Posts like this make me profoundly sad. In fact, it makes me wonder if this author really can know the peace and grace of Christ (I’m not suggestion this person is outside of Christ, only that they’ve not realized the work that Jesus accomplished between us and God). 

This post is not meant to be a criticism of the opinions expressed about Driscoll (we’ve rehashed that conversation dozens of times, though it does seem odd the author would criticize Driscoll without actually reading the book itself).  Rather, I want to address the assumptions made by the author about the relationship between us and God, and I want to do so because it seems lately that I’ve been seeing these assumptions made by Christians in many different streams of theological thought. 

Consider the following statements, which are representative of the piece:

Scripture says we are to fear HIM:

He destroys the HOLINESS and FEAR for Christ Jesus. There is nothing worth taking from Driscoll’s pig stye to sift through and find truth. Go to Scripture and find the pristine reverence for Christ, held up above all people and all of Creation, set apart as Master, Righteous One, and without spot or blemish, never acting like the pigs, dogs, and vipers of His day.

There is nothing, absolutely nothing in this piece that speak of the intimacy we have with Jesus.  Nothing in it speaks of the great love that God has for us. 

Consider, for example, the consistent and overwhelming use of the metaphor of God as father.  It is so overwhelming that when Jesus is asked by his disciples how to pray he begins with "Our father in heaven".  Or consider that Christ is consistently pictured as the bridegroom of the church, which is the exact comparison Jesus uses for himself when his disciples’ actions are being compared to that of the Pharisees.  We also have the description of Jesus as older brother, and we are called adopted sons into the family of God. 

The descriptions of God I get from many Christians, and this article in particular is far from the familiarity and intimacy of a brother, father, or husband, instead God is pictured as this unapproachable, unreasonable, petty tyrant who is looking to punish anyone who forgot to dot an I or cross a T.

Its almost like verses such as:

“O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing!
Luke 13.34

Have been forgotten.

Ultimately, theology such as the one represented in this article is a Christless theology because Christ is our mediator.  His work is the work that created the easy familiarity of brother, husband and father with God.  The only way that God is an ineffable, unapproachable deity is if Christ’s work didn’t work. 

And if you think this Christless theology is confined to an obscure blog dedicated to re-publishing, and re-hashing the same old critiques against Driscoll, I invite you to read this group of comments.  Here’s some highlights:

Ultimately we (all people) live under the threat of eternal death if we worship improperly, do we not?

The Bible does not say God is “love, love, love.” It does say, “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty.”

Great reminder that we are not approaching "the man upstairs" but the King of glory!


Yes, I did rip off some of my own work on my personal blog, but this has been something that has been on my mind, and its my stuff, I’ll plagiarize if I want to.

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This entry was posted on Thursday, March 27th, 2008 at 8:50 pm and is filed under Christian Living, Commenting, Misuse of Scripture, ODM Responses, Theology. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.
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44 Comments(+Add)

1   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
March 27th, 2008 at 9:00 pm

Tim – you left out this Greek scholar’s comment:

“Although fear and reverence must be core ingredients, so must love and intimacy. And an over focus on structure leads to pride and lack of intimacy. There is no algebaic equation for worship but a humble and regenerate heart is the foundation.”

I know that guy and boy is he humble!:)

2   Tim Reed, Owosso MI    http://churchvoices.com
March 27th, 2008 at 9:36 pm

Careful Rick, you’re in danger of agreeing with me.

;)

3   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
March 27th, 2008 at 11:08 pm

She sums up her post with this…

There is but one Gospel and there is but one way of Justification. Scripture tells of no other. His way IS narrow and few that find it. Romans 10:9-10 clearly make it VERY narrow indeed.

I do hope she finds it as I think she seemed to just tell us all how we must justify ourselves, especially if we teach! This is another example someone who looks at the externals and misses God looks on the inside.

Yes, it was painful to read… and very sad.

iggy

4   inquisitor    
March 27th, 2008 at 11:23 pm

Rick,

“Although fear and reverence must be core ingredients, so must love and intimacy. ”

I agree. But what happens when fear and reverence are ingredients that are left out completely??? Then what do you have?
Next time you go out to eat and the cook leaves out two core ingredients will you praise him for at least putting SOME ingredients together?

If your worshiping and teaching without fear and reverence, then you’re not worshiping and teaching about Jesus Christ the Lord, the One and Only Son of The Living God. You’re worshiping someone else.

