By Francis Frangipane
It’s hard to remember a time when people were more angry than today. A civilized person ought to be, first of all, civil. Yet today there is no discourse, no respect for another’s opinion, no reasoning together for the common good. I am concerned, especially for the church.
One may argue, “Our society is decaying. We should be mad.” Yes, but we can be angry yet still not sin (Eph. 4:26). Of course, I feel anger that the underpinnings of our culture are being dismantled by unprincipled men. Our souls should be vexed at the darkening cloud of demonic infestation in our culture, especially when children are caused to stumble or the weak are exploited. If we don’t take a stand, the advance of evil ultimately means more people will die without Christ. So, if we are angry, it does not necessarily mean we have sinned. It can simply mean we care.
I am not surprised by the increased anger. My concern is that, unless this anger regenerates into something more redemptive, more Christlike, we will not be able to stop the deepening darkness. Indeed, anger that does not awaken in us redemptive action ultimately degrades into bitterness and unbelief.
A Two-Pronged Attack
While hell advances into our world on many levels, I want to discuss two primary areas. The first manifestation is brazen, widespread and alarming. For example, a corrupt law gets passed or gang violence breaks out; or it might be that a beloved public figure is scandalized. It’s on the news and people are talking about it. The shock waves caused by this demonic intrusion smash against our hearts: we’re disappointed, offended, stunned and, often, outraged. In this state of mind, hell launches the second area of attack. There is no newscast featuring this next stage of warfare. On this front, the devil does not come openly flaunting himself; but quietly. In angry whispers he stirs the pot of our discontent until it boils. Ultimately, where once the heart of the Christian was full of faith and love, now bitterness, hatred and malice churn in the souls of God’s people. This is the second prong of the attack: the hardening of our hearts in reaction to evil.
Satan knows that the only thing that can reverse his gains is if the church loses its intercessory approach to the conflict. Thus, while we must fight the spiritual conflicts of our times, at the same time we must preserve our capacity to love if we will actually win our war. Remember we are not fighting against “flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world” (Eph. 6:12 KJV). Don’t lose the functionality of your love, for love believes all things, hopes all things and endures all things. Love never fails (1 Cor. 13:7-8).
You see, the Almighty could end evil on Earth in a flash. The reason He delays is because He needs a world such as ours to bring believers to Christlike maturity. In a moment evil would be gone, as it was with Sodom and Gomorrah. But we must never forget: Jesus did not come to destroy men’s lives, but to save them.