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Why Have So Many Churches Stopped Teaching The Fear Of God?

Discussion in 'Spirit-Filled / Charismatic' started by unfinishedclay, Jul 23, 2016.

  1. unfinishedclay

    unfinishedclay Member

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    Recently, I was hit with the worst betrayal I had ever experienced from another Christian. When I asked "Why?", my loved one who hurt me told me, "I just didn't fear God." This person was a Christian and had been active in outreaches for years.

    In the past, we'd always disagree about whether God punishes, whether it was okay to be mad at God, whether it was possible for God to be angry with any of His children, and whether God punishes.

    Why do so many churches rationalize God's character? As if we're trying to help Him to be the good God He is, we make unBiblical statements like "God doesn't punish" (even though Hebrews 12 tells us otherwise) and "We don't have to fear God" (even though Proverbs tells us that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom/knowledge.) Jesus told us to not fear him who can kill only the body, but to instead fear Him who can kill the body and cast the soul into hell.

    Why have we come to a place of prettying the Bible up? I'm asking because I'm hurting by someone who never took it seriously until now that he's lost practically everything as a result of his sin.
     
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  2. Farine

    Farine Well-Known Member

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    Hello. I'm sorry someone hurt you (for any reason). It may be ego to consider one can know someone through their writings alone. Truth to tell, there are several authors that i feel I have kinship with. This may be presumptuous. You are a good enough writer that you have my attention immediately.

    Can I bring a couple of things to your attention in your message? There are three or more purposes in your message. ONe of them has to do with an honest surprise that someone who has been 'active in outreaches for years' can error on so grand a scale seemingly without awareness of its implications.

    You note another purpose is educational. A sort of yellow triangle caution sign to not come this way- DANGER!

    The third purpose is to lay out the prayer request for a man laid out by sin to have God restore him. Yes, there may be long lasting temporal consequences. No one should desire the ruin of another. I will join you in praying for him to have grace and wisdom in the hidden place in the heart.
     
  3. faroukfarouk

    faroukfarouk Fading curmudgeon

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    Psalm 111 says: "Holy and reverend is His name" and "the fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom".

    In the end we need to focus on God rather than our wounded feelings in any case.
     
  4. unfinishedclay

    unfinishedclay Member

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    Amen. Thank you. I do need someone to pray with me in agreement for him. I don't want to see his ruin, though. His ruin would impact me and his kids. He's my husband.
     
  5. tturt

    tturt Senior Veteran Supporter

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    That makes it even more important and urgent that you forgive him.

    It will be very difficult to say the least and can only done with Yahweh's help.
     
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2016
  6. unfinishedclay

    unfinishedclay Member

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    Amen. I agree. Forgiving has been a journey as I deal with shock and new details. I decided to stay with my husband and work things out even though I have Biblical grounds for divorce.

    But through the counseling we've been receiving and reflections, I often wonder why we just couldn't get ourselves planted in a church somewhere where years ago God's Word wasn't so watered down.

    The only 2 things my husband had been cautious about doing was paying tithes and refraining from questioning the man of God.

    Even in sin, my husband would go into his pockets during offering and would not question anything questionable said in the pulpit. If our former pastor said something questionable, he defended what was said instead of looking at the text to see if it was Biblical.

    But that's just to support my question. Why is it we can fellowship and hear sermons with no urgency to repent or reflect on hearing the Word to live right?

    I rarely hear the fear of God preached anymore. I do, however, hear the fear of pastors' authority preached and it was wearing me thin til I became member where we are now. So much damage is done.

    To this day, the one challenge of street outreach - especially in places not near our church - is referring people (especially new converts) to a fellowship where they can be discipled and not get some type of overall message that it's okay to live for self and for God too, not caring about consequences of lying, infidelity, malice, drinking and everything else.
     
  7. Farine

    Farine Well-Known Member

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    Unfinished Clay, I really like the phrase you chose for yourself. As we all are proceeding from glory to glory, there are yet further levels of glory to be raised up into.

