Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Fearing God pt. 3: The problem with my taking out the trash

See, the problem is that the fear of God should not neccessarily be equivalent to the fear of eternal damnation. I might be repeating myself from part 1 here but to do something because you're afraid is a lot different than doing something because I believe it's the right thing to do.

In other words, I should have done the trash not because I didn't want to be punished but because my Dad asked me to do it. It's tempting to apologize for the lame comparison, but I think it works.

I think if you get caught up in a task oriented life in accordance with a code to escape hell or whatever punishment you're in for a miserable experience. Thats what got the Hebrews and Pharisees in trouble, they became focused on the acts themselves instead of who the acts were for.

I think fear can be a great initial motivator but at some point we have to move past it. Who out there hasn't wondered about their salvation? It's scary sometimes! But with faithfullness comes comfort (not to be confused with a guaranteed bliss or certain propserity).

I think that many times we use fear to "scare people to Christ". Has anyone ever been to one of those judgement houses? Where the church puts on a production as an "alternative to a haunted house" and there's some high school basketball team plane crash or a youth group car accident and we find out who gets in and who doesn't.

Personally, I find these manipulative. I'd rather show someone the blessings of following Christ and being a servant, not scare the hell out of them and the Jesus back into them.

When fear is used like this, in a more traditonal sense, I think we're missing the point.

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