Anger and Wrath Part II

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Friday, October 3, 2014 10 comments

by Charlie Wolcott

Last week, I gave you a story of the River Moe and what happened when the Volcano Raw erupted. Please review it here before continuing on. As I mentioned last week, each of the elements in this story is a metaphor of what could happen when we erupt with anger. The river is a metaphor. The volcano is a metaphor. The pool is a metaphor. The waterfall is a metaphor. The land is a metaphor. The marshland is a metaphor. For those who either have not learned what a metaphor is or have forgotten what it is, here is a refresher. A metaphor is an object or a picture that uses what the reader does know and understand to represent or explain something that is more abstract or foreign. In order for a metaphor to work properly, the object being used needs to accurately paint a picture of the abstract or foreign concept. The metaphor needs to be used universally. I cannot change what the same object is going to mean. And I need the object I am using to be understood by the reader. If the reader does not understand the picture being used, then its purpose as a metaphor is useless. So now let’s dig deeper into the story of the River Moe.

I picked the name Moe to represent “Metaphor of Emotions.” The river is a picture of how our emotions ebb and flow. It can feed others and provide life giving sustenance to the land, which is a metaphor for our soul, or our life. Emotions come and go in a fleeting moment, just like the waters in a river come and go in a moment. There are times where we have an abundance of rain that fills the river. Likewise, there are times where we have an abundance of emotional happiness and excitement. There are times of drought and there are times where we really don’t feel much of anything. But there are also times where a river can also get violent when feed by anger.

The Volcano Raw means “Release of Anger and Wrath.” How many of us feed our emotions based on how others treat us? How many of us have been hurt by someone else and we let that hurt drive us forward? We may vent our anger in places to try to subdue it, but at some point, that anger is going to erupt like Raw did. When that anger, when that wrath, erupts, there is nothing that can stop it and the damage it leaves is permanent. The fruit in our lives may grow back like the plants and wildlife may return, but there is a permanent scar that will always remind us of the hurt done.

The waterfall represents how we accept or embrace the emotions that come our way. Normally, it is calm and gentle and fills of pool where we can enjoy fellowship and peace. But when the river gets angry, it will throw everything in its path over the edge, which can cause serious damage, if not being fatal. Only the tower stood and only by being in the tower could we withstand the violent force of the Moe.

The marshland is a metaphor for our work ethic and our energies that we put into what we do. And very often that is fed by our emotions. It’s interesting to note how after a major emotional breakdown, we will feel empty and drained. Like the River Moe redirected because of the eruption, our energies for life and our regular duties can be blocked. Our emotions, without us realizing it, can be re-directed and focused on something they should or should not be doing. And in areas where our energy becomes stagnant, it makes us lazy and is representative of slothfulness, one of the seven deadly sins. A marshland turns into a bog when water flow ceases. There is no outlet, so water cannot be refreshed. Our emotions can be fed, but without a proper outlet, they become stagnant. And in this story, all of this is a result of a violent eruption of wrath.

Anger and wrath are not necessarily bad things, but they need to be directed the right way. God is full of emotion too, and he had some moments of anger when his people rebelled against him. Genesis 6-8 gives us a historic account similar to what happened to the River Moe and the volcano Raw. Noah’s Flood left the earth permanently scared. Everywhere I look around, I see the evidence of this scarring, even though much of the land has healed. God has not damaged the earth like that since, but he will as depicted in Revelation. One of the images I’ve seen people suggest of the final bowl judgment of Revelation 16 is of God literally grabbing the earth and shaking it. When God erupts, it is for the purpose of cleansing us. Water does an amazing job at cleaning out the land.

But we rarely display the anger and control of it that God does. While God does get angry, he is full of mercy and he seeks to restrain it. Only one person so far has experienced the full force of God’s anger: Jesus Christ when he hung on the cross. God re-directed his wrath so that Jesus took it, so we did not have to. And it left Jesus permanently scarred. He will always have the holes in his hands and feet and a gash in his side. That anger, that scarring, was heading for us. The tower in this story is Jesus. God’s wrath and his force of judgment are coming. On our own, we will be swept over the edge of the waterfall and plummet to our doom. But if we take refuge in Jesus, who stood in the middle of that judgment, we will be protected. The Ark was a picture of that shelter. It protected Noah, his family, and the animals in the real Flood that took place. Likewise, Jesus is the shelter from the Flood of God’s wrath. Everything outside the shelter of the Ark perished; likewise, everything outside the shelter of Christ will perish.

