Posted by Mark Beckwith on December 21, 2010
"Be angry but do not sin." (Ephesians 4:26) This is Paul's clarion call for nonviolence. There is a lot to be angry about. Exploitation, oppression; those of high degree taking advantage over those of low or no degree. Paul's 4th and 5th chapter represent a virtual cathechism for how to live nonviolently in a violent world. "Do not let the sun go down on your anger" (4:26). Violence -- be it physical violence or verbal violence -- often springs from anger that won't go away. Let it go, Paul admonishes us. Several years ago, Ernesto Cortez, a community organizer for the Industrial Areas Foundation, wrote a book called Cold Anger. A second generation Mexican-American, Ernesto received a MacArthur Genius Fellowship for his work. Keeping his anger cold, so he could have an ongoing impact. Maintaining discipline and direction in the face of discrimination -- which he received regularly as a Latino growing up in Texas. "Take up the armor of God." (6:13) Not to go to war -- but to engage in the practice of nonviolence.