Skip to main content

Bad Theology is Fertile Ground for Fear

I saw a program on the National Geographic channel called Dogs with Jobs. In this particular episode, a dog that was being trained for an elite defense team in Austria was being tested to see if she would make the grade. She was a young Belgian Shepard who obviously loved her work. She watched her master's every signal and command and obeyed him, doing all he asked with all she had. She located bad guys who were hiding, disarmed one gunman and cornered another. She scaled walls and crawled on her belly under barbed wire. All of these things were perfectly executed but her final test would be the deciding factor. She and her master went up in a helicopter- way up-and parachuted out together. The dog and her master were clipped to an expert skydiver, whose job it was to guide them to the earth as if they were going in on a mission. If the dog balked, became disoriented, sick or frightened, she would be disqualified. The dog so trusted her master that she didn't seem to notice she had left the helicopter. In fact, when she landed she wanted to play and was given her favorite toy as a reward.

I watched the program in total amazement all the while thinking what a wonderful gift God has given us in dogs. Their companionship, loyalty and ability to help us is a blessing. I also saw in this example the freedom from fear that comes from trusting your master absolutely. We experience fear, the unhealthy and sinful variety, when we don't trust our Master. We don't trust Him because we don't fully understand who He is. Bad theology is the right soil for cultivating fear and the lack of spiritual discipline acts as fertilizer.

Spiritual discipline alone is not a cure for fear. It is a means by which our faith is bolstered and our understanding of the character of God is increased. We see our utter dependence and His complete faithfulness when we submit to Him and discipline ourselves to seek Him. Faith comes from hearing and hearing by the Word of God (Romans 10:17). Donald Whitney in his book "Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life" describes it this way; "The Spiritual Disciplines then are also like channels of God's transforming grace. As we place ourselves in them to seek communion with Christ, His grace flows to us and we are changed. " He then goes on to quote Charles Spurgeon. "I must take care above all that I cultivate communion with Christ, for though that can never be the basis of my peace--mark that--yet it will be the channel of it."

Not knowing God as He really is, not hearing the Word of God cut straight and rightly divided, not spending time in prayer, bible study, and worship, the only sensible reaction is to be scared. A right understanding of God will cultivate the right kind of fear. God is completely trustworthy, holy and righteous. He does not lie and takes no pleasure in our sinful fears. His perfect love casts out fear.


I John 4:15-19
15 Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God.
16 And we have come to know and have believed the love which God has for us. God is love, and the one who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.
17 By this, love is perfected with us, that we may have confidence in the day of judgment; because as He is, so also are we in this world.
18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love.
19 We love, because He first loved us. (NAS)

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Procrastination- Propaganda- Profundity

When I am studying something that bothers me, I do just about anything I can to stall. In doing so I stumble upon a lot of odd information. I love history and any student of history will tell you that most everything we are familiar with has had an odd beginning. Sometimes there will be different odd stories regarding the genesis of a myth, folkway or idiom. Somewhere in the mix the truth can be found. You just have to look.

While I lived in Australia I went to a visit a little town on the Murray River called Echuca. Echuca has a wonderful history and boasts the largest collection of paddle steamers in the world. It also has a coach house and carriage museum. It was during my visit to the carriage museum that I was told the origin of the expression to 'drop off to sleep.' According the docent, the carriage cheap seats were the ones outside and on the back. You had a platform to sit on and a rope or rail to hang onto for dear life. During a long trip a poor unfortun…

Sleep Snorkel Surprise

Summer colds. Blech! Is there anything more annoying that being too hot and having your nose run like Bridalveil Fall? Probably but nothing comes to mind right now. My nose is red and raw from all the sneezing and blowing and I have been using Puff's. Imagine if I had some generic sandpaper tissue instead? I could probably die from the pain. Death by runny nose rough tissue rhinoplasty.
I went to bed very early last night because I was feeling miserable. I have sleep apnea and therefore sleep with a bipap machine that keeps from crumping in my sleep. Now, I love my little bipap machine. I got it after my near death experience a few years ago when the nurses in the ICU turned me in to the doctor because I never slept. Once I was released from the hospital they sent me for a sleep study. I had to do it twice because they wait for you to fall to sleep and monitor your breathing in order to decide if you need a machine. Generally they try different types of machines and differe…

Super Church a song for the Emergent-sy

In the early 70s I was in a youth choir at my church. Our youth pastor was a musician and his way of connecting with us as a group was through the choir and music. Somehow there was an affiliation between him and The Continental Singers, New Hope and Jeremiah People. He was worked with Moishe Rosen of Jews for Jesus too, I think. Are any of these names familiar to you? Though I remember the church fondly I was a profoundly lost and troubled young woman during my years there. That and time have muddled the memories quite a bit.

Today I was digging through some old paperwork and one of the books to the musical we did. It's Getting Late For the Great Planet Earth, a folk rock oratorio by Cam Floria. Yes, that's right. Cam Floria put Hal Lindsey to music. There's a lot to laugh about and some to groan about but as I was looking through the songs and remembering, I found this little ditty and I only wish I could sing it for you. Just remember that this is circa 1972 and even the…