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A Farewell to Anger

• Greg Boyd

Jesus taught that being angry or insulting another person leads to the same consequences as murdering them. This is a radical Kingdom teaching that goes beyond an examination of our behaviors. It focuses on our hearts.

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In this passage, Jesus is explaining what it means to embrace an ethic of God’s Kingdom. He contrasts God’s Kingdom with the Old Testament teaching by saying “you have heard it said.” They had heard it said they were not to murder, but Jesus was saying “Not killing doesn’t go far enough.” If we are angry with a brother or sister, we are headed to judgment. If we insult, we are liable to go before the court. Anger in our heart is as liable to judgment as murder, and insulting people in our heart or with gestures or words is leading in the same hellish direction as murder.

Society only judges behavior, but under the reign of God, righteousness that goes beyond the scribes and Pharisees must consider anger and internal insults the same as murder.

Jesus is not saying that God is keeping score and is planning some form of revenge. Rather, he is saying that in the nature of the world God created loving deeds that bring about corresponding blessed circumstances, while unloving deeds, and especially all forms of judgment, always bring corresponding destruction.

However, aren’t some forms of anger actually good? What about righteous indignation or anger at injustice? After all, Ephesians 4:26-27 says, “Be angry but do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and do not make room for the devil.” If we read this rightly, though, Paul is saying that the only way to have anger and not sin is by getting rid of it as soon as possible. We will encounter things that will stir up anger, but then we have a choice as to whether we will partner with that anger or let it go. If we hold on to it, we give the devil a foothold. Paul teaches us to “rid” ourselves of such things as: “anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language” (Colossians 3:8).

Even when we see injustice, we are not to “let the sun go down” on our anger. This is not to say that anger is not justified. We are simply to let it go. We’re so accustomed to anger being our motivation for the pursuit of justice that we have trouble imagining otherwise. Whatever we’re trying to accomplishing through anger could be accomplished better through compassion or a broken heart. As Martin Luther King Jr. taught, his followers were to march out of love for their enemies, not out of hatred. We are called to stand up out of sorrow for that which is evil and dehumanizing, not out of anger and hatred. This is the only way that we can be free and it’s the only way we can offer that freedom to others.

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Topics: Discipleship, Peace

Sermon Series: Sermon on the Mount, Change of Heart


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The MuseCast: March 9


Focus Scripture:

  • Matthew 5:20-23

    For I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. You have heard that it was said to those of ancient times, ‘You shall not murder’; and ‘whoever murders shall be liable to judgment.’ But I say to you that if you are angry with a brother or sister, you will be liable to judgment; and if you insult[ a brother or sister, you will be liable to the council; and if you say, ‘You fool,’ you will be liable to the hell of fire.

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One thought on “A Farewell to Anger

  1. Jerry says:

    WOW Powerful sermon covered a lot of ground.

    I just want to attempt to add a few possibilities using incites from Greg and Al’s course Theo-synergistic-Neuro-Transformation and the work of Jonathan Haidt.

    According to the discovery of the Higgs Boson for every 10 billion pairs of quark and anti-quark collisions there was 1 extra quark. The only material in the universe is fermions (quarks and leptons) and bosons.

    The other 99.999999999999999999999999999999999% is intelligent spiritual energy. Thrones, rulers, powers, authorities, us ….

    New studies suggest even the fore-mentioned, interesting a triune three, are not material.

    A side note on triune:

    All known particles of matter can be arranged into three “generations.” In the first generation are the electron, the electron-neutrino, and the two quarks called “up” and “down,” which together build protons and neutrons.

    The particles in this first generation are all essentially stable, and go to make up the ordinary matter of the universe that we see.

    The atoms of your body, and of the sun and stars, are composed of these first-generation particles.

    The other two generations are at this point mysterious for they can only be created in particle accelerators for a brief pico-second moment.

    Another side note: If you want some more GOOD stuff on this sort of thing listen to Greg’s two introduction talks: (blew me away)
    https://whchurch.org/sermon/escaping-the-matrix-conference-part-1/

    In the conference a book is recommended ‘Molecules of Emotion’.

    Science testing has proven energy vibrates at different frequencies, the higher coherent and inversely the lower being inherent.

    From a science prospective another way to look at Thrones and powers is Holon hierarches or morphogenetic fields.

    Spiritual reality is at the heart of everything, from photons to supernovas, from governments to corporations down to a Little League baseball team. The capacity to be aware of and responsive to God is at the core of everything.

    Like the proponents of the new physics, who have now gone beyond materialism to a world of spirit-matter, so we too can see the entire social enterprise of the human species under the dual aspects of spirit and matter. If we want to change institutions and structures, we have to address not only their outer forms, but their inner spirit as well.

    Consider the top dog realms as emotion based example: (the spiritual realm of fear on the incoherent side) and Philippians 4:8 types on the coherent side.

    Knowledge (information) is the beginning of Wisdom or?

    God knows the future as possibilities and brings them to our imagination in each new now moment.

    That is a lot of information and God wants to lure us towards the best choices however our reticular activating system deletes 98% based on our emotional state.

    The RIDER Neocortex takes in this new knowledge and the RIDER Limbic brain then experiences it based on our emotional state.

    The ELEPHANT than automatizes it and it becomes part of our subconscious cerebellum automatic operating system.

    There is a little more to it but this is the basics.

    Greg mentioned George Floyd and an emotion of anger.

    That adds to the spiritual realm of anger (not only flesh and blood) plus starts to automatize a subconscious process in your operating system (soul).

    Greg mentioned the bear, the fear and flight mechanism and, as Jewish Nobel Laurite Eric Kendall states, the cosmos as being prewired for love and optimism.

    The cell’s normal modus operandi is high vibrating energy functioning with 100’s of thousands of ligand receptor sites on every cell letting (+) Peptides, molecules of emotion, bath the immune system.

    Now the bear is a problem and you need to deal with it however it’s ether going to get you or you will get away, your worries are gone and you are once again a happy camper.

    The cell does not know the difference between a bear and your 401k is performing poorly which many continue to be the case for an extended time.

    If you live in constant worry about the 401k your immune system will remain in fear flight mode and the peptides being pumped into your cells with be a limited (-) format.

    Each receptor site on your cell is like a specific key that only allows certain stuff in.

    The cells in your stomach are replaced every forty eight hours and over a period of time being in this limited (-) format one of the cells receptor cites might be reproduced incorrectly and allow bad stuff, messages to the DNA, in.

    Science now believes 85% of sickness starts in the head (soul) and left unattended effects the cell telling it to make bad stuff like cancer.

    Greg then mentioned OUR battle is not against flesh and blood but rulers, powers and authorities.

    Note: the word ‘our’ not only God.

    I think whenever we are angry we increase the chaos in the spiritual realm of anger and that affects everything in the cosmos from photons down to the softball team.

    Science says coherent emotional energy is like a laser beam, (5000) times the power, compared to incoherent a flash light.

    So if just one person moves from incoherent to coherent that’s a huge advance in the battle.

    If we look at the last election scene incoherent energy appears to diminish the capacity of everything down to the least common denominator just low energy chaos.

    Jonathan Haidt said we are very good at seeing the planks in another person but because of our elephant not so with ourselves.

    He thinks our focus should be on our own planks.

    I consider the burning coals as when we can actually work out a planks others will notice that and because it’s a good thing it’s pleasing for them, a better world, to see our change and that’s (+) energy going on inside their head and a good opportunity for God to whisper, past their elephant, concerning their planks.

    I’m actually more of a right hemisphere artist type and little to speak with pictures.

    I’ve put some ideas together on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/feed/update/urn:li:activity:6774385784335290368/

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