Fear of God?
I often see or hear people talking about "the fear of God", or being a "God-fearing" person. No one has been able to explain to me why they would fear the Deity they believe in. Why would you fear a just, merciful God? Can you explain this to me? Verses are welcome (please provide translation - KJV, NIV etc).
I asked the same question a few years ago to a pastor. The term "God fearing" comes from the understanding that he is your Creator/Father. If you do something bad your birth father will punish you. God being your spritual father is no different in that case. His punishments and your birth fathers punishment are similar in the sense that it out of love not to harm. We fear our birth parents to the point that we don't disrespect them, lie, cheat, or steal while they are in our present. Being that god is always with us he expects the same thing.
Can you explain to me how the doctrine of hell - the belief that those who do not believe in that particular god will be thrown into everlasting fire to be tortured forever - is a punishment out of love?
JM, It's like when your "birth fathers" throw kids into a closet and lock them in there so they can pray and go hungry so they'll understand how much you need to be punished for disrespecting your birth parents.
Thanks for your answer Silent. I would be grateful also if you had a answer to JMs posed question also - as it is something I am curious about as well.
JMcF What a disingenuous question. This question is answered in the Bible. You can Google it and find myriad explanations from the Bible that explains your question and you act like there is no explanation. God offers salvation from hell to all.
JMc- Thats great point. I expect it just like a birth father after he have saved you and tried his hardest to put you in the right direction he can do nothing more. He still loves you but his hands are tied.
Silent - Are you actually saying that your god's hands are tied? He can do nothing?
I may have used the wrong words. However, you have a short time on earth. As your father he will try to help you do the right thing but if you still want to sin it becomes disrespectful. "You can't save nobody that doesn't want to be saved"
JM - Christians can't answer your question because they can't wrap their heads around "other" religions. The Christian God did not create Hindus and Buddhists. Therefore he doesn't punish or reward them. They have to become Christians to count.
As Silent has already mentioned God is our ultimate father as our paternal Father is here on Earth. We are to obey, respect, and love our Fathers. This is the same with God the Father. "The fear of God" is a sign of respect and love. If you go against your parents wishes you are going to be punished as their child. If we are disobedient in our lives it is the same with God. God will only punish those that are his children.
Well said JT! The believer's fear is reverence of God. Hebrews 12:28-29 describes this well “... be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, for our ’God is a consuming fire.’”
Good answer JThomp42, but why don't we say parent-fearing or that we fear our paternal fathers in the same way because we have respect and love for them. If we said we "feared" them the authorities would investigate to ensure we were not being abused
Utter nonsense. It's just another way for a bully to control - instill fear. There is no reason in the universe why a thinking person should think fear is a "demonstration of love". It's the most asinine thing that religionists have ever come up with.
Equating fear with love is taking the coward's way out. It's ok to acknowledge fear. Fear is a natural reaction to a threat. Without fear, we would be eliminated as a species.
To say that a God needs fear to control his "creation", is like saying that a jailor needs fear to control his prisoners. Instead of just being "more powerful" than a prisoner, a jailor would have to instill fear to make the prisoners behave. That is called torture and it doesn't work for prisons anymore than it should work for parents or a "god".
Fear of God isn't the same definition of fear as fear of danger.
In dictionary.com the 4th definition for fear is "reverential awe, especially toward God".To fear God means to respect him, not be afraid of him.
Avoiding sin because we're afraid of God's wrath and punishment is a good thing to do. It's always good to avoid sin, but it's much better to avoid sin because you fear offending a God that you love dearly.
Snowman - I was going to give the same answer. I'd like to add that we should avoid sin because of the consequences, rather than fearing punishment. Example; avoid drunkenness because it ruins health, not to avoid hell.
SYTL Exactly though anything can be a sin and everything may not be a sin. It isn't that it is against anything or anyone but a consequence of an action or thought. Fear of God should be said in the book of books to be in AWE of God, who is WITHIN
The reason it is written to fear god is because "fear" doesn't mean "to be afraid of" but "to approach with cautious learning." It is written throughout many scriptures but the definition is not "being afraid of" but to approach with cautious learning, and since the Hebrew's god is named YeHuWeH which means "I AM THAT I AM" it means to approach everything with cautious learning.
Since so few people know the reason the tree in the garden's name is "tree of the KNOWLEDGE [emphasis mine] of good and evil" rather than the "tree of good and evil" they don't grasp why god's name is I AM THAT I AM. If the tree had been called "tree of good and evil" it would mean only a few different things would be good or evil, just like there are only a few different fruit called apples, but because it is "knowledge of good and evil" it suggest there is nothing concrete to make things good nor evil except your personal or encouraged judgment of things.
With that understanding, to approach god with fear is to approach everything cautiously for determining their purposes, what they do and how to used them, then, by doing so one fears god.
Some people do. They say that it can also imply reverence and awe, and they use scripture to show this. The way that English is used in the present is that fear is nearly always associated with something negative.
Anyway, I put the question to many Hubbers, as you're doing right now, and the answers were practical against fear from christians and non-christians alike. See what happens with yours. My answer is most certainly to love, not fear. Peace bro.
Fear is not good and anyone living in fear of God or anything else is not free to live as they are meant to live
. I have heard it said that the Chinese use the same character for danger and opportunity.
"There is nothing to fear but fear itself"
There are 2 basic definitions to fear, 1) To be afraid of to the point you shut down all factuality's except defensive, 2) To approach with cautious learning and most people are not aware we are to approach god for our education, man schools us.
A lot of people fear the unknown: others treat such as an adventure. If you fear God then you fear a part of yourself. After all, if you believe that God is Omni potent, Omni scient, and Omni present then She (oh, blasthemy!) He, It, is everywhere including inside you. Everywhere must include all and everyone.
The part of you that fears the god part of you is what most of us habitually identify with: the self-image or ego with its continual comments, chatter, worry, self-pity et cetera which we identify with; the mind's contents so many of us believe we are.
To experience the part of us that has no fear, we need to get into the habit of embracing, and identifying with the REAL us rather than the image. The Observer (without comment) the Witnessing presence - the Experiencer is what we are. You could say, "I am..." without anything following it, is what we really are.
It means to respect the power of the lord. Think about Moses and how as God's agent he used the power of God to subdue the enemy. God's power is infinite and one would not want to be on the side of wrath. To say the fear of God, is to illustrate that God holds all power, and it is respected. That doesn't mean that to have a "fear of God" means that one is afraid of God. It means that one believes that their respect for that power and to have a belief in God; that the same God that holds the power to destroy the universe, loves and protects the believer.
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