Wednesday, October 14, 2015

The Industry of Religious Fear

It seems every so often dear people within the Church become consumed with fear. They have been afraid of various things, Y2K, asteroids, The DaVinci Code, the color of the moon and so on. This fear has become a market. When a market emerges some religious entrepreneur will greet that market with a product to support its dark promise.  There is a problem with all of this fear – it is not a product we are supposed to consume.

If we teach doctrines of fear about this life and the future when people finally come face-to-face with truly desperate life-situations they will only know how to respond in fear. Jesus taught a message of love, hope and the expectancy of goodness. If His message is ours, when true darkness does appear, we will have the courage to respond in faith because our faith is anchored in a hope held secure in timeless eternity above all the pain, sorrow and turmoil of this life.

Titus said while we live in this world we are to “look forward with hope to that wonderful day when the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, will be revealed.” (Titus 2:13) This is the same hope that allowed Stephen to do something contrary to the fear of those who were about to stone him to death for his hope. “But Stephen, full of the Holy Spirit, gazed steadily into heaven and saw the glory of God, and he saw Jesus standing in the place of honor at God’s right hand.” (Acts 7:55)  Maybe the reason we don’t respond like Titus or Stephen is because we have allowed people to sell us fear instead of hope.

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