    It is a particular trial to be the woman who is on a higher level of glory than the man she is submitting to, as to the Lord. I imagine Sarah, the wife of Abraham, sitting in the Pharoah's harem thinking much along the same lines. God's plan required Sarah and here Sarah was out of alignment in a dramatic way. In much the same way, I believe that God will honor your decision to respect Him in this matter.

    You mention an huge deficit in the church because there are so few Believers who can speak authentically about the holiness that comes from GOD rather than the abstaining of sin which comes from self effort. You mention the fear of God. Well, if a person experiences the Presence of God personally, the fear of GOD is immediate. The reality is a large group of people who have heard ABOUT God rather than knowing GOD. This lack of experience shows up immediately when evil shows up. Evil knows all the people with second hand grace don't know who they are in Christ and aren't positioned in grace to rebuke it. They are really sheep to the slaughter.

    There is a bright side to this multi-dimensional tragedy you are and your family are in. Now your man has experienced what evil does when there's not enough word on the inside to deal with it. Now he knows why hanging out on the fringes of the Kingdom of Heaven is so very dangerous for his soul. Or if he's not convinced, he's aware that he took a wrong turning at some point.

    Awareness. Focus. Identity. Being in His Presence. Feeding his spirit. Giving access to God in his inner man. Acknowledging the gifts of God in his woman. I predict these themes will resonate.
     
  8. tturt

    tturt Senior Veteran Supporter

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    unfinishedclay, yeah I like that too.

    Appreciate your attitude about forgiving him because sometimes folks get mad when it's suggested.

    Is repenting to Yahweh a sermon topic - a sermon comment? Sometimes I wonder how much the current "no need to repent" thinking is impacting the body?
     
  9. Michael Collum

    Michael Collum Everything began with a voice, use yours Supporter

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    The subject line was "Why have so many churches stopped teaching the fear of God?" As I recall the scripture relating, the fear of God is the beginning of understanding, however, to have confidence or boldness on the day of judgment love without fear in it needs to mature within us. It may be that they have matured and moved on from the fear of God.
    .
    The bible teaches many things to many people, it depends on the eyes that read it, it is one of many tools that allows God to meet people where they're at.
     
  10. Razare

    Razare God gave me a throne

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    The main contention is there are 2 kinds of fear in the Bible. There is not 1 kind of fear. There is a fear born from unbelief, and it will send people to hell.

    But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars--they will be consigned to the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death." - Revelation 21:8

    Cowardice is born from fear. In one place in scripture, we see a man who has a great fear of God:


    But the man who had received one bag went off, dug a hole in the ground and hid his master's money. "After a long time the master of those servants returned and settled accounts with them. ... "Then the man who had received one bag of gold came. 'Master,' he said, 'I knew that you are a hard man, harvesting where you have not sown and gathering where you have not scattered seed. So I was afraid and went out and hid your gold in the ground. See, here is what belongs to you.' "His master replied, 'You wicked, lazy servant! So you knew that I harvest where I have not sown and gather where I have not scattered seed?

    Afraid: https://www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?Strongs=G5399&t=KJV

    Philippians 2:12 - Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.

    It's the same word.

    One is wicked and evil, and the other good.

    To most every human I have met in the USA, there is 1 kind of fear, not 2 kinds. If we "fear God" as the man who feared him in the first verse, we are wicked.

    If we fear God as in philippians 2, this is good.

    I fear God enough to believe him. My fear of God if anything then, comes out not as fear but boldness because I desire to believe him, just as his righteous servants did believe him. But then his love casts out all fear, and so the righteous servants "feared him" but this fear never produced fear in them but boldness in serving him. Maybe I should be afraid more? But how? I have not figured out how to be afraid of God, without sinning and behaving as the wicked servant. It's useless and sin, so I don't do it.

    Really, if the wicked servant truly feared God, he would have believed to the point he was obedient like the other servants who did fear God, but notice those servants did not behave afraid. The fear is immediately substituted with faith, peace, and then also love in the case of a Christian.

