The Fear of God-has the Church Lost It?

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TK
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The Fear of God-has the Church Lost It?

Post by TK » Wed Apr 12, 2017 10:32 am

I thought this compilation was a pretty strong (in a good way) word on this topic. I first came across this a couple of years ago. Several great men of God are featured. I believe the answer to the question is undeniably "yes."

https://youtu.be/oGjjhqk8tMY

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

Post by mattrose » Wed Apr 12, 2017 12:06 pm

I think this is an interesting subject

I have to admit, I tend to think the concept of the 'fear of God' is most often used poorly. Many imagine an angry God prone to emotional outbursts of wrath... a God who is so bitter against His rebellious creation that He has in mind to pulverize the planet.

It makes much more sense, to me, to think of the 'fear of God' in terms of reverence and awe. God IS a God of burning passion, but it is passion for me... not against me.

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

Post by TK » Wed Apr 12, 2017 12:36 pm

I guess by either definition of the "fear of God", the Church has largely lost it, based on appearances.

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

Post by mattrose » Wed Apr 12, 2017 12:42 pm

TK wrote:I guess by either definition of the "fear of God", the Church has largely lost it, based on appearances.
I would agree with that

But I'm curious what you have in mind...

What are some specific behaviors/attitudes/practices that you think are gone?

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

Post by TK » Wed Apr 12, 2017 1:30 pm

I think it's somewhat hard to explain in words, but I would make a broad statement that much of the problem lies in the desire to be "relevant." The speakers on the compilation hit the nail on the head. They say things that very few preachers will say today, for fear of chasing away potential tithers, for lack of a better cynical observation.

Coincidentally, after I wrote the OP, my wife sent me a link to another article that addresses this issue in a different way. She did this because I have expressed a growing distaste in the church we attend for about the same reasons posted in the article.

I struggle because I know our church does good things and lots of people might be getting saved, depending on how one defines that term(again a rather cynical comment) and I think the leaderships heart is in the right place, but there is so much emphasis on "the show" and modern marketing methods that I am about at the gagging point.

Of course I also know from experience that no church is perfect. The closest thing I ever experienced to a perfect church was a group of about 5 or 6 of us that would meet to pray early on Saturday morning in a church that was far less perfect.

Anyway, here is the link to the article:

http://www.godupdates.com/restore-old-s ... ate#slides

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21centpilgrim
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Re: The Fear of God-has the Church Lost It?

Post by 21centpilgrim » Wed Apr 12, 2017 2:57 pm

And if you address as Father the One who judges impartially based on each one’s work, you are to conduct yourselves in fear during the time of your temporary residence.
For you know that you were redeemed from your empty way of life inherited from the fathers, not with perishable things like silver or gold,
but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without defect or blemish. 1 Pet. 1:17-19

The fear of God is a primary theme in both the old and new testaments. the very fact that it's definition is so blurred and the concept so foreign is telling in and of itself.

Yes we have lost it.
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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mattrose
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Re: The Fear of God-has the Church Lost It?

Post by mattrose » Wed Apr 12, 2017 3:09 pm

21centpilgrim wrote: The fear of God is a primary theme in both the old and new testaments. the very fact that it's definition is so blurred and the concept so foreign is telling in and of itself.
I'm not really sure I understand your point here.

Sheer quantity of passages in the Bible that use a given word does not protect that word from being poorly defined. There will always be poor uses of most important terms.

I do agree the concept is too often avoided. But that's actually BECAUSE (in my opinion) a poor definition was used for so long.

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

Post by jasonmodar » Wed Apr 12, 2017 4:23 pm

mattrose wrote: I do agree the concept is too often avoided. But that's actually BECAUSE (in my opinion) a poor definition was used for so long.
I agree the concept is often avoided and the reason I feel that way is because I've rarely heard it addressed throughout my lifetime by local churches I've attended.

One of the few teachings I can remember about the fear of God was one I heard by Francis Chan in his Basic series. He used Isaiah 6 as the illustration of the fear of God and went on to further say that once you know God you realize that you actually have nothing to fear.

Matt, what in your opinion is the poor definition being used and would be a better definition to use?

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

Post by TK » Wed Apr 12, 2017 5:24 pm

I don't believe the speakers in the clip were talking about fearing God in the sense of being afraid of Him, but rather in the sense that he is God after all and should be approached with reverence and awe.

A complimentary statement would be that the Church has lost what it means to be holy. The church is so much like the world that there's barely a difference, which of course might explain the state of our society. Nobody understands holiness or when they hear the word they get a bad taste in their mouth, despite passage after scripture passage that makes holiness a priority. Like I have heard Ravenhill say, American Christianity has millions of gospel tapes and books and hundreds of seminars per month and gospel preaching on TV or radio 24/7 but 95% of so called Christians are spiritual babies.

I agree with Chan that if we truly know God we will not fear him in the sense of being afraid. But if we truly know him the last thing we would ever want to do is hurt Him- not out of fear of what He might do to us but rather out of fear of what we are doing to Him.

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

Post by mattrose » Wed Apr 12, 2017 11:35 pm

jasonmodar wrote:
Matt, what in your opinion is the poor definition being used and would be a better definition to use?
I think the poor definition is that we should fear God because He's an angry loose-canon. 1 part love, 1 part wrath. We need to fear getting on His bad side.

I think that's a poor definition because I don't think God has a 'bad' side. God is love. What we need is not a schizophrenic God, but a better understanding of love. True love is closer to what we might call 'tough love' when the context calls for it. Love disciplines. Love allows rejection which yields misery.

To me, a better definition of 'fear' in regards to God would be just the honest appraisal of the fact that God is the Creator and we are the created. 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. From a believer's point of view, it is just a healthy sense of reverence and awe of who God is.

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