I don’t get it. Maybe someone can explain this to me. Why do Christians live in fear? Wait, let me adjust that question. Why do American Christians live in wide-spread fear?
Based on some of the news stories I read, this is a short list of some of the things that some Christians fear – Islam, gay marriage, alcohol, dancing, certain people getting elected, death, violence, guns, drugs, science, teachers, people from other countries, people who speak different languages, people in other political parties, climate change, driving a vehicle, flying, the dark, insects, flooding, snow, rain, and for good measure I’ll add these last two – their shadows and that the earth may be flat (You can’t make this stuff up).
That’s a whole lot of fear. And it’s not just one political persuasion either. Fear seems to be gripping many Christians these days. Our culture is so concerned with safety that we have lost sight of some things. Here’s a reality check – safety is nice, but it should not be the end-all-be-all of everything.
Here’s a few small examples of what I mean. It seems like every time it snows the schools are closed as a “safety” precaution. In fact, there have been times when the schools were closed the night before because of the prediction of heavy snow. The next day, it was bright and sunny, with no snow. Even when it does snow, the schools are canceled – there is fear that something might happen and someone would sue the school. Can’t afford a lawsuit you know.
When it rains, we tell our kids to head inside, they might melt or catch a cold or something. Can’t be too safe you know.
We tell our children not to talk to strangers for their safety because someone could abduct one of them. But then they grow up and no one has told the person that it’s ok to talk with a stranger now.
We are always teaching our children. Every time we tell our children not to do something, we are teaching them something important – that they should live in fear.
Every time it snows and we cancel school because someone could sue the school, we are teaching our children to fear. Every time it rains or snows and we tell them they have to stay inside instead of going out because it’s safer, we are teaching them fear. Every time we tell them they can’t read this or that, or talk about a certain subject because it might offend someone, we are teaching them fear. We are always teaching children something, the question is what we are teaching them. Unfortunately, it seems that our society is obsessed with teaching fear and valuing a false sense of security.
And this is odd for Christians – at least the Christianity that I am most familiar with. Aren’t we told that bad stuff is going to happen, but that God will be with us through it. Aren’t we told that people will get sick and die, but God will walk with us in this time of trial. Aren’t we told that Jesus will be with us until the end of the age. What happened to the message of hope and contentment? What happened to the Christian message that bad stuff happens to people, but death is not the end of the story?
We call ourselves Christians, but act like atheists. Why is that?