When core ingredients are lacking you end up with a completely different product.

5   Neil    
March 27th, 2008 at 11:37 pm

Great reminder that we are not approaching “the man upstairs” but the King of glory!

I gotta agree with that one…

6   Neil    
March 27th, 2008 at 11:38 pm

Ultimately we (all people) live under the threat of eternal death if we worship improperly, do we not?

…this, on the other hand, is just sad.

7   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
March 28th, 2008 at 1:28 am

With Inq’s comment, I just wonder where 1 John 4: 15-21 fit in?

15. If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in him and he in God. 16. And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him. 17. In this way, love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment, because in this world we are like him. 18. There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.
19. We love because he first loved us.
20. If anyone says, “I love God,” yet hates his brother, he is a liar. For anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen. 21. And he has given us this command: Whoever loves God must also love his brother

.

As a believer we are not called to “fear” but to grow beyond fear. Go and count how many times in the OT and the NT God starts His message with “do not fear.”

I also wonder how in this fear and reverence we can do what is stated in Hebrews 4:

14. Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession.15. For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.16. Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.

How do we have fear when Jesus says fear not? Also true reverence is out of Love not fear.

iggy

8   Evan Hurst    
March 28th, 2008 at 1:29 am

If your worshiping and teaching without fear and reverence, then you’re not worshiping and teaching about Jesus Christ the Lord, the One and Only Son of The Living God. You’re worshiping someone else.

statements like this, that suppose that if any of us gets something “wrong” (in the eyes of God or in the eyes of His teachers’ pets) when sincerely trying to worship Jesus, then we must certainly be worshipping “someone else” (implication: the demon under the bed), make me want to throw such believers out the window, Bible and all.

9   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
March 28th, 2008 at 1:42 am

Evan,

to me the rant she gave sounded rather Charlie Manson-ish… it almost makes sense but then you need to check yourself in reality again… or in other words one need understand what the bible is teaching and not just get all “I am so holy… and if you do not worship just like me, you will burn in hell!” ish.

Hey have a good night my friend!
igs

“I am more free in here than you are out there” ~ C Manson

10   Evan Hurst    
March 28th, 2008 at 2:46 am

you too ;)

11   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
March 28th, 2008 at 5:36 am

Inq – Yes, again agreed. But what do you have when the love and intamacy are left out? I have seen both. I have seen a single mother on her knees weeping and speaking ever so genuinely in what she belives is tongues in humble and loving praise to Jesus, eternally grateful for her God and His salvation.

I have also seen a great Bible theologian standing on a church platform holding a hymn book in one hand, and with his other hand in his pocket he sings while scanning the crowd, emotionless and looking from pew to pew.

I cannot see the heart, but it would seem strictly on outward appearances that the single mom’s spirit was lifting up before Jesus while the Bible scholar’s spirit was still in the room. I may be wrong, but honestly, I don’t think so.

12   Tim Reed, Owosso MI    http://churchvoices.com
March 28th, 2008 at 6:28 am

Phil,
On that “man upstairs” quote, the reason I included it was because the comment defines God without any of the relational roles that Christ has made possible.

Its not that I think God isn’t the king of glory, its that its impossible for him to be the king of glory and not our father without us standing condemned.

13   Phil Miller    http://veritasfellowship.blogspot.com
March 28th, 2008 at 7:23 am

A good term I’ve heard used to describe Christians who seem to have a problem with God being presented as too relational is “Old Testament Christians”. It is as if they Jesus’ role as little more than a sin offering, and they fail to see what else His life, death, and resurrection meant.

There are numerous references in the New Testament saying that Jesus is the perfect representation of God. His revelation superceded the Old Testament. That doens’t mean the OT was wrong, it just means it gives us an incomplete picture. Jesus is the completion of it.

With Jesus, we rarely see anyone who is afraid to approach him. We see people drawn to Him. We do not see people having encounters similar to Isaiah, where is completely undone in God’s presence. When people see Jesus for who He is, they are captivated.

I think by coming to earth, God decided to bridge the gap for us. Before we were afraid – we stayed at the foot of the mountain. Christ came and lovingly invites in though. The biggest way show honor and reverence is by accepting the invitation to fellowship with Him.

Oh, and by the way, Tim, I think you meant to refer to Neil in your previous comment.

