I used to really love the angry god, because I loved to be angry. I mean if god is angry and I’m supposed to be like God, well... that’s a great fit, right? Fun times. I get to be angry and I get to be like god… all at the same time.
I think the angry god is generally the god of angry people.
Others call this god the lifeguard god or the mafia god or the bad parent god and those are not meant as compliments. But, again, if they permit - or, even better, demand - us to be the lifeguards, the mafia, or the parents of the world, well that feels pretty good.
As long as the boss doesn’t come after you, of course.
Others call this the god of justice and that is meant as a compliment although I don’t take it as one. I mean if someone asked a friend of mine what I was like and they said, “Ryan? Oh he’s, a man of justice.” I don’t think anyone would want to hang out with me. I wouldn’t want to.
That god, or type of god, also seems to contradict everything I know about transformation and how it works. So, I don’t believe in that god anymore. I think god is always about transformation - the kind of transformation that happens when people realize that the love being offered by the god in question doesn’t depend on their transformation.
All of that said, I do think there are some things that get god upset or even angry. (Please remember when I use the word god, I might not be talking about the god you think.) I do think there are some things that get the divine force of good in the universe upset, sometimes even to the point of tears. There are quite a few anger inducing qualifications in the Bible and most of those that matter, can be boiled down to one ingredient: inequality.
When you start looking, it seems like just about all of the anger of God comes back to that word and concept. Inequality, of course, can mean many things but I’m speaking about the perceived value of a human being. Seeing a human as not as worthy, or more worthy, in comparison to another human being is the root of inequality.
Oppression, slavery, racism, sexism, unfair wages... or even viewing yourself as more human than ISIS or a pedophile... one can make a long list of things that center around inequality of one kind or another.
Inequality has all kinds of ripples… and these are where the manifestations of a wrong view of the world start to make trouble. Inequality initiates ladders. If some people are worth more than others, there is a top. If there is a top to the ladder, top to the pyramid, top to whatever structure or system it is than we will all be fighting for that top.
If we have pyramids/ladders/structures, we are going to need some people to make bricks for the pyramid. And, generally, since making bricks is terrible work (no offense masonry workers - I’m talking about historically) we get the slaves to make bricks. The less thans.
No better way to get to the top than to start some people working on the very thing you are trying to climb.
Once we have pyramids and ladder and brick makers, we have fear - fear I’ll never get to the top (or at least higher than my current location) and fear I’ll lose my spot if I do get up there, and someone else will take it from below - mainly those brick makers.
Once we have fear, we have violence… to cover and hide and protect… all those fears. We will do what it takes to get higher or protect our spot. (Violence doesn’t always mean blood and guns. The Big Short is one of the most violent movies ever and it’s about the housing collapse and big banks killing humanity in all kinds of metaphorical ways).
All of this leads to a further commodification of people, of industry, of anything we need to get up or stay up or not go down.
We have shame, we have ego, we have other gods, we have sacrifices to those gods, we have judgment, we have addiction, we have hypocrisy, we have all kinds of things to try to convince us that we matter more, and they matter less so that we can get higher and stop being lower.
We have blessed and sacred mafia and police and parents and justice, in the name of a god.
The God I believe in isn’t down with some people being perceived as less worthy, valued, empowered, and loved than others. And most of the prophets could be summed up with that. I include Jesus with the prophets as well.
I agree that God hates sin... God hates the barriers to equality. (Check out Jubilee, for example. Every 50 years, in Jewish culture, the Monopoly board was reset. Everything was re-distributed equally, debt erased.)
I think this is why Jesus said that someone with lots of money will have a hard time perceiving the world as God does. Money tends to hi-light, enable, and value inequality.
The Divine is never down with someone being seen as less than. And, in that case, God is all about justice. It's never just to view someone as less.
The Divine in us shouldn’t be down with inequality either, in any form, no matter how good it makes our ego feel. As good as our ego feels, is as supressed as the Divine in us feels.