The title of this blog is the crux of a Bruxy Cavey sermon that I recently listened to. There is something about this guy that makes us kindred spirits. I always knew that I had a personal affinity toward the beliefs of the Anabaptists, but I particularly enjoy listening to Bruxy. At times, I swear that he’s read every piece of my doctrinal and theological mail–even those ideas that I tend to stay quiet about because I know that not everyone will agree with them. For instance, people love to point to Jesus cleansing the temple as a way to justify their own “righteous anger”. Perhaps even more frequently, they conveniently compartmentalize Jesus’ “Passion for God’s house will consume me.” (John 2:17 via Psalm 69:9), and contort the story. In doing so, they use His passion to see his Father’s house used as a house of prayer as an excuse for unrighteous anger. Because he was without sin, Christ was capable of being angry or passionate without sinning. Because our hearts are deceptively wicked (Jeremiah 17:9) , we’re rarely capable of sustained righteous anger. What may start as righteous indignation often ends in unrighteous anger (Ephesians 4:26).
Bruxy absolutely hits the ball out of the park in this sermon. He, Greg Boyd, Shaine Claiborne, and a multitude of others are great at challenging the status quo. Especially American cultural norms that have a way of seeping into the fabric of Christian culture. They often package their challenges in rhetorical questions. “What if Jesus actually meant for us to follow what he said? ” Like, “Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth” – Matthew 5:5
“Blessed are the meek” – is one of those scriptures that we often hear, but don’t care to dwell on or have extended conversations about. It’s right up there with forgiving your brother/sister in the faith seven times seventy (Matthew 18:22). Or, comparable to those conscious-troubling scriptures from Luke 6 where Jesus tells us to love our enemies. That if someone takes your coat, give them your shirt too. Or, to give things to anyone who takes them from you without asking for it back. I know from firsthand experience that if you bring up scriptures like these it often gets quiet. We often don’t know how to respond to scriptures that buck so many cultural norms. So we typically do one of two things. We tell ourselves that these passages are culturally irrelevant, or conveniently ignore them altogether. I’ve also seen or heard my fair share of pastors acknowledge their profound truth, but then immediately concede that they’re almost impossible to follow. While I understand, and agree in regards to their level of difficulty – maybe 10 out of 10 on the “Christometer scale” – LOL, they’re rarely ever explored in depth for that very reason. They’re just sort of read and then casually passed over with a joke…… “Who’s spiritual enough to do that?”
Enter Bruxy Cavey, a sandal wearing, long haired, Canadian Anabaptists. At the bare minimum prepare to be challenged by the notion that having a type A personality is a biblically-sound reason for being mean spirited, speaking harsh or frequently harboring righteous anger. On that note, I thought one of Bruxy’s most profound statements was about Greg Boyd himself. He acknowledges that Greg Boyd’s natural propensity (personality-wise) is probably not toward meekness. LOL. However, he acknowledges the fact that Greg’s very demeanor and life are a testimony of the transformative work of Christ in his life. But, isn’t that true of all of us?
James 1:20 ESV / 210 helpful votes
For the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God.