14   Eric Van Dyken    
March 28th, 2008 at 8:30 am

As with many things in the Bible (and indeed in life in general), we must keep a proper tension between the two extremes. God is revealed in the Bible as both transcendent and imminent. We cannot separate the two attributes, nor should we fall into the trap of elevating one over the other. Many times we sinful humans have a tendency to swing the pendulum to far in one direction or the other. I believe that the post that you are speaking about over-reacts to a perceived over-emphasis in modern Christianity on God’s imminence. The poster then goes on to fall into the same trap, but in the opposite direction, by over-emphasizing God’s transcendence. God has unity of essence, and we can’t and shouldn’t compartmentalize Him. God is both the God of otherness and the God of closeness. The two are both beautiful and comforting. Not only do we have a God who is absolutely sovereign and all powerful, but we also have a God who draws near to us and cares for and loves us. What great God we serve!!

I do happen to believe with the author that there is a dearth of true reverence for God in many churches today, evident in their fruit. I also believe that the answer to that is a call to hold God’s transcendence and imminence in proper tension, not to swing the pendulum the opposite way and err in despising or ignoring God’s nearness and approachability. We approach God in confidence because of the work of Jesus Christ, but we must also realize that He is God, and is to be revered as such and will not be mocked.

On a somewhat side note, I believe this comment:

“The Bible does not say God is “love, love, love.” It does say, “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty.””

that was quoted in the post above needs a little bit of explanation to be understood. Although I did not make the comment, I am quite sure that what is meant by that comment is that God’s holiness is the only attribute in the Bible that is repeated three times in a row. Repetition of threes to the Jews was of importance, and so it is for us. In the Bible, things that are repeated three times are meant to be emphasized, or “raised to the superlative”. Holiness has two parts: purity and separation. When we are called to be holy as God is holy, it means we are supposed to be pure in character, motives, and actions, and also to be separate and distinct from the world around us. The point of noticing the three-fold repetition of God as holy is not to then say that He is not then also near and available, but to note that if the angels in heaven approach God and first magnify His holiness, we would do well to act likewise.

My prayer is that all Christians everywhere they are called by God have a Biblical fear (not equivalent to being afraid) of God, but also approach Him in confidence and recognition of His love and care as God the Father. The two are not mutually exclusive, but rather complement eachother!!

Blessings to you all.

15   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
March 28th, 2008 at 8:35 am

“God has unity of essence, and we can’t and shouldn’t compartmentalize Him.”

I wish I had said that.

16   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
March 28th, 2008 at 8:42 am

Phil,

This goes pretty deep.

1. Truth is an abstract thought detached from the Person of Christ Jesus.
2. Jesus is “the Lamb slain” the thing that was the sin offering that gave me my forgiveness.
3. I am saved by a this sacrifice of justice of Jesus death on the Cross.

Now all of these have an aspect of truth (except to me the truth detached from the Person of Jesus), Yet, Jesus then loses His Person-hood and becomes some abstract legal theory that saves. When Jesus loses his Person-hood then He is no longer God incarnate.

What saves us is the relational aspect. If Jesus was not the Son of God made flesh and dwelt amongst us. If He had not Lived and walked and ate and sweat and taught and died, had He not rose from the dead, then being the atoning sacrifice would mean nothing.

There was a guy who attacked me once and stated Jesus bled real blood on the Cross and then went into a rant over the abstract theology he held. The funny thing as he went on and on in his conversation I kept telling him that I did believe in real blood but it seemed he believed in theology saving him. To this day he speaks of how we must make ourselves holy to please some God that is detached from us and how we must be the ones to save others… it seemed he held two different concepts at the same time that must frustrate him to the point he must attack others to keep his own mind off his hurt and fear of not being good enough.

I guess I am saying that if we make Jesus impersonal and approach God just from a religious and theological manner that is actually improper. God even stated that He did not want the Jews sacrifice because it was offered out of religious duty and not from a heart of worship and love. So even under the Law atonement detached from Love and worship meant nothing to God.

iggy

17   Phil Miller    http://veritasfellowship.blogspot.com
March 28th, 2008 at 8:45 am

As with many things in the Bible (and indeed in life in general), we must keep a proper tension between the two extremes. God is revealed in the Bible as both transcendent and imminent. We cannot separate the two attributes, nor should we fall into the trap of elevating one over the other.