    But for me, I follow God not because I am terrified of him. God knows my heart. I follow God because I know he is good. If I did not believe it so, I would not follow him. Fear is irrellevant to the reasons I have in my heart that I would follow God.

    I wanted to do good when I was lost. I failed and was unable. I needed God to help me do the good I wanted to do. That I want to do good is because I believe it exists, and I believe in an obligation to live good. Me desiring to do this was never born of fear. However, when I respected God, it was the beginning of my ability to have wisdom from God... I recognized my failure, and his supremacy.

    My hunch is the word "fear" has been perverted in our modern English diction to become 1 thing, when in the historical past, it would have included other concepts besides "terror". Terror is evil 100% of the time. Many other words in scripture have been perverted in this manner, such as "wisdom" and "love".

    You can actually get correct English definitions from the 1828 webster dictionary, and these will more closely mirror the ancient Greek definitions of words used in scripture. On fear it says:

    http://webstersdictionary1828.com/Dictionary/fear

    This matches what my heart already knew the truth was, and this definition from the dictionary affirms the character of God and the Holy Spirit.

    Therefore, the "terror" manner of fear isn't scriptural for Christians to follow.
     
  11. tturt

    tturt Senior Veteran Supporter

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    When fear is referred to in Scripture, there are times when they were terrified of The Lord. While at other Scriptures, the fear of The Lord is having reverence and respect for The Lord to the extent that we chose what Yahweh wants in spite of what others may think. Sometimes this includes what we think. Thus "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom:..." Psa 111:10.

    The fear of The Lord contrast with the fear of man. Saul is an example of having "the fear of man" (I Sam 13:11; I Sam 15). While David had the fear of The Lord. Sure he made mistakes but Yahweh's view of him - David was a man after God's own heart (Acts 13:22).
     
  12. Michael Collum

    Michael Collum Everything began with a voice, use yours Supporter

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    Another reason might be that some people use the phrase "fear of the lord" as justification for their fearmongering application. So people just block it out, the application matters most.
     
  13. jimmyjimmy

    jimmyjimmy Pardoned Rebel Supporter

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    It started in the Garden of Eden, and continues to this day. "But the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die." Next, every false prophet shared the same message - an echo of the serpent's words, "They have healed the wound of my people lightly, saying, ‘Peace, peace,’ when there is no peace."

    The message is easy to spot, "There are no consequences for sin"
     
  14. unfinishedclay

    unfinishedclay Member

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    When I point out the absence of fear of the Lord, I'm referring to how God said to fear Him - obeying with reverence, and taking Him seriously to the point of obedience, and being aware of the possibility of His chastening as mentioned in Hebrews 12 and to the 5 of the 7 churches of Asia in Revelation (as well as for all who has an ear to listen to those warnings), and preaching His uncompromised Word and the blessed opportunity of repentance as a result.

    My husband was missing out on being discipled Biblically because we were constantly focused on frivolous messages like "It's okay to be mad at God (but oh don't dare question the pastor)", "Christian women can have a Jezebel spirt (while half the teenagers in church were watching worldly videos of sultry women), and other topics that could not be supported Biblically.

    I'm finding this hard to face: That too many average churches teach things like It's okay to verbalize anger with God, but not question a powerful speaker at the microphone regardless of any error spoken; Or it's a sign of unforgiveness to confront wrongdoing unless your name is Barak Obama or Hilary Clinton. (Definitely NOT Democrat or Republican btw and have never voted for either party for presidency.)

    This mediocrity and twisting of priorities that I've been exposed to (with the little church we attend as an exception that I've found) are killing marriages with mine as an example of 2 years, are confusing conflicted teens, and making new converts feel either happy they can compromise and think they're saved or send them running farther away from the church.

