September 11, 2019 – What Makes God Angry?

Hebrews 2; John 7; Jeremiah 7; Psalm 41; 1 Samuel 24; Exodus 26

When I was growing up, there was a point when you knew my father and mother had simply had it with my brother, and I.  Anger settled in, and we were both in big trouble. It happened more than once.  Usually, it was sparked by a long list of offenses that continued right up until the moment one of them would utter, “that’s enough.”  I’m sure you probably experienced something similar in your home growing up.

In Jeremiah 7, God announces that he’s had enough.

People in the church seem to be under this misconception that they can come to church on Sunday and then head off to work like there is no effect on their lives whatsoever.  It’s a problem we see over and over again.  It’s on full display with our politicians who like to declare themselves religious but then vote against laws like the “Born Alive Bill.”  I’d like to ask some of them how it is you can claim to be Christian but then refuse to vote for a bill that simply says if a child is born alive and outside the womb, you can’t kill it?  How does that work?

Look at the list of offenses that Jeremiah sites in chapter 7 vs. 9.  “Will you steal, murder, commit adultery, swear falsely, make offerings to Baal, and go after other gods that you have not known.” NRSV 

He then goes on in vs. 30-31 to talk about how far the idol worship had really gone, For the people of Judah have done evil in my sight, says the Lord; they have set their abominations in the house that is called by my name, defiling it. And they go on building the high place of Topheth, which is in the valley of the son of Hinnom, to burn their sons and their daughters in the fire—which I did not command, nor did it come into my mind.” NRSV

Look at our society today.  Can you see us in these verses?  When we have to pass laws to keep people from charging $50 for a case of bottled water and $10 a gallon for gas during a hurricane, what does that say about us?  When we see the mistreatment of people at our southern border and corporations demanding that they are allowed to pay them a substandard wage to make more profit do we see ourselves in these verses?  When our countries divorce rate has hit 50% and people are now allowed to have extramarital affairs without consequences thanks to no-fault divorce laws,  do we see ourselves in these verses?  When our politicians run on platforms that you know they cannot deliver on to get votes and then shift to the center to win the general election do we see ourselves in these verses and then get into office and do nothing to help the ordinary citizen do we see ourselves in these verses?  When we realize that according to the CDC in 2015, 638,169 abortions were performed do we see ourselves in these verses?  When elderly people have to choose between eating, the rent, the electric bill or life-saving medicine do to price gouging from our corporations, do we see ourselves in these verses?

When we go to church on Sunday, does it affect our lives?  Do we see God and draw nearer to be with God?  Do we work to become more Christ-like in our daily lives?  Do we allow the Holy Spirit to guide us as we make decisions?

Or is our worship empty and cold, and does it have no effect on us whatsoever?

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