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The Fear of God-has the Church Lost It?

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Re: The Fear of God-has the Church Lost It?

Postby Timios » Thu Apr 20, 2017 7:11 pm

Matt wrote:We should fear not so much the LORD (though it can be phrased like that), but the consequence of rejecting the LORD. We should fear what happens when we reject the source of life itself.


So now you're not talking about reverence but actual fear, being afraid.
I can't see any difference between fearing the consequence of rejecting God and fearing God.
Is there any difference between a child fearing his father and fearing what will happen to him if he disobeys?
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Re: The Fear of God-has the Church Lost It?

Postby mattrose » Thu Apr 20, 2017 10:20 pm

Timios wrote:So now you're not talking about reverence but actual fear, being afraid.


Yes, my point since the beginning of my interaction in this thread has been that 'fear' in the sense of fearing God is best interpreted as reverence.

Why would I be afraid of the One who loves me more than anyone else possibly could?

I can't see any difference between fearing the consequence of rejecting God and fearing God. Is there any difference between a child fearing his father and fearing what will happen to him if he disobeys?


Rejecting God creates self-induced relational distance between myself and God. The consequence of relational distance from God is greater susceptibility to chaos. We don't have to be afraid that God will become abusive if we disobey him. God will discipline us for our benefit. And if we don't respond to such discipline God will let us go our own way. But bad things that can happen to us do not have their source in God, but in things we became especially susceptible to because we departed from God.
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Re: The Fear of God-has the Church Lost It?

Postby TK » Fri Apr 21, 2017 2:29 pm

Growing up I "feared" my dad in the good way, because I knew he loved me. He was a disciplinarian (also a HS principal in the 70s) so we stayed in line, but he also showed us he loved us. Even now my dad is in his 70s but that feeling of respect is still there and I never wanted to disappoint him in my adult years.

Now, a child who is beaten by a father and who is never shown any tenderness or love would have an unhealthy fear.

A healthy fear of God is only possible if we are convinced that He loves us.

Paul said that the love of Christ compelled or fueled his entire apostolic ministry.
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Re: The Fear of God-has the Church Lost It?

Postby mattrose » Fri Apr 21, 2017 4:27 pm

Good comment TK

I think the 'fear of God' phrase works well in the context of a God who is love. 'Healthy' fear flows out of a positive relationship when you know the person has your best interest at heart. 'Unhealthy' far flows from a poor relationship where that very thing is questioned.

I support the 'fear of God' in a love-centered theology. I am leary of the 'fear of God' concept in any theology that sees God as 1 part love and 1 part justice. I don't like any theology that says you can get on God's bad side. I don't believe God has a bad side. But a good God will discipline those He loves.
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Re: The Fear of God-has the Church Lost It?

Postby 21centpilgrim » Sat Apr 22, 2017 2:42 pm

mattrose wrote:I support the 'fear of God' in a love-centered theology. I am leary of the 'fear of God' concept in any theology that sees God as 1 part love and 1 part justice. I don't like any theology that says you can get on God's bad side. I don't believe God has a bad side. But a good God will discipline those He loves.



How about supporting the fear of God regardless of what type of theology teaches it, because it is a concept taught from Genisis to Revelation. Jesus taught it and practiced it himself, we are to be his disciples so let us redeem concepts that may have been abused rather than be prone to discard them because they have not been handled well.

Also, there is both the goodness and the severity of God, I don't know if severity = bad side but I do know we are to behold both the goodness and the severity.
Then those who feared the LORD spoke with each other, and the LORD listened to what they said. In his presence, a scroll of remembrance was written to record the names of those who feared him and loved to think about him.
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Re: The Fear of God-has the Church Lost It?

Postby jasonmodar » Sat Apr 22, 2017 5:46 pm

How about supporting the fear of God regardless of what type of theology teaches it, because it is a concept taught from Genisis to Revelation.


Well, if you play out the implication of that statement to its logical conclusion it appears your saying that we should support the "fear of God" no matter what theology it's centered in. If, for instance, it's centered in the nasty and hate-filled theology of the Westboro Baptist Church then the "fear of God" will be perverted into one ugly concept that plays itself out with "God hates fags" signs and unruly protests of military veteran's funerals. I'm gonna assume that's not what you had in mind, however.

Jesus taught it and practiced it himself, we are to be his disciples so let us redeem concepts that may have been abused rather than be prone to discard them because they have not been handled well.


I'd say centering the fear of God in a theology of love is very redeeming. I certainly am not interested in discarding the fear of God. I don't think anyone else in this thread is either.
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Re: The Fear of God-has the Church Lost It?

Postby mattrose » Sat Apr 22, 2017 6:32 pm

jasonmodar wrote:
How about supporting the fear of God regardless of what type of theology teaches it, because it is a concept taught from Genisis to Revelation.


Well, if you play out the implication of that statement to its logical conclusion it appears your saying that we should support the "fear of God" no matter what theology it's centered in. If, for instance, it's centered in the nasty and hate-filled theology of the Westboro Baptist Church then the "fear of God" will be perverted into one ugly concept that plays itself out with "God hates fags" signs and unruly protests of military veteran's funerals. I'm gonna assume that's not what you had in mind, however.

Jesus taught it and practiced it himself, we are to be his disciples so let us redeem concepts that may have been abused rather than be prone to discard them because they have not been handled well.


I'd say centering the fear of God in a theology of love is very redeeming. I certainly am not interested in discarding the fear of God. I don't think anyone else in this thread is either.


I agree with Jason

I'm not interested in disregarding 'the fear of God' at all... I'm interested in understanding correctly in light of the whole of Scripture (which is all any of us is trying to do I'd think)
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Re: The Fear of God-has the Church Lost It?

Postby 21centpilgrim » Sat Apr 22, 2017 6:47 pm

Perhaps this will help.
I support the grace of God regardless of what theology it is centered in. I do this because one theology or the other does not sway the reality of the grace of God being biblically grounded and needed today.

When we hear the grace of God being abused or taught in a way to lead people astray from the biblical reality and beauty of the grace of God, we ought to bring clarification.
Then those who feared the LORD spoke with each other, and the LORD listened to what they said. In his presence, a scroll of remembrance was written to record the names of those who feared him and loved to think about him.
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Re: The Fear of God-has the Church Lost It?

Postby mattrose » Sat Apr 22, 2017 8:49 pm

I think you may have gotten the wrong impression

I am not, as an amateur theologian, picking 'theology of love' out of a handful of theologies and then trying to make biblical themes fit into my chosen theology

I am concluding, based on my understanding of Scripture, that love is the central biblical theme and then understanding other biblical themes in light of that center

Those two statements are actually different, in my opinion.
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Re: The Fear of God-has the Church Lost It?

Postby 21centpilgrim » Mon Apr 24, 2017 7:33 am

randomly stumbled upon this quote this morning.

“What do people mean when they say, 'I am not afraid of God because I know He is good'? Have they never even been to a dentist?”
- C S Lewis

by no means does this exhaust the scope of a believers fear of God, I would encourage anyone to look into filial fear and servile fear, but it touches upon a small aspect of it.

have a good start to your week.
Then those who feared the LORD spoke with each other, and the LORD listened to what they said. In his presence, a scroll of remembrance was written to record the names of those who feared him and loved to think about him.
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