topiary cats

topiary cats

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Catechism

When I was around 7, we went to a Lutheran church and we had to memorize the Catechism.  There were a lot of things that began with "We are to fear and love God.....".

My 7 year-old mind tried to puzzle this one out.  Fear and love God.  It really put my mind in a quandary.  I didn't understand it.  I wondered about it.  Finally I came to the conclusion it meant I love God but I should be really afraid of him at the same time.

As I got older I still thought about it.  I'm writing about it now, so I guess I'm still thinking about it!

Neale Donald Walsh talks about love and fear being polar opposites in Conversations with God, which I read in college.

I do not fear God.  There is just no reason to.  Besides, when your motivations, intentions, and actions stem from fear that is not good.  Not good at all. You cannot increase your frequency if you are acting from fear.

Take this quote:

This is awful. 

Motivation, intention, and action should stem from Love- never fear.  Love is connection with God- fear is separation.  You cannot truly know God through a fear-based connection.  Acting out of love, because you love God, is what drives integrity.  It is strength.

Fear is an ill-chosen word.  Perhaps the correct one is reverence.



1 comment:

  1. Well, you're right. Maybe "fear" isn't the best word for us these days because it comes with associations and connotations and God tells us *not* to fear, because he is there. I didn't get it for a long time, either. Puzzling, and not a thing that many explain very well at all. (And yet here I am commenting lol.) You are right that reverence is a big part of it, but the main point is...we fear God because we *have nothing else to fear*. Not that God visits destruction down upon us when we are naughty. Nothing like that. But...nonetheless, God is the only power with control...God understands human nature and what fear means and does to us, and so he uses that. We are human. We *can't help* but fear, because fear is part of our arsenal of tools with which to face life and the universe. A lot of people think God is there to balance out the threat of the world, to protect us from the nasty things