I dare not presume to speak for God. I am not His prophet, only his sinful servant. But I try to reflect the divine harmony of grace, mercy, love, and harsh truth. Most of the Christian books I have read throughout my life are either full of gentleness or full of wrath. But the consequences of sin are not gentle, and the wrath of God is sometimes the greatest act of mercy. I do not wish to convey wrath, but I do feel the need to convey unvarnished realities and expose the raw truth of certain matters. However, I endeavor to balance zeal with grace- incorporating gentle, encouraging, and uplifting meditations that provide necessary water for the provocative fires that I sometimes burn.
I am who I am, and my writing is shaped by my experiences and my convictions, all of which find coherence and stability in the Truth of Christ and His Church. Some of what I write is indeed infused with anger. And I am not afraid to confess my anger- anger at false doctrines that confused and led me astray for many years; anger at injustices and evils like abortion that claim the countless lives of innocent human creatures; anger at the arrogance of worldly power structures and false leaders that deceive and harm sincere, God-fearing people; anger at the various manifestations of the ideology of violence which results in the desecration of human beings created in the very image of God; anger at the profound betrayals of friends and family that I have personally experienced at crucial times in my life. And I believe that many people in this world also share a similar anger. I want to give voice to their laments and show them that someone else shares their pain and their struggles. I want my fellow sufferers to know that someone cares. There is solidarity in suffering.
St. John Cassian lists anger as one of the eight deadly sins, but St. Paul says, “Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath.” [Ephesians 4:26]
I can only hope that my anger errs on the side of devotion rather than pride, and I pray that the Son of God would burn away any self-righteous wrath that resides within my heart. I pray that my mortal words would uplift the faithful, give hope to the hopeless, and bring inspiration to those who sincerely search for God and His truth.
We know that “Love conquers a multitude of sins.” [I Peter 4:8]
So, if my revolutionary zeal obscures my efforts to promote the unfailing love of Our Lord, then I have failed. The writer’s curse is that what he prints is usually irrevocable, so it has been a prayerful challenge for me to discern what I should actually print (and post). Numerous thoughts and opinions are omitted or excised because I believed they ultimately reflected the spirit of my egotistical passions rather than the gracious Spirit of Our Lord. And yet I realize that I should probably still err on the side of silence, for as the Rastafarian proverb says: "A silent river runs deep."
The tone, tenor, and topic of what I write and post varies from page to page, from text to text, and from thought to thought- sometimes dramatically so. But at the heart of it all is a sincere desire to help the helpless, to strengthen the brethren, and to glorify God.
It is not easy to gaze directly into the light of spiritual truth, and it is never pleasant to disclose the dark realities of social injustice. But we have a Christian duty to proclaim the truth, regardless of whether that truth is comforting or convicting. I dare not pretend that my humble finite opinions constitute “the truth;” but I pray that they are in conformity with Truth, and I hope that they point to Truth. For I seek only to honor Our Lord Jesus Christ, Who alone is “The Way, the Truth, and the Life.” [St. John14:6]
My words flow from a heart that struggles to love God more than sin. They stem from a finite mind whose arrogance often needs to be humbled by divine omniscience. They emanate from a soul that longs to see the realization of peace, love, and justice in this fallen and sin-sick world.
Everything I write is written to myself first and foremost; and there is no profit in my words unless I diligently seek to heed them in my own life and apply them to my own spiritual struggle. I have learned that the actions do not come so easily as the ideas, and that it easier to preach the Cross than to actually take it up and carry it. I am mindful of the exhortation of St. John Climacus, who writes: “Not all of us are required to save others. The divine Apostle says: ‘Everyone shall give account of himself to God.’ (Romans 14:12) And again he says: ‘Thou therefore that teachest another, dost thou not teach thyself?’ (Romans 2:21)This is like saying: I do not know whether we must all teach others; but we most certainly should teach ourselves… Words betray a soul’s ignorance; but the law of love is an incentive to attempt things that are beyond our capacity.” [The Ladder of Divine Ascent; Step 3:4, 25]
May Our Lord have mercy on me, a sinner.
Selam, +GMK+ MYSTERY and MEANING: Christian Philosophy & Orthodox Meditations
(Second edition coming this Christmas) https://www.facebook.com/notes/gebre-menfes-kidus/on-anger-and-writing-an-adapted-excerpt-from-the-introduction-to-my-book/400692993336295