I think this is all true, as far as it goes, but to me what I see is not people being too near to God. I think the closer someone is to God, the more he is able to understand His holiness. I think that focusing on the transcendence of God can have the effect of giving people the idea that He is still the unapproachable God on top of Mt. Sinai, rather than the risen Savior on the road to Emmaus.

In my experience, people use the “you don’t have a fear and reverence of God” card as an excuse to condemn things they personally don’t like. Something like, “drums and electric guitars don’t show God the proper reverence”, or “I can’t believe the pastor’s not wearing a tie, doesn’t he respect God?”. So it’s really a smokescreen that people hide behind a lot, in my opinion.

18   Phil Miller    http://veritasfellowship.blogspot.com
March 28th, 2008 at 8:47 am

Oh, and Eric, I’m not meaning to say you were saying those things. I was merely using your post as a starting point. I pretty much agree with what you said.

19   Eric Van Dyken    
March 28th, 2008 at 8:58 am

Phil,

To clarify, I would never say that someone is “too near to God” and I don’t believe that you can be too near to God. I don’t also believe that others concerned about over-emphasis of God’s imminence think that people are “too near to God”, but rather there are some who fail to properly recognize that God is not just like one of us (is a Sheryl Crow reference appropriate here?). The Bible is full of examples of reverence and awe for God, especially evident in Revelations (as it is also full of examples of His imminence, thus the call for proper balance or tension).

I will agree with you that some use the idea as a crutch and are apt to dismiss things that they are uncomfortable with. But at the same time, I believe it is equally as dismissive to say that all who call for a greater recognition of God’s transcendence and actions that follow are just condemning things that they personally don’t like. There is fault to be found on both sides, and both ought to be slow to accuse and quick to encourage and exhort in love.

20   Eric Van Dyken    
March 28th, 2008 at 9:01 am

Phil,

I missed your follow-up comment. I guess you somewhat guessed what my opening reply might be – nice “sixth sense”. I do believe that the rest of my comment has a little additional commentary to offer on what you said. I also agree with the concept that you offer, but would caution that you not over apply to concept to all who raise concerns. Thanks for your comment, I appreciated it.

21   Neil    
March 28th, 2008 at 9:40 am

Phil,
On that “man upstairs” quote, the reason I included it was because the comment defines God without any of the relational roles that Christ has made possible.

Its not that I think God isn’t the king of glory, its that its impossible for him to be the king of glory and not our father without us standing condemned. – TIm

Understood.

22   inquisitor    
March 28th, 2008 at 11:10 pm

Rick,

I agree. However, the post is claiming that there is no place for fear and reverence, only “love”. (just as Iggy demonstrates in his comment March 28, 1:28am)

That is such hogwash. The scriptures say that ALL ingredients must be there. Love, reverence, fear, etc.

Everyone here is trying to submit that reverence and fear are not necessary ingredients to a right relationship with God.

So my question still stands to you sir.
What do you do when a preacher or teacher lacks reverence and fear?

Evan,

Mormons are sincerely trying to worship Jesus. Muslims are sincerely trying to worship God. JW’s are sincerely trying to worship Jesus… oops, I mean Jehovah.

However, on the day of judgment their sincerity will prove to be insufficient for the purging of sin. Redemption can only come from the “TRUE CHRIST” not the Mormon version, not the JW version, not my version or your version, but the REAL Christ.

Correct knowledge of the true Christ is of great importance. Otherwise, we run the danger of forming an Idol and worshiping a non-existent God, or in this case a non-existent Jesus.
And a non-existent Jesus cannot redeem you from sin.

Just as people of old worshiped different images of God. The Israelites didn’t like the God that brought them out of Egypt, thus they made a god that fit their description of what they wanted God to be.

People do the same thing today, they make an image of Jesus that fits their description of what they want Jesus to be. And this Jesus is no more able to help them, than the golden calf was able to help Israel.

So yes!

If your worshiping and teaching without fear and reverence, then you’re not worshiping and teaching about Jesus Christ the Lord, the One and Only Son of The Living God. You’re worshiping someone else.

23   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
March 28th, 2008 at 11:19 pm

Inq,

The point I think you miss is what is “biblical” reference… and did it change after the cross.

Before the Cross, God was attempting to show HOW HOLY HE IS… and still is.

Yet, Jesus being God (I hope we agree in this) told the disciples that they were his “brothers” and after the Cross God now dwells in us and not temples made by man.

