Saturday, April 12, 2014

On Fearing God

A Facebook friend posts, probably once a week, a "word from god".  She writes as god in the first person as he tells us all the cool stuff he's going to be doing for us, and what we ought be doing, and the work he's doing behind the scenes to fix the things that are wrong.

I took a psychology class years ago in a Godless school taught by a Godless professor.  It was a small class, 6 of us to be exact.  On the first day of class the professor told us that he had a friend who could interpret handwriting.  He asked us to put our signature on a piece of paper and he would have it analyzed for us.  I was absent that day.

After much teasing with promises of "any day now", the analysis finally arrived toward the end of the semester.  He warned everyone that there would be personal revelations and to keep the reports "close to the chest".  As each one read their reports, except me because I was absent, I heard the people gasping at the incredible insight this professor had gained into their own person lives... simply by their signature.  "Wow!" I heard over here.  "I can't believe this!" I heard over there, "This guys been reading my mail!".

After a little bit, the professor asked if anyone would be willing to read their report aloud.  One brave soul volunteered and it truly was amazing.  Oh, not because the professor-handwriting analyst had had any real insight, but rather because he had had zero insight.  You see, the professor had a standard letter he always sent to everyone, so everyone got the same report.  The report was designed in such a vague way as to allow anyone to plug into it the particulars of their own lives.  Horoscopes are written in this same way.  Horoscopes are wicked.

When it comes to people prophesying, the first thing I think about is 1 Thess 5:19-22.  "Do not quench the Spirit;  do not despise prophetic utterances.  But examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good; abstain from every form of evil."  I admit that I am a skeptic more times than not--a lot more in fact--for a few reasons, not the least of which is I fear God.  Yet still, I try to discern with charity... because of this scripture.

We live in an age in which there are many people running around saying things in the first Person, with a capital "P" on person, for God.  "I love you my child, I gave my Son for you, rise up and praise Me and I will do wonders in your life", and things such as that.  To me it sounds much more like the handwriting analysis than it does God, but who am I to question a "word from the Lord", even if it is nebulous and unprovable one way or the other.

More times than not however, I cringe for the person doing it.  They seem so comfortable speaking in God's stead.  There doesn't appear to be any fear and trembling; no, "what if this is my own idea and I've talked myself into believing that it isn't me at all but the very voice of God?".  If it were true, and a false prophecy is being prophesied, then I have every reason to fear for them.  God doesn't take kindly to mere men spouting off their own delusions and signing His name to it.  Just sayin'.

So... I took my concordance and looked up the word "fear".  It turned up about about 310 times in the NASU Bible.  There are other words that mean the same thing that didn't come up, like afraid, fears, terrified, and the like, so this is not an exhaustive study.  But what did turn up was enough to strike fear in us when it comes to the handling of... His words.

In my analysis, I created three buckets to throw each "fear" into.  The first bucket was the misc. bucket.  I put men fearing men, or the weather, or angels, and things like that into that bucket.  I wound up with 70ish "fear"s in that bucket.  The second bucket dealt with the fear of men, armies, circumstances and things like that, as in don't do it.  That bucket wound up with about 80ish uses, so we have 150 so far.  The third bucket dealt with fearing God as in direct commands "fear God", "The fear of the LORD", or in references to the unGodly not fearing God, and such.  That one wound up with 170ish uses.  (that totals 320 because I rounded everything to the nearest 10)

This theme was consistent throughout the Old and New Testaments, and the message is clear, and repeated over and over: Fear God.  But we live in a time in which men and nations do not fear God.  That's should not surprise us because the Man of God no longer preaches the fear of the LORD.  Or worse, men take it upon themselves to re-interpret the word to "reverence" or something more palatable to the hearts and minds of arrogant men.  It seems that these prechers might be a little ashamed of a God that commands His creation to fear Him.  A God that is to be feared doesn't sit well with the "he's my best friend and he's cool with me because I'm cool and I think he's cool" God that is popular today.

Now with a God like that it makes perfect sense to me that someone would run around speaking on his behalf.  After all, if you are spouting all kinds of nonsense and signing it with "thus saith the lord,  what's the big deal... God's cool with it.  Right?

Check out this video of a woman prophesying.  She was outed as a false prophet because... well she was proven wrong... right there.  One minute she was prophesying that he was anointed of God, and the next she was calling him a devil.  Whatever the case was, one thing was for sure,  she was obviously not hearing from God, and she ought to have repented in trembling and fear for assuming to speak for the Almighty.  And then she should have chosen  a safer profession.   I don't think she has.  After all, what does she have to fear?


Glenn E. Chatfield said...

These fake prophets, who have no fear of God, are accepted by too many Christians because they want to feel good rather than to know the truth about God. That is why the whole Word of Faith heresy spreads like wildfire and has some of the biggest selling books in the "Christian" book stores.

Timmy Jimmy said...

In addition to what Glenn adds, I think so many follow these false prophets because they are safe. They are not truly holy, if they were, the people would fear the LORD. So they are safe and no real bother at all when it comes to the truth. They are also easy. Just give money and you have God's blessing! How easy is that? It also makes the giver feel good about themselves. Never mind that God refuses the sacrifices of the wicked, etc.

Just some additional thoughts.

Dan said...

One of the things I've been thinking about as of late is the absence of names. Real prophets are not afraid of calling out people by their names. On Easter the preacher at the church I attend spoke of Churches with political agendas without being specific. Since he is conservative, and most of the church is conservative, we all heard one thing. But I couldn't help but to realize that the Obama supporters heard something altogether different. I have no doubt that that was by design. "Unity" remained. It was easy.

Glenn E. Chatfield said...


I agree that is one of the major problems. I have been complaining about that for a long time. I am tired of hearing that if you "name names" you might step on someone's toes. I say, STOMP on their toes!

Dan said...

Yes Glenn. I don't think anyone has any idea what would happen if preachers in today's pulpits actually pointed out, for example, that our president is anti-Christ. On one hand I think there might be anywhere from a small to a large exodus, given the makeup of the Church. In the church I attend there would certainly be a small one. The unity that exists now is only unity so long as everyone ignores the big pink donkey (elephant) in the sanctuary.

Anonymous said...

The thing I would say to any self-described prophet of a deity is, "There are people suffering mentally from not knowing the fate of friends or family on the missing Malaysian airliner. Please shorten that suffering by asking your deity to speak the GPS coordinates of the aircraft to you."

There would be an awkward silence following that, eh?

If our universe did in fact come equipped with a deity, one thing the sane among us know is that the deity depends on humans (and of course other organisms as well) to fend for themselves, and not receive aid supernaturally.

The TV news today mentioned an elderly couple in Georgia (?), described as "regular churchgoers." The man was found dead and his wife is missing. One can imagine that they called out for supernatural help in their dying moments, but the help did not arrive.

Dan said...

Romans 8 helps give us a little perspective. It says "... I consider the suffering of this present time not worthy to be compared to the glory that is to be revealed in us".

Romans 8 also says: "For those who are according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, and those are according to the spirit, the things of the spirit".

I totally understand what the things you mentioned look like from a naturalistic materialistic perspective. Indeed I once thought as you do. The here and now is everything in that perspective, and all things are judged according to that standard... even God. That perspective does not grasp the holiness of God, nor man's depravity before his holiness. That God would dane to save even one sinful man speaks of the unfathomable love he has, even if that one goes on to live his short and temporal life suffering before he goes on to eternal glory.

Jesus was asked about some people that had some horrible things happen to them. His response: "Repent or you too will perish". So I beseech you dear sir to repent and ask God to save you from His wrath lest you spend this short life hating him, and then enter into eternal damnation.