"He wants some angry young men..."

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An interesting article on Martin Luther, reflecting at age 57 on the heedlessness of youth -- his own, 23 years earlier:

When I approached Worms, and was not far from there, Spalatin sent a messenger to me with a warning from Friedrich the Wise, who was already there, that I should not come there and that I would be in great danger. But I answered the messenger, "If there were as many devils in Worms as chimneys on the roofs, I would nevertheless come there." Because I was not alarmed, I was not afraid. God can certainly make one so insensitive to danger. I don't know if I would be that foolish today. (table talk 5342b.)

Tim Kimberley, writing at Parchment and Pen, calls attention to the last sentence: "Knowing how mightily God used Luther in his foolish 30′s to re-awaken a world to faith by Jesus alone, Luther is not sure he would be so foolish today, as a 57 year-old man." Kimberley urges those of us who are older and wiser not to despise young foolish leaders "who really think they can face any problem and keep advancing forward," who, like Luther, are too young and foolish to keep their mouths shut. (There's more, and you should read the whole thing, particularly the vivid explanation of papal indulgences and Luther's objections to them.)

Kimberley's article reminded me of a Christian rock anthem from the 1980s, a favorite then that still often comes to mind: Randy Stonehill's "Angry Young Men."

He wants some angry young men, Ones who can't be bought, Ones who will not run from a fight, Ones who speak the truth whether it's popular or not, Ones who'd give up anything to walk in His light.

Rest assured when Jesus comes again,
He'll be looking for some angry young men.

He wants some angry young men
With fire in their eyes,
Ones who understand what Jesus gave,
Ones who have grown weary of the world and all its lies,
Ones who won't forget they've been delivered from the grave.

Rest assured when Jesus comes again,
He'll come back for some angry, angry young men.

They say if you don't laugh you cry.
I say if you don't live you die.
Well, well, the road to hell is paved with some impressive alibis,
But unless you thirst for Jesus first, heaven will pass you by.

You'll be tempted, tried and tested; there'll be wars the devil wins,
But God's love is not a license to lie there in your sins.
He understands the human heart; His mercy is complete,
But His grace was not intended as a place to wipe your feet.

Rest assured when Jesus comes again,
He'll be looking for some angry young men.

He wants some angry young men
Who love the Lord they serve,
Ones who'll do much more than make a speech,
Ones who'll act their faith out with a passion it deserves,
'Cause if we cannot live it, tell me, who are we to preach?

Rest assured when Jesus comes again,
He'll be looking for some angry young men.

Now this isn't blind, irrational anger. It's the focused anger that leads to reformation of both the world around and the self within. It's a refusal to be satisfied with mediocrity, a refusal to accept "that's just the way it is," a refusal to shut up because it might anger somebody powerful, a refusal to listen placidly to the calm recitation of lies.

As we hurtle toward civilizational ruin, we need some foolish, angry young men and women to step forward and lead if we want any hope of turning things around. In a world that values cool and caution, angry young men are mocked for their passion. They deserve our encouragement, and we need to elect more of them to public office and stand by them when their passion and drive draws the wrath of those who prefer peace at any price.

MORE: Here's Randy Stonehill and Phil Keaggy performing the song live in concert in 1989, with extended guitar and drum solos.

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1 Comments

David Van Author Profile Page said:

That's a great message. It congers images of a young congressman at the State of The Union shouting; You LIE!"

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This page contains a single entry by Michael Bates published on February 22, 2014 12:23 AM.

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