Keep in mind, with my comments in this thread, that I come from a 'holiness' denomination. We had more of a tendency to make God out to be a constantly disappointed father b/c we never live up to all his rules. This mentality, I think (for many in our denomination), produced an unhealthy kind of fear (fear of constantly disappointing God and constantly being afraid of losing one's salvation).TK wrote: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.
I think a lot of present day Christianity is a reaction against the bad aspects of the rigidity of the holiness movement. At its worst, the holiness movement provoked ONLY fear of God... no sense that God is love. At its worst, present day Christianity reacts to this by so focusing on God's approach-ability that one actually becomes quite casual in that approach and leaves (leaves!) unchanged.