After an eruption, the volcano usually subsides because the pressure of the magma is spent. But sometimes it will keep on erupting as long as the magma keeps coming. The small venting of steam and ash in the volcano won’t release the pressure within. And in our lives, the only way we can effectively deal with our anger is not to vent it out a little at a time; the pressure builds up too quickly. With a real volcano, when we see the small vents awakening, that’s a signal that the big one is coming. The only way to prevent the massive eruption is to give it up. Empty the volcano of the magma pressure. Empty yourself of the anger by giving it to God. Let him deal with it and he will in the perfect way.


Bob Sorensen said...

This was a good article, and I like the way it flowed (pun intended).

It's easy to be good to others when we're not in the midst of an emotional turmoil. When the storms of life are raging, we can lose control and become destructive not only to ourselves, but to others. A word I learned from Matt Slick of CARM is "stupidifies", and I use it rather often: Hate stupidifies. It becomes a dominant force and controls emotions, making someone relentless when attacking the object of their hatred, but their thinking is distorted or even nonexistent.

I have experienced both sides, being furious and letting that gain control (and having to confess, pray, repent, even making apologies to people I care about). Also, I have been the recipient of blind rage and hate, which has made people lie about me so they can get others to join in their hatred, like angry schoolchildren. Sometimes I am amused by how irrational someone can be. More importantly, I have to give my own reactions to God so that I do not retaliate in kind and say things that are untruthful or excessively harsh.

Charlie said...

Speaking of the original post, I will emphasize that while anger does harm those around them, the one it harms the greatest is self. And as my post illustrates, it leaves permanent scars that only a miracle of God can heal. If that anger is left unchecked, it produces a root of bitterness that is a poison which will eat at you to the day you die. And again, only God can uproot it.

Remo Wilson said...

Ash is trolling again I see. Remember me? You got mad cause I stood up to your junk and then blocked me then scream about censorship. Hypocrite. You tried to make Sorenson's comment about you and put a link to your stupid whining. I really hope you grow up someday. This was a good article and you wound up proving Charlie's point.

Charlie said...

Anger has another very interesting side effect. It makes you blind to all else that moves.

Charlie said...

I have a very difficult time believing you had an ability to calm down that much in just 8 minutes (as determined by the time your posts registered). And your history and reputation does not help you in this regard. The anger I am talking about goes much deeper than these posts. And when I say it makes you blind to all else that moves, that includes the ability to discern truth from falsehood. It includes the ability to accurately portray the actual events. Anger does a great job and throwing in deep bias and clouding the facts. It does a great job and making you THINK you know what is true and a great job at hiding what is ACTUALLY true. And until you deal with your anger, you will never know the difference.

This also goes for us. If we are dealing with anger, we will never see the actual facts for what they are. And if we don't deal with it, as I wrote in the first part, it will erupt and leave permanent scars. And the longer we hold it, the more it will erupt. And the one it hurts the most is you.

One of the easiest ways to deal with anger is to get the spotlight off yourself. You came in here thinking Bob's post was all about you. You are not the only person he deals with, but if the boots fits. If you are going to be that offended by anything anyone says, don't be surprised when so few want anything to do with you. As many in this world are fond of saying, if you want respect you need to give it first. Your anger has made you blind to see how much we Creationists have to endure from guys like you. We aren't perfect and we know we can't follow what we preach to perfection. That's why we need a Savior, day in and day out. If you think you can do just fine without him, good luck. Because you've demonstrated very well how far that has taken you. This anger has enslaved you. You don't control it. It controls you. And you will never be free until you give it to God.

Bob Sorensen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bob Sorensen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Good Grief! Ashleyhr, How about try staying on topic of the OP. If you have issue with Bob Sorensen, whom I don't know at all and he doesn't know me, how about take it up with him on your own time? WOW!

Bob Sorensen said...

Reposted with corrections.

It's all about him and his ego. I have documented others who acted in the way I described in my original comment, so he's not the only one stalking and persecuting Christians.

