Anglican Samizdat

April 15, 2009

Casting out the money changers

Filed under: Diocese of Niagara — David Jenkins @ 8:17 am

There was some disagreement on Stand Firm about the legitimacy of my excursion into a diocesan service at St. Hilda’s building to take photos of the inside of the church while the service was in progress. Many people supported my action and some didn’t. I subscribe to a devotional called Every Day With Jesus, and by one of those interesting God-coincidences that occur from time to time, I found this in my inbox this morning:

The next quality of our Lord we consider is His courage. His was not the excited, desperate courage of a battlefield, but the quiet courage He displayed when He confronted difficult issues. Take the matter we have read about today – the cleansing of the Temple. It took great courage on our Lord’s part to walk into the Temple, drive out the money-changers, and insist that His Father’s house be kept as a house of prayer, as the comparable accounts in Matthew and Mark tell us. But He didn’t hesitate to do so. He was angry, of course, but His anger was righteous, not unrighteous, anger. What’s the difference?

Righteous anger arises from grief at what is happening to another; unrighteous anger arises from a grudge at what is happening to oneself. I don’t know about you, but I feel righteously angry at some things that are happening in parts of the Church today – such as the ordination to the ministry of practising homosexuals, the performance of civil partnership ceremonies for people of the same sex and the presentation of discourses based on mere personal opinion and focus group ideas rather than the Word of God.

What do you think our Lord would do if He were here in the flesh today? I think He would make His way into these churches and would say: ‘Get these out of here!’ As followers of Christ, we must have the same kind of righteous anger – an anger that causes us to stand up and say: ‘Such things ought not to be happening.’ Let us be clear, I am not advocating a harsh lovelessness towards those involved in any of the situations mentioned in the previous paragraph. I am simply saying that we should be like Jesus and not compromise on clear moral and spiritual issues.

I don’t usually set too much store by this kind of apparent coincidence, but it did tickle my fancy.


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