We are now holy becuase He is Holy. We are the righteousness of God in Christ…

So, instead of holy dread and fear of damnation which so many seem to preach, we are join heirs in Christ… We are brothers in the New Creation with Jesus.

I see that if one holds to the “holy dread of damnation” we do harm to the God Who proclaimed “I am the Compassionate One” and still is today with evidence of the Cross and resurrection.

Maybe I am talking over your head… and I do not mean that as a put down as some things must be revealed by God to us and for us to understand. I did not understand much of this until I was changed by Grace. Again this is not meant as a put down whatsoever I mean it in total humility that even I never learned from another man but as I submitted to the Holy Spirit and that God be all He is in me… though it may be a challenge for you to pray in earnest about that God may reveal this to you also.

Be blessed,
iggy

24   Chris    http://agendalesslove.wordpress.com
March 29th, 2008 at 12:09 am

God is not just like one of us (is a Sheryl Crow reference appropriate here?).

No! but Joan Osbourne references are!

So are John references.

The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and
truth.

And so is Rich Mullins

You have been my King of Glory…Won’t you be my Prince of Peace.

25   Evan Hurst    
March 29th, 2008 at 4:46 am

Evan,

Mormons are sincerely trying to worship Jesus. Muslims are sincerely trying to worship God. JW’s are sincerely trying to worship Jesus… oops, I mean Jehovah.

However, on the day of judgment their sincerity will prove to be insufficient for the purging of sin. Redemption can only come from the “TRUE CHRIST” not the Mormon version, not the JW version, not my version or your version, but the REAL Christ.

yeah, in your interpretation, Jesus is a damned liar…

bye.

26   Evan Hurst    
March 29th, 2008 at 4:48 am

Correct knowledge of the true Christ is of great importance. Otherwise, we run the danger of forming an Idol and worshiping a non-existent God, or in this case a non-existent Jesus.
And a non-existent Jesus cannot redeem you from sin.

and i guess the Real Jesus (TM) that you imagine isn’t big enough to meet people where they are, even if some of their details are Wrong (TM) according to You (TM).

get over it.

27   Chris    http://agendalesslove.wordpress.com
March 29th, 2008 at 7:48 am

Just as people of old worshiped different images of God. The Israelites didn’t like the God that brought them out of Egypt, thus they made a god that fit their description of what they wanted God to be.

Boy that sounds familiar…where did I hear about people making God who they wanted him to be…hmmm…it’ll come to me!

28   Tim Reed, Owosso MI    http://churchvoices.com
March 29th, 2008 at 8:28 am

Inq,
The gods aren’t angry.

29   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
March 29th, 2008 at 8:54 am

“However, on the day of judgment their sincerity will prove to be insufficient for the purging of sin. Redemption can only come from the “TRUE CHRIST” not the Mormon version, not the JW version, not my version or your version, but the REAL Christ. ”

Yes and amen.

“and i guess the Real Jesus (TM) that you imagine isn’t big enough to meet people where they are, even if some of their details are Wrong (TM) according to You (TM).”

No, Evan, Paul said if any come worshiping ANOTHER Jesus let him be damned. Some “details” make him another Jesus.

Chris – sometimes believers over emphasize certain facets of our Lord and present a distorted view, but sometimes people present another Jesus by removing His deity, His virgin birth, His resurrection, or even His atonement. That isn’t just presenting an angry God with little love, or a loving God with no judgment, that is presenting another Jesus that carries with it the warning of damnation.

30   Evan Hurst    
March 29th, 2008 at 10:46 am

No, Evan, Paul said if any come worshiping ANOTHER Jesus let him be damned. Some “details” make him another Jesus.

i’m wondering if we’re talking two different languages here, so i’m threatening to hop into the realm of metaphor and i haven’t had my coffee yet, so this could be a bad thing…

so we’ll see what falls out of my brain in the next few minutes. stay tuned.

31   Evan Hurst    
March 29th, 2008 at 11:07 am

eh, still braindead.

let’s just say that whatever verse it is…the one that says something to the effect of “many of you will come to me and say ‘but i prophecied and healed and whatnot in your name’ and i will say ‘away from me, i never knew you’” (whatever it is)…i have a sense that it’s directed at an entirely different group of people than how it’s commonly interpreted.

i don’t think it has to do with worshipping “false Christs,” but rather those who run around claiming the moral high ground/mantle of Jesus, “rebuking others in his name” like it’s going out of style, but yet not reflecting Christ to a soul.

