"The Fear of God"

Let me preface this article by unequivocally stating that if you are a religious person, devoted to any faith, I'm more than happy for you. I'm not anti religion nor am I anti god. I just walk a different path in my ideas about god and don't feel any need to find a religion that closely matches my beliefs. With that said, I'd like to relate to you the following experience that happened to me today...

I was just in the last throws of making myself some toasted cheese and ham for lunch. The kettle was on the boil for a cuppa and I thought, I'll just dash outside to check the mail while I waited. Upon opening the front door you could literally hear the thud of my heart, not so much sinking to the floor but making a mad dash to be elsewhere because the view from my eyes was that of two well dressed young men, carrying nicely bound black books, coming up our garden path. Mormons.

Mormons are very nice and very polite people. They speak well and work really hard to spread their message. Sometimes to the point of being just a little bit creepy (but in a nice way). Their goal is to befriend you and, if possible come into your home for a nice chat about 'the true nature of God', 'family values' and fulfilling some kind of destiny to be 'more like God'.

I'm very familiar with their tactics. They'll ask your name, find out if you have family, ask what you do for a living. They'll also ask about key values that we all want for our families like love, honesty, and respect. Phrasing questions in such a way that if you answer anything other than in the affirmative it will reveal you to be potentially the spawn of Satan.

I happened to reveal that I'm an artist and one of the polite young men asked if I had any art around that I'd like to show them. Interesting tactic. I could just imagine the conversation had I invited them to look at work in my studio...every sentence veering towards how learning more about God will improve my life. I declined this offer, mostly because by this stage my toast was cold and my cuppa, which I'd interrupted them to switch off the kettle and pour, was also heading the same way. Did God really want me to eat a cold lunch or did he just make it cold because he knew I'd never let his sheep in? I am that evil.

I'm not going to go into details of what these two, smartly dressed friends of God raised because, quite frankly, I was only half listening but one thing stuck in my head that really turned me off anything they had to say.

Somehow we got onto the topic of families and children and one of them said he thought that not enough children were being introduced to strong, family values and being taught 'the fear of God'. What the? Did he say 'the fear of God'? Slipped that one right in.

This is where myself and the young man on my door step don't see eye to eye. Why would anyone want to introduce fear of any kind into their home and especially to their kids? If there is a God (and I like to think there probably is) I don't think he would want people to be afraid of him. To do things for him because they're afraid of the consequences if they ignore him. God would want us to follow him because we genuinely want to follow him for no other reason than we believe in him and his message. At least that's what I believe.

If you follow someone because you fear what they might do if you don't are you really a follower or are you being held against your will? I'll leave that question open as something to think about.

Anyhow, I'm not one to debate anomalies of religion on my doorstep. People are welcome to their own beliefs. Whilst I'd prefer it if people didn't come to my door, spreading their message, they're welcome to do so if they leave with my message..."I'm not really interested in discussing my beliefs and moral values with you." and "Organised religions don't really hold any interest for me."

If we really do have a higher purpose to be more like God, then I'm willing to take my chances that the path I'm on is the one that's right for me. Either way, even if I had let them in, my toast still would have been cold and my cuppa would've been even colder. At least on the path I followed my cuppa was still at a reasonable temperature to enjoy.

4 comments:

  1. Hey Tet, I am a christian and I totally agree with you! the mormons aren't right and follow some very weird beliefs including ufos... next time I would question them on whether or not they believe we really came from outer space, cos technically.. they do! (even if they are unaware of it)

    I agree with you that we should follow God out of love, not fear... and reading the bible to find out what God has to say on the matter really helps too. ;-)

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  2. How do we really know where we came from Lauren? There's a whole school of thinking, not related to religions, that also believe the human race originated from other planets/worlds. The Mormons could be right in what they believe.

    My point being that Faith isn't about proof, it's about belief without needing concrete proof.

    Of course many religious people state that they see the proof of their beliefs every day in 'so many ways' but really it's not the kind of proof that answers the question of whose beliefs are the right ones.

    My experience of religions and the bible leads me to conclude that there really isn't much within either that drives me to align myself with those teachings, faiths etc.

    I'm just happy to believe what I believe. I'd like to think there is a God and, if there is, I like to believe God is a much nicer and wiser being than that described in the bible.

    Who's right? Well I guess each of us will find out when the time comes.

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  3. I feel as though a "fear of God" isn't in the literal translation of fearing him... but more in the fear of our falling short in all that he calls us to be and to do. Repeatedly throughout the bible, he tells us "fear not", so I believe our greatest fear and our greatest regret in life will be in regards to the sins of omission.

    Love is patient, love is kind.
    God is love.

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  4. That's an interesting point of view aperio.

    I'm not sure about this idea of 'the sins of omission' in relation to your point. It seems harsh to describe what you didn't do, simply because you fell short, as a 'sin of ommission'.

    Maybe if you deliberately fell short and knew you could've done better perhaps?

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