Mishandled Anger 1: Passive-Aggression? (warning: explicit but not profane)

Have you ever experienced passive-aggression?

Let’s examine the morality of both passivity and aggression.

Passivity

stained-glass-window-depicting-adam-and-eve-in-the-garden-of-eden

Stain glass window in Holy Trinity Cathedral, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

At its core, passivity is indifference toward a person or event. Indifference (literally Latin for: “not making any difference”) is conceived when one does not mark a difference or note a distinction in an “other.” Not regarding the “other” occurs when the “other” is considered to be insignificant by either an individual or a community. Thus some passivity is an axiological (having to do with value) judgement, not merely a behavioral phenomenon. In Genesis 3:6, Adam and Eve chose not to regard God’s command; they decided to judge God’s command as having a low value. That’s passivity.

The second form of  passivity does not necessarily make an axiological judgement. Ignorance necessarily occurs among finite individuals who are by nature unable to regard everything as the Omniscient is able to. We are passive toward much more than we are able to regard. This is a necessary byproduct of humanity’s finite nature.

Now let’s consider aggression!

Aggression

Is there anything wrong with aggression? Not inherently! There is a variation of aggression which is not  over-eager, unprovoked, nor excessive. This righteous aggression is patient, provoked, and measured. Righteous aggression is the reaction of the Just Person toward injustice.

Neither passivity nor aggression are necessarily sinful, so we must ask a curious question! When we encounter an action that is both passive and aggressive, is it necessarily sinful? I don’t believe so.

Can God be Passive-Aggressive?

Passivity occurs in two situations: 1) Ignorance of a person or event 2). Evaluation of a person or event as unworthy of regard.

Is there anything God does not know? As the Creator of everything, he knows everything. Therefore God cannot be passive toward anything through ignorance.

God can be passive only through evaluation of worth. And, value ultimately proceeds from God. So, if God determines not to regard a person or event, they are effectively valueless.  God has become passive toward them — indifferent toward them — permitting no value to proceed from Himself toward them. He evaluates them as unworthy of regard. They are dead to Him.

And those dead to God are?

If damnation is both passivity (that refuses to regard a person) and aggression (that is provoked, patient, and measured,) then damnation is righteous passive-aggression, is it not?

Conclusion

Why do I write a blogpost redeeming a behavior commonly regarded to be sin? Because I’m a troll (see upcoming post on trolling).

But since this post is entitled “Mishandled Anger,” I’ll get to the point: The opportunities for one human to assign another human unto damnation are very few. Yes, that is the moral of this story. Passive-aggression is a motion toward damnation. Most human passive-aggression is an ambitious attempt to sit in Christ’s judgement seat. The purpose of anger is to redeem those participating in evil and eventually subject those who resist redemption to “everlasting destruction.” Most human anger manifest as passive-aggression falls short of holy damnation. Most passive-aggression is mishandled anger.

Image source: http://www.allposters.com/-sp/Stained-Glass-Window-Depicting-Adam-and-Eve-in-the-Garden-of-Eden-Posters_i9797417_.htm

2 thoughts on “Mishandled Anger 1: Passive-Aggression? (warning: explicit but not profane)

  1. If damnation is value-evaluating passivity, then God isn’t playing a “righteous judge” role in condemning unbelivers, which scripture teaches he is. He’s simply pushing unbelievers passively off to the side (and into hell) because they didn’t meet his value assessment.
    That doesn’t seem compatible with scripture.

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    • Thank you for bringing this up! It is important to maintain that Christ is a righteous judge. Here’s how I work it out: Human life derives value from its purpose, which is to Image God. God not only measures value but also determines it. God loves people so much that he eventually permits rebels to depart from Him into “everlasting destruction.” God does this by determining (judging) that the rebel is no longer a participant in derivation of value proceeding from the Glorious Triune Godhead. That loving act is damnation. God legitimately loves people and it is his desire that “none should perish.” He is not a absolutist monster, demanding that people participate in His generosity. I hope that helps!

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