    Right now, I have a relative who is single and won't stop messing with a married woman who has kids. Yet he feels he is so close to God because, when hands are laid upon him, he falls out and feels spiritual and stays on the ground in an emotional state for literally hours. But won't let this married woman and her family's at-risk stability alone. And church leaders are proud of the effects of their service on him. My husband, whose discernment is still building from where it was shattered, is SO impressed by this guy's experience. Yet since 2 Sundays ago when he had his spiritual experience, he's spent time with this woman! I believe the Lord gives him the experience to give him space to repent. The experience is more something that's going to be reminded to him of what God was trying to do in his life rather than an experience to boast about.

    Something is wrong!
     
  15. Freedom Now

    Freedom Now Active Member

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    Why have so many churches stopped teaching the fear of God?



    How can one teach the fear of God, if we don't know what the fear of God is?


    We all know the story in Acts 5 about Ananias and his wife Sapphira and the consequences of

    Lying, and Acts 5, 11 sums it up...

    And great Fear came upon ALL THE CHURCH , and upon as many as heard these things.



    Today all we do is preach about love , that God is love and has our best interest in His heart.


    But the God that I believe in , has a very high standard and does not condone sin, HE abhors it.

    It is because of sin that He sent His Son, so that we could live righteous before Him.



    Reading the story of Ananias and Sapphira, does that instill the FEAR OF GOD in you?

    Or is your attitude, oh well if I sin, I will be forgiven, we are just human, we all make mistakes, etc....



    The fear of the Lord is the BEGINNING of Wisdom.


    If we look at man's churches today that claim the name christian, sin is out of control,

    greed , power, lying, adultery and remarriage, etc.....but hey God loves us and who are you to judge us....


    Leaders won't preach the fear of God, if they did, they would have to preach against sin , and

    that is never received well, job security would be on the line, or churches would empty out and

    look for places where there is no conviction of sin.



    Jesus said,...

    He who loves Me, WILL keep My word. ..

    He who has My commandments and KEEPS them , he it is who loves Me. ...


    He who says..I know Him...but disobeys His commandments is a liar, and the Truth is not in him. ..


    Do you know God?
    Do you keep His commandments?

    Are you one of the liars that say....I know Him...?

    Ananias and Sapphira were found to be liars and fell dead, and great FEAR came upon

    all them that heard these things.



    Do you have the Fear of God in your life?
     
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2016
  16. unfinishedclay

    unfinishedclay Member

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    Yes, this!

    And Ananias and Sapphire fell dead because they lied to the Holy Ghost.

    But then Revelation says what happens to liars (lying to anybody - big lies, little lies, Santa Claus lies, etc.) and other sins listed in Revelation 21:8. Are we supposed to ignore the teaching of Revelation in church? The fear of the Lord does not negate the love of God. But there is no reverence. I've heard too many messages over the years implying it's okay to live in/believe certain error. But right within the congregation, there are the listening ears of people who have bad intentions and will act on the peace they feel about doing it.

    Hosea 4:6
    My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge; because you have rejected knowledge, I will also reject you that you shall be no priest to me. Seeing you have forgotten the law of your God, I will also forget your children.
     
  17. unfinishedclay

    unfinishedclay Member

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    And the mention of the fearful in Revelation 12:8 is not in reference to the fear of the Lord but the fear of man (the faithless, the unbelieving in the face of opposition to our faith). That fear does not mean the butterflies in the stomach or even escaping danger like churches are doing in other countries and like apostles did in Acts. The fearful are too afraid to confess Jesus before unbelievers/persecuters.
     
  18. Geralt

    Geralt Reformed Supporter

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    when people make up their own god, they will have a humanized version.
    there is no fear, for it is a convenient god of their own making.
     
  19. Alithis

    Alithis Disciple of Jesus .

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    Why Have So Many Churches Stopped Teaching The Fear Of God?....

    because
    they don't love nor fear him...
     
  20. unfinishedclay

    unfinishedclay Member

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    That in a nutshell, yeah. I guess I dig and dig to try and understand while processing so much.
     
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