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Why is Your God So Angry?

Thad was serious, and his question caught me off guard. “Why is your God so angry?”


I stumbled a bit and then fell back to my standard defense mechanisms: deflection and redirection.


“Uh, why do you think God is angry, Thad?”


He didn’t hesitate. “Because his followers are often angry and mean toward others…even harsh with each other.”


Sadly, he wasn’t wrong. Too often, those who live under the banner of love don’t always act very lovingly.


Why are we so harsh at times?


Why do we have a reputation for being so irate?


Why do we talk about “hating the sin, but loving the sinner,” yet we don’t act very loving toward the people who disgust us?


Why does it seem like we are always looking for a fight (and we justify it by saying we are just taking a stand for righteousness)?


Brian Zahnd once wrote, “Who was Jesus harsh toward? Almost exclusively the scribes and Pharisees. Why? Because they portrayed God as harsh toward sinners.”


Yet horrible, broken sinners were attracted to Jesus. He was gentle and kind toward the outcasts of His time.


As His followers, shouldn’t that be true of us?


God is not angry, and He is not harsh. Why are we? Or, at the very least, why do we have that reputation?


I am not suggesting we compromise anything. I understand we present “grace and truth” to the world.


But frankly, if Jesus walked among us in the 21st century, we would find Him in a gay bar having a beer and loving the broken rather than shaming anyone, inside the abortion clinic holding a woman’s hand, loving her through her painful decision rather than marching outside it, at the border, embracing the poor who have nothing and are desperate for a better life, or at a filthy homeless camp laughing and chatting with the guys.


I am embarrassed at times by an expression of Christianity that does not look like Christ. (If you are offended by that comment, are you being honest with yourself?)


I am pretty sure that I surprised Thad when I said, “I am so sorry, dude; please forgive me, my Christian friends, and the Church. We do need to be a lot more like Jesus.”


And we do.


I do.


I will.


And we must if we want to see a true revival in our times.


I want to be a part of another Jesus people movement where the Church is known for taking in the messed up with arms wide open and hearts full of love.


Interestingly, but not surprisingly, posting this article a few days ago on Facebook created a bit of a stir (as I expected it might).


Those who heard my heart, a call to radical and unconditional love, gave me a thumbs up.


Those who thought I was being a liberal Christian were not so excited, and their “corrections and rebukes” abounded.


Someone messaged me and accused me of being “truth-lite” and theologically depraved.




Honestly, I am not light on truth, just heavy on Jesus and His all-consuming love.


For the record, I wasn’t approving homosexuality or abortion. (Funny how that’s what some thought.) I was promoting compassion and kindness.


At first, after getting blasted by some modern-day Pharisees, I found my heart drifting towards cynicism. I made some pretty derogatory comments about Pharisaical Christians to my wife.


Fortunately, I did not respond to those who accused me of false doctrine or imbalance. I needed to be kind and love my enemies.


But I also reflected a lot on how to avoid cynicism. 


Here are some things to consider:


  1. Practice what you preach and give people the mercy and grace you wish others would give you.


  1. Be a student in everything. Learners don’t get cocky and are always looking for constructive criticism. (Note: even what was meant to be destructive can be constructive if you are humble enough to grow through the rock throwing.)


  1. Get off your high horse; you’re not as good as you think or pretend.


  1. Always try to zoom out and see the bigger picture rather than get lost in the minutia. Let small things remain small things. And keep in mind, even if it’s big a thing, God is always bigger.


  1. Cynics might be popular in some circles (think radio talk shows), but nobody trusts a cynic because you can’t count on them to watch your back. So, mortify the cynic within you.


  1. Don’t take things so personally. Remember, every human is broken. Some hide it better than others, but hurt people, hurt people, and broken people try to break others because it makes them feel better about their imperfections and hidden fractures.


  1. Do your best to focus more on being relational rather than right. People matter more than doctrine, politics, or your personal feelings and pet peeves.


Saint Francis wrote, “Above all the graces and gifts of the Holy Spirit which Christ gives to His friends is that of conquering himself and willingly enduring sufferings, insults, humiliations, and hardships for the love of Christ.”


My prayer is, “Jesus, please help me to conquer myself, my pride, my need to be right, and my desire to defend myself. Help me be more like You and to love the unlovely and unkind.”


“God, You’re kind and tenderhearted to those who don’t deserve it 

and very patient with people who fail you. 

Your love is like a flooding river overflowing 

its banks with kindness.”

Psalms 145:8, TPT



Kurt Bubna

Kurt W. Bubna has published seven books, is an internationally recognized blogger, conference and retreat speaker, as well as an experienced life and leadership coach. Bubna has over forty years of experience working with individuals, teams, and a wide variety of business and non-profit organizations.