February 5, 2015


            Have you ever gone into a rage? If so, I hope you later realized what a foolish thing it was to do.  If you look up the word “rage” in dictionaries, you won’t find any that list it as a commendable form of behavior. Almost all of them use the word “violent” in describing it. The word “rage” appears 18 times in the Bible. It is never used in a favorable context.

The word “rage” has a second meaning. Sometimes it is used in speaking of something a segment of people are doing. They say, “It is the rage to…..” It may be dressing a certain way or buying a certain item. This article doesn’t deal with that use of the word rage.

It is unfortunate that rage is being used by leftist political groups as a means of reaching an end. Politicians are using it as a means of gaining power. They hear of an injustice or grievance people have somewhere, and they insert themselves in the controversy with friends of theirs who are professional agitators. Professional agitators are as phony as professional mourners that, in some countries, are paid to make an appearance at a funeral and make a scene of uncontrollable grief. A rage can be put on whenever it is beneficial. They make their appearance where there has been an injustice, or a supposed injustice, and make a scene of extreme disgust. It often leads to violence; i.e. burning and looting.

Rage, when it is used in this way, is a threat. They are saying, “Give us what we want or we’ll burn your town down.” Rage is an adult version of a temper tantrum. Children sometimes find that it’s a way to get what they want. When authorities give into rage and violence they are being coerced. Giving into rage is not the proper, civil way to settle an injustice.

Those who use or excuse rage, are taking an axe to the framework of our society. Civilized societies have a constitution which is a framework of laws to govern human conduct. It is God’s plan that men be governed by laws. Beginning with the Ten Commandments in Exodus chapter twenty, we find repeated references in the Old Testament, especially in Deuteronomy, to laws that were to be enforced to make possible justice and a peaceful society. Again, in Romans chapter 13 we are exhorted to respect and obey the authorities. Romans 13:1 says, “Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God.”

History has proven that a democracy offers people the most just and peaceful society. It gives people the right to vote and choose their leaders. A democracy fails, however, if the citizens are ignorant and ill-informed and don’t choose good leaders. If our leaders give into rage they are opening the door to tyranny. Under tyranny, the leaders are forced to do what the tyrants demand.

Rage sometimes manifests itself on a personal level. To go into a rage means that you lose control of yourself and give into violent behavior. Once I saw a manifestation of that at a funeral in Argentina. A woman, who attended our church, was attacked and stabbed to death by her estranged husband on a little traveled road. At her funeral a brother of hers suddenly threw himself on the ground and began to groan, kick his feet violently, and paw in the dirt with his hands. Some of the men got him stopped and took him aside to calm him. It was his way of expressing his grief, but it was also a lack of self-control.

The Christian’s weapons are not to be carnal. II Corinthians 10:3-4 says, “For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds.” Romans 12:19 advises us to “give place to wrath.” “Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.” That means we shouldn’t fight wrath with wrath. The next two verses tell us to overcome evil with good. “Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head.  Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.” That doesn’t mean we have to let evil doers trample us under their feet. We should demand that our elected officials execute the law, and bring to justice the evil doers. That includes the professional agitators if they are guilty of violent behavior.

Proverbs 25:28 says, “He that hath no rule over his own spirit is like a city that is broken down, and without walls.” II Peter 1:6 tells us that one of our virtues should be temperance, “And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness.” Temperance means self-control. Maybe you don’t go into a rage, but if you have trouble controlling your temper, you need to ask God to help you add temperance to your virtues.




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