Greater Reality Forum
Re: \Fear of God

Message written by

Malcolm Greenhough
May 01, 2006 at 10:28:56:

In Reply to
Re: Use of
posted by
November 29, 2004 at 13:25:21:

: Hello Nash,

: You asked about the “fear of God” expression. It came from the belief that in order for people to live righteously (or rightly), they must fear that God will punish them if they sin. It comes from a strong, ancient, judgmental view of God that was very tribal in character. It originated when the early believers in Yahweh (the Jewish God of the Old Testament) thought that Yahweh was a violent, partisan, vengeful God.

: After all, Yahweh drowned all the people of the earth in a great flood, killed everyone (men, women, children, infants, and newborns) in Sodom and Gomorrah, allowed Joshua to kill the Amalekites, and even killed individuals himself: Er, Onan, Aaron’s sons, Korah and his family with 250 others, Nadab, Abihu, and 24,000 Israelites for “committing whoredom with the daughters of Moab.”

: This violent tribal deity was greatly to be feared. If you got on his wrong side, you could lose your life violently. Fear was part of the way He forced people to maintain their allegiance or covenant with him.

: Then the New Testament translators added the hell myth to make God into an even greater monster. Now God would throw everyone into hellfire torment if they wouldn’t swear allegiance to God in flesh, Jesus.

: And so, the phrase, “put the fear of God into someone,” meant make them fear what this vengeful, wrathful God would do to them if they didn’t toe the line.

: There is only One God. There always was only One. There always will be only One. But people interpret their communication with the One God in their own time, customs, and language. In other words, all of these statements about God tell us about the people making the statements, but nothing about God. This tribal deity was the One God, but as seen through the eyes of tribal people who would understand a violent, vengeful God. That was the God they needed in their lives at that time, the only God they could understand because of the beliefs in similar pagan gods.

: With Buddhism, self awakening is another expression of the One God. The Anglo-Saxon word God doesn’t even have meaning in this context. But it is still the One. The Buddhists interpret this One Diety differently.

: Today, “the fear of God” is anachronistic. It doesn’t fit any of the world’s religions except an archaic form of Christianity that ignores Jesus’ teachings in favor of a frightening view of a God much closer to the partisan, demanding, vengeful, judging tribal deity. Jesus taught love, forgiveness, compassion, and a kind, loving God. Read the Lord’s Prayer. There’s nothing about fear in it, or in any other of Jesus' teachings about God. And so, if someone who claims to be a Christian talks about the “fear of God,” he or she is revealing an ignorance of the teachings of Jesus. This person is referring to the old tribal deity or to the pagan Gods that preceded Jesus. That's not what Jesus taught.

: Love and peace, Craig

Try looking God in the face


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