Looking through the lens of fear

Looking through the lens of fear

One of the things that I’ve observed is that some evangelicals can be very fearful people. Some hold on to biblical inerrancy very tightly because they are afraid. They are afraid that once you admit there is one minor contradiction in the bible your entire faith will fall apart.

I’ve found that good theology frames my relationship with God, but the real issue is my relationship. I have a spiritual sense of connectedness to God. I believe He speaks to me and I see the fruit of that connectedness in my life. God has guided me through some difficult times and even miraculously healed me. I think that is what theology is supposed to do. It gives us a framework for knowing, experiencing and following God.

It really doesn’t bother me when I see minor contradictions because I know God. I have the “seal of His Spirit” and the full assurance of faith. Therefore I don’t need to convince myself something perfectly fits when it doesn’t.

If I take away that connectedness with God then the only thing that defines my faith is my theology and practice. If that is all I have and I see people tinkering with both then I might get a little worried. If I combine that with an expectation that the world and the church is on the slippery slide to oblivion then I get even more afraid. For many this fear leads to paranoia.

Fear is a very thick lens that skews our interpretation of society and scripture. In the last little while I’ve encountered people who find something suspicious and project it to be far larger than it really is. Then they attack. They aren’t looking for the truth or seek to understand. They are so convinced of their error they will actually start arguing with you about what you or your tradition really believes.

  1. #1 by caro on April 8, 2005 - 7:45 am

    Wow does that make sense. You’ve summed the thoughts I’ve had for quite some time but haven’t been able to express properly. There’s an incredible freedom when you let go of the need for your theology and practice to be right in order to feel safe and secure.

    The metaphor that came to mind was flying. God wants us to fly but we’re too afraid that we’ll plummet so we hang on tightly to anything we can, no matter how flimsy, to keep from falling not realizing that if we just let go we’d experience the most amazing sense of freedom while at the same time knowing that God’s got us around the waist (like a safety wire on a trapeze artist) and won’t let us plummet to the ground.

    Our relationship with Him is what is most essential; it’s what makes the difference. If we can remain confident in that, no matter how small it might seem at times, then there will never exist proof enough or argument enough to tear us away from our faith.

  2. #2 by jen gillman on April 13, 2005 - 3:11 pm

    If you don’t believe the bible is inerrant and perfect, than why believe it? We are the one’s who aren’t perfect, not God’s Word. Why do you think God(Paul) wrote in 2 Tim. 2:14-26 not to quarrel about words. You are right when you say that arguing about God’s Word is futile and causes fear. It takes away from our main purpose in life which is to glorify and worship God. It also causes disunity amoung the body of Christ’s followers(read about unity in Eph. 4:1-6)(I got the link to your post from Caro’s site)

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