighty foothold for the Devil.”
My fellow Christians, calm down and prayerfully look at yourselves and your behavior. Why do we get angry with the world when they don’t understand or espouse our beliefs? Shouldn’t they see us respond with love? If we don’t start acting like Jesus would in these situations, we will have lost more than the culture wars. We will have lost the moral high ground and influence to lead people to Christ. Now that is something to be angry about!