Get Mad!

In his autobiography, Mr. Herbert W. Armstrong relates an impressive example of someone who was to give an attack speech in public. Beginning on page 249, Mr. Armstrong explains that he asked his friend, “What do you hate the most?,” continuing, “He didn’t seem to hate anything… There was nothing I could find that he was really MAD about.” But then, certain events occurred which his friend witnessed, and he “was now really outraged.” When he began to rehearse in front of Mr. Armstrong, his “words described in dynamic language exactly the way he now felt… THEY WERE TERRIFICALLY CONVINCING!…IT WAS POWERFUL and it was CONVINCING!”

When it was his turn to give his first attack speech in public, during a competition, Mr. Armstrong describes the events in this way: “He forgot his nervousness that had seized him at the beginning. He thought only of the outrageous injustices he had SEEN with his own eyes… He really MEANT what he was saying—and HE was SAYING SOMETHING!” And so, he won the competition. He later became “the first president of Ambassador College, and its first instructor in public speaking.”

I have thought about this episode quite often. When attending Spokesman and Graduate and Ambassador Clubs for many years, I observed participants who were like Mr. Armstrong’s friend at first; they did not seem to hate anything, were not angry about anything, and did therefore not deliver a meaningful and convincing attack speech.

We, in the Churches of God, must learn to hate what is wrong, and we must not be afraid or too timid to show and express that anger and that hatred at the opportune time. Some feel that it is unchristian to become angry. They totally misunderstand what the Bible teaches. Sure, we are admonished not to express unrighteous human anger (James 1:20), but we also know that Christ, in the flesh, became angry when He saw the hardness of the heart of merciless people (Mark 3:5). And Christ, as well as John the Baptist, did not mince any words when they addressed and spoke about certain hypocritical leaders (Matthew 12:34; 23:17, 23-29, 33; 3:7). Sometimes, Christ spoke about them with sarcasm to make His point even clearer (Luke 13:31-32).

Especially God’s true ministers have a God-given duty, when addressing a “sinful nation, A people laden with iniquity, A brood of evildoers, Children who are corrupters” (Isaiah 1:4); a nation whose “whole head is sick” and whose “whole heart faints” (verse 5); with “no soundness in it” from “the soles of the foot even to the head” (verse 6) to “Cry aloud, spare not [Margin in the New King James Bible: “do not hold back”]; Lift up your voice like a trumpet; Tell My people their transgression, And the house of Jacob their sins” (Isaiah 58:1). To be able to do that and to tell the people and the political and religious leaders about their miserable condition and their terrible fate, we must be “full of power by the spirit of the LORD” (Micah 3:8).

In order to fulfill our responsibility effectively and convincingly, we ourselves must feel anger and hatred for the injustice, wickedness, rebellion against God and the lies and misrepresentations we observe daily, from the very top down, starting with the “heads of the house of Jacob” and the “rulers of the house of Israel, Who abhor justice And pervert all equity” (Micah 3:9). This anger must be reflected in our speaking and writing in order to be convincing. When we speak about the horrible sinful conduct of our leaders and the people, and don’t show convincingly how mad and really outraged we are about it, we will not wake anybody up (Ephesians 5:14).

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