“We’re told the invisible god is a creature of love, and yet all too often fear stops us thinking rationally. Whether it’s fear of eternal torture, fear of hurting God’s feelings by questioning things, or fear of disrupting our family and social ties by daring to question if the emperor has clothes on – it’s definitely fear that provides the strongest coat of armour for Christians.” – Violet
I am snagging a fragment from Violet’s post today called, Chink in my Armour. She is a non believing atheist speaking of leaving her faith. I was struck by how many times she said the word “fear,” how the Christian’s life is allegedly ruled by fear, and also “questions,” how the Christian life is all about being afraid to ask questions.
I didn’t grow up in the church. My parents were radical atheists. You didn’t ask them questions, either. Fear certainly ruled the day. It’s an interesting dichotomy, because today I am a Christian all about fearlessly asking questions, kind of the precise opposite of how Violet perceives things and the path she took.
That comes from going boldly before the throne of grace and demanding answers from the Creator of the universe Himself. I’d tell you that’s because I’m very brave, but it wasn’t that at all, it was much more like collapsing in hysterics at the foot of a King in last ditch effort of complete desperation.
Fear of eternal torment? I was already there. Fear of disrupting social ties? What social ties? Fear of disrupting family? My family was already disrupted. I never had these kinds of fears to hinder me. I honestly had nothing left to lose.
I have since asked questions angrily, furious, in a state of panic, bitter, cynical, frustrated, in all manner of disrespect and mess. Can you hurt God’s feelings? I think so, but what you cannot do is offend Him. He already knows you, your state of mind, and you are simply not big and bad enough to be an offense to Him. There is nothing new under the sun that He has not already seen.
Why is God love? Because He meets people like that all the time and He greats them with grace and mercy. God meets you right where you are at. If it were possible to offend God, I’d be long gone by now. Pillar of salt, problem solved.
I have since learned how to go to God with some reverence and dignity, rather than waiting until I am a shrieking mess. Perfect love cast out fear.
An interesting thing can happen when you break and surrender all, rather than becoming fearful, you become fearless. There’s nothing quite like a close encounter of the God kind to put your fear of what other people think, fear of lost social status, fear, fear, fear, into proper perspective.
Being a Christian is much more like becoming fearless and questioning everything with all the wonder and delight of a child. It’s sad to me because there are some who do not understand that, there are some who teach something completely different, and there are some who help to create Violet’s in the world, people who now falsely believe God Himself is a tyrant who rules by fear.