32   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
March 29th, 2008 at 11:41 am

That is Matt.7:22, but verse 15 says “Beware of false prophets”. The completely ironic principle here is that you claim that some are “claiming the moral high ground” and even some would say you are not saved, and in that you are outraged.

But then you turn right around and use that verse to mean they are not saved. It is just as I have often observed, venom knows no particular doctrinal snake, it is spewed from orthodox and emergent and the entire gamut of reptilian theological perspectives. Who has read the book of life?

The flesh is alive in all camps ready to be released at the most opportune moment. And pulling the salvation card is the Ace of Spades in any spiritual discussion, it’s just that I hadn’t expected it to be played so soon. When that card is played the game is usually over since the door to the Ark has now been shut and the floods are drowning the rest.

I surely had not expected that from you, Evan. Least of all you. Oh well, live and learn.

33   chris    http://agendalesslove.wordpress.com
March 29th, 2008 at 12:26 pm

but sometimes people present another Jesus by removing His deity, His virgin birth, His resurrection, or even His atonement.

But since this post is dealing with reverence towards God and nobody has denied any of the things in your list how exactly does your statement mesh?

34   Evan Hurst    
March 29th, 2008 at 12:35 pm

I surely had not expected that from you, Evan. Least of all you. Oh well, live and learn.

oh, i wasn’t pulling the salvation card at all.

that’s not for me to presume…

i’m just saying that a lot of people who consider themselves “doctrinally correct” seem to take a mentality of “i’m standing next to Jesus and you’re not,” basically considering themselves beyond reproach.

sure, they talk a good game, issue all the correct disclaimers: “of course, i’m a sinner too, we all are, so now that i’ve said that, let me tell you some more about how you’re totally wrong and your Jesus doesn’t exist.”

35   inquisitor    
March 29th, 2008 at 1:00 pm

Iggy,

The fear that I speak of is not a fear of damnation or punishment. I’m glad that the Holy Spirit has revealed to you the love of God. However, it is also His job to reveal to you the “Fear” of God. Not a fear of punishment,

( 18. There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment.)

Its a different type of fear. A Holy fear.

Here’s an example:
As I open the scriptures to teach, I FEAR. Why?? Because I LOVE.
I love God, and I do not wish to misrepresent Him. Therefore, I maintain a healthy level of fear so that I may not carelessly teach what are my own opinions. Is this fear bad? Of course not.

When I cross a street I look both ways. Why? because I fear. I love myself, therefore I fear to harm myself.

Do I fear God? Yes. Why?? Because I love Him. I do not wish to blaspheme Him, yet in my own heart I know that it’s possible. (for there is no sin that is not common to all men)

This is not a fear of damnation or punishment. This is a fear that stems from love. Which is why you cannot have a true love without fear.

If my child is about to walk into the street and I don’t fear for his welfare, then it’s safe to say that I don’t love him.

Imagine if I told you that the reason that I didn’t yell and scream at my child to get out of the street was because I loved him and didn’t want to hurt his feelings. What would be your response? You’d say, “that’s not love!”

A healthy, pure, holy fear always accompanies love.

If you truly love God, then you fear sinning against Him. Not because you fear damnation, but because you do not wish to drag His holy name through the mud.

“For the name of God is blasphemed among the Gentile nations because of you”

Who’s the YOU in the context of that verse?

Answer: People who claimed to be God’s people, but were sinning.

I do not wish to be the cause of anyone blaspheming God. Therefore I fear sin. Again, I fear sin because I love God.
My fear is a holy and good thing, and it has it’s roots in LOVE.

36   inquisitor    
March 29th, 2008 at 1:02 pm

Evan,

Here’s a question for you. Does the Jesus of the Mormons exist? and if he doesn’t exist, is it okay to tell a Mormon that his Jesus doesn’t exist?

(ok, it was 2 questions)

37   Evan Hurst    
March 29th, 2008 at 1:07 pm

no, i believe Jesus says “haha, just kidding, you were praying to a two-headed demon, surprise! i’m wayyyyy too anal retentive to handle doctrinal differences, so off to hell with ye.”

of course i believe Jesus exists in the Mormon faith as much as in any other Christian sect.

