Why Are God’s Children So Fearful?
Why are God’s children so filled with fear these days? We fear the future. We fear cults. We fear heresy and false teachers. We fear all manor of things that might come to pass and we imagine the worst of all possible futures. Yet does not the Bible say that God has not given us a spirit of fear?
Some believers, instead of being conquerors, as the Bible says, are hold up in fenced doctrinal cites protecting what little they have left while the enemy of our souls rampages at will throughout our land. I submit that this mania for protection is fear based and not God based. We will never win this spiritual war with a defeatist mentality. Jesus said my sheep hear my voice and that his sheep will not hear the voice of strangers. If this is true then we need not fear deception because we will know it is not the voice of our beloved shepherd.
The problem of some of us becoming overly concerned with safety is that our place of safety becomes more like a prison than a sanctuary. We are so busy fleeing what we conceive to be sin and corruption that we have no time to push outwards and fight the good fight of faith. Our world becomes filled more with what we “do not do” than what “we should do.” In the end, our fear of everything sinful separates us from the very people that need us most. There was a good reason that Jesus ate with publicans and sinners, they had need of a physician.
Personally I think ministries whose soul purpose is to expose cults and their errors can become a trap of the devil. In highlighting the devils works they make their living off the fear they generate. They say, in the name of being safe, that you must scrutinize everything that does not look exactly like what they define as sound doctrine. This breeds fear of error in people to such an extent that they become paralyzed because they are afraid of making a misstep that could cost them their salvation. They sensationalize the very worst cases as if such happenings are common place and something that we must guard against daily. I ask you, how often in your own Christian walk have you ever encountered the terrible things they warm you against?” This “better safe than sorry philosophy” they sell us as wisdom is in fact preparing many to suffer spiritual failure in the future.
This spirit of fear that is infusing God’s people is setting them up to reject the very God they so long to meet. If God does not come exactly like what they have been told people will automatically reject Him because He is not what they expect. Here is a truth,
“There were many false prophets leading up to the coming of Jesus. Yet, eventually there came a voice crying in the wilderness that was true.”
We act like fearful children exposed to a cruel world when in fact we are protected by the very one who spoke the world into existence. We do not need to worry about all the things we so readily fear because we have a comforter and a guide who has promised to lead us. Truly, if you are hearing the voice of God you do not need to fear what false prophets will speak because the spirit within you will warn you if you listen. The problem with those who expose cults and false teachings is that they are not “Spirit led” but natural minded “fed” and thus they cannot distinguish between what is and is not of the God. Thus they dogmatically lump everyone and everything together insisting you fear everything they judge to be dangerous. This is simply the Devil working overtime to set Gods people up to reject Him when He does come. I tell you a truth,
“Anti-cult ministries, had they lived in the first century, may have been the first to accuse John the Baptist of heresy because he was calling the “normative” religious leaders of his day “a brood of vipers.””
I am disturbed that some pastors and teachers are not maturing their people quickly enough into young men and women of God who can hear their Fathers voice for themselves. By making them dependent on their teaching they do not learn to be dependent on Gods voice. Preaching fear based theology, while it may keep sheep close and docile, does not promote strong believers who can face the onslaught of the Devil individually.
In conclusion, the time of church freedom is coming to a close. Swifter than anyone imagines America and indeed the entire western world will turn sour on those who profess Christ as their Lord. There is coming a day, in the not to distant future, when people will actually say that if you are a Christian you are against the peoples of the world and your narrow minded views amount to intellectual terrorism. At that time you will find that discrimination against Christians will increase to such an extent that many will stop coming to church simply because they do not wish to be identified as “church goers.” We will loose many simply because the leaders of our churches today never let them mature into young men and women of God who could stand for themselves. While it is yet possible, let us stop preaching fear and start preaching that we can do all things through Christ Jesus who strengthens us. Teach your people to hear the voice of God themselves and to believe what He says more than what you teach.