Anyone who disagrees with him, evolution or his hero Bill Nye the "I Tell Science Untruths" Guy, then he is a "liar". In fact, he is now comparing Ken Ham to Goebbels, which is a sign of desperation.

Deal with the issues? No way, just attack the person, call him a liar and then lash out in angry when challenged. Remo is right, he's proving Charlie's points in the article, as well as mine about hate stupidifying people (the "noetic effect of sin").

Anonymous said...

Remind you of anyone commenting here?

In scriptural perspective the fool is not basically a shallow-minded or illiterate ignoramus; he can be quite educated and sophisticated in social reckoning. However, he is a fool because he has forsaken the source of true wisdom in God in order to rely on his own (allegedly), self-sufficient, intellectual powers. He is unteachable (Prov. 10:8) and despises instruction (Prov. 15:5); whereas the wise man heeds counsel given to him, “The way of a fool is right in his own eyes” (Prov. 12:15). The fool has utter self-confidence and imagines himself to be intellectually autonomous. “He that trusteth in his own heart is a fool” (Prov. 28:26). A fool cannot think of himself as mistaken (Prov. 17:10). He judges matters according to his own pre-established standards of truth and right, and thus his own thoughts always turn out in the long run to be correct. The fool is sure that he can rely on his own rational authority and intellectual scrutiny. “The fool beareth himself insolently and is confident” (Prov. 14:16), and therefore he utters his own mind (Prov. 29:11).

In actuality, this autonomous man is dull, stubborn, boorish, obstinate and stupid. He professes himself to be wise, but from the opening of his mouth it is clear that he is (in the biblical sense) “a fool”—his only wisdom would consist in keeping silent (Prov. 17:28). “The heart of fools proclaimeth foolishness” (Prov. 12:23), and the fool flaunts his folly (Prov. 13:16). He eats up folly unreflectingly (Prov. 15:14), pours it out (Prov. 15:2), and returns to it like a dog to his vomit (Prov. 26:11). He is so in love with his folly and so dedicated to its preservation that “It is better for a man to meet a bear robbed of her whelps, than a fool in his folly” (Prov. 17:12). The fool does not really want to find the truth; he only wants to be self-justified in his own imaginations. While he may feign objectivity, “A fool hath no delight in understanding, but only that his heart may reveal itself” (Prov. 18:2). He is committed to his own presuppositions and wishes to guard his autonomy. Thus he will not depart from evil (Prov. 13:19), and thus all his knowledgeable talk reveals nothing but perverse and lying lips (Prov. 10:18; 19:1). He may talk proudly, but “A fool’s mouth is his destruction, and his lips are the snare of his soul” (Prov. 18:7). He shall not endure the judgment of God (Ps. 5:5).

The man who hears Christ’s words and yet builds his life on a rejection of that revelation is a fool (Matt. 7:26), and the man who suppresses God’s general revelation in the created realm is also described as a fool (Rom. 1:18). It is quite clear, then, that a fool is one who does not make God and His revelation the starting point (the presupposition) of his thinking. Fools despise the preaching of the cross, refuse to know God, and cannot receive God’s word (1 Cor. 1-2). The self-proclaimed autonomous man, the unbeliever, will not submit to the word of God or build his life and thinking upon it. Disbelief and ignorance of God’s will, therefore, produce foolishness (1 Cor. 15:36; Eph. 5:17).

As a result, the fool does not have the concentration necessary to find wisdom; he vainly thinks that it is easily dispensed or gained (Prov. 17:16, 24). By glorying in man, the fool’s thinking becomes futile and shameful (1 Cor. 3); his heart is darkened, and his mind is vain (Rom. 1:21). Because of his unbelief and rebellion against God’s word, the fool does not have knowledgeable lips (Prov. 14:7). Indeed, because he does not choose to reverence the Lord, the fool hates knowledge (Prov. 1:29). The unbeliever who criticizes the Christian faith is this fool which we have been describing above. In answering the fool a Christian apologist must aim to demonstrate that unbelief is, in the final analysis, destructive of all knowledge. The fool must be shown that his autonomy is hostile to knowledge—that God makes foolish the “wisdom” of the world.

— Greg Bahnsen, from "Always Ready"