A Holy Rage

I came across this quote today from an article by Danish pastor, playwright and martyr Kaj Munk:

“What is therefore, our task today? Shall I answer: ‘Faith, hope, and love’? That sounds beautiful. But I would say – courage. No, even that is not challenging enough to be the whole truth. Our task today is recklessness. For what we Christians lack is not psychology or literature…we lack a holy rage – the recklessness which comes from the knowledge of God and humanity….And remember the signs of the Christian Church have been the Lion, the Lamb, the Dove, and the Fish…but never the chameleon.”  (“The Task of the Pastor Today,” 1941)

While “recklessness” and “rage” have never been considered cardinal Christian virtues, I think we know what he is talking about, don’t we?  The Danish words vrede (“rage”) and dumdristighed (“recklessness”) can easily be translated as “anger” and “temerity,” if that better suits our sensibilities.  Munk is not asking for violence here, but action; not reckless folly in the eyes of God, but certainly in the eyes of the world.

Did not our Lord’s heart burn with anger when he saw the sick and suffering?  Did he not pour forth righteous indignation when he witnessed the hypocrisy of the scribes and Pharisees? Did he not take a courageous stand when he saw the greedy corruption of the temple system? Did not his love and obedience lead him to the “recklessness” of the Cross?  Perhaps we dare not do as much, but can we do less?


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