38   Brutus    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marcus_Junius_Brutus
March 29th, 2008 at 1:32 pm

no god is ****ed off and he is taking names.

i hate to think i am taking the higher ground here but i am glad that i have been delivered from a hateful, vengeful god who, no matter what i did, was not happy with me. all my works were filthy rags. no matter what i said or did god saw them as coming up short. terrible way to live. never happy. never able to please the god i love.

i like my new god far better. a god who is holy. a god who is just and a god who understands my frame. (as the scripture says)

39   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
March 29th, 2008 at 2:18 pm

We will see one day Evan when God comes and speaks for Himself. BTW, you might want to ask thousands of Mormons who came out of the LDS and were born again, they certainly don’t believe they were worshiping the true Christ.

I was raised in the Lutheran Church of America, three years of Catachism, and was confirmed and was lost. I too have been wounded by hyper-fundamentalism and all the hypocrisy, but I can never deny the day I met the Savior and was changed forever.

Evan, it is possible to overemphasize every little scarp of doctrine to theexclusion of love and grace, but it is also possible to discount truth to the extent what we believe is no longer truth, which is Jesus Himself.

I am glad you were not pulling the salvation card, Evan, because I have pulled it with great success on Chris Lyons before and he was speechless!

40   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
March 29th, 2008 at 3:01 pm

Inq,

That is why we need not “fear” as the bible directs us. In fact the only ones that do need fear those “outside” (for lack of a better word) that seem to think they are already inside such as the practitioners of legalism or what I call Galatianism.

Is my son being irreverent when he comes and just sits on my lap if I have not asked him to? If my daughter interrupts my as I speak to someone else, to tell me she loves me is she not having enough holy fear of me as her father?

No, I love my kids and discipline them when needed, yet also realize love covers a multitude of “sins” and so great them with all my love (or as Jesus stated, I “suffer not the little children”.

God does not want us to “fear” Him but to learn the way of Love and submit to Him out of love not fear.

That is my point. But most do not make the difference until someone like me points it out… and in the context of this generation most hear “fear” and think horror movie… not reverence of awe… do we want to be clear in our message or be like so many today that attack people like me for trying to bring relevance and clarity of God’s word to a generation that mostly has no clue what we are even talking about?

be blessed,
iggy

41   Evan Hurst    
March 29th, 2008 at 3:02 pm

BTW, you might want to ask thousands of Mormons who came out of the LDS and were born again, they certainly don’t believe they were worshiping the true Christ.

but one could also ask those who have converted to the Mormon faith and many would say the same thing.

my point is that, in my opinion, the great majority of these doctrines are of little consequence in the end, that you will find sincere believers in every denomination, just as you will find frauds in every denomination.

and i may not have been pulling the salvation card, but i will say that i do believe that many of the loudest complainers on that fundamentalist side of things wouldn’t know Jesus if he smacked them upside the head with his love.

42   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
March 29th, 2008 at 3:08 pm

Rick,

There are many in the cults that have not heard the whole story of that cults teachings. One can be a “good” Mormon and know the real Jesus and find out one day they need to get out. There are many aspects of the Mormon faith that I think even we “Christians” could learn from, like supporting our missionaries and giving scholarships to our members to start businesses and such to use that money to build the Kingdom. (That would need more explanation that I want to give now)

You stated you were once a Catholic… and I supposed when you met the Living CHrist, you stayed at you Parish for a time until you realized you needed to go somewhere else. Some take more time, others stay and try to change things from the inside… such as the case of Armstrong’s Worldwide Church of God that was a cult and not seems to be orthodox.

Things can change and with God all things are possible…

I know a man who was lead to Christ by JW’s.. they never followed up and the next people at his door were Baptists… he attended their church and as far as I know is still a baptist today… so God can use and do as He pleases…
iggy

43   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
March 29th, 2008 at 3:49 pm

I was Lutheran (Catholic lite!). I do not doubt some even in cults can be plucked from the fire by the Holy Spirit, my point was that Mormons do not teach a divine Jesus and also teach a works salvation. Those are important particulars.

44   Eric Hoffman (not from Deicide)    
March 31st, 2008 at 9:59 pm

Yikes!!!

Gotta love when people just take quotes (out of context) then spew lunacy without even had read the “actual book” itself.

I also like how she slams the Reformed folks, takes the quotes from Camp, who from what I gather is Reformed.

Maybe she’s a member of Darwin Fish’ little group, because everyone will entually be a heretic according to her.