Tuesday, September 09, 2014
If This Happened In The Church Today?
Archbishop Nicholas attended the first Ecumenical Council at Nicaea (325), where he allegedly assailed the heretic Arius. In the middle of his hearing, Arius stood up on his seat in order to be better heard. Enraged by Arius’ denial that Jesus Christ is true God and true man, Archbishop Nicholas strode quickly over to Arius, pulled him down by his beard, and punched him in the face.IF such happened in the church today, do you think he would have "gotten away with it?" Well even St. Nick did not, the story continues:
The scandalized council fathers sprang upon Nicholas, stripped him of his pallium, and threw him in prison for his brutish behavior. That night Nicholas was visited by the Holy Family who loosed his bonds and vested him again in his apostolic garb. The bishops were astonished by this miracle and realized that Nicholas’ anger was righteous. He was honorably restored to his chair—where the aged prelate slept through much of the remaining proceedings.This forces me to wonder if in today's fractious church world, the miracle would have even been noticed, let alone honored. Many church disputes are silly - but righteous anger is clearly a real thing. And I wonder why it takes a miracle to point it out? Why would we let someone's anger blind us to the truth of the reason for their anger?
It is said that anger is a "secondary reaction." That is to say anger is usually expressed when someone is threatened, in pain, maybe depressed. When someone expresses anger - especially when it is someone that is not usually prone to such outbursts - it is incumbent on us to ask "Why?" They might just have a point! What did we do to threaten them to the point where they had to be angry? The righteousness in their anger might not be in some theological point, it might be in our behavior - our dismissal of their heartfelt concerns - our unwillingness to hear them - our uncaring disregard of them generally.
I wonder where the church would be today if before we "jailed" anger, we asked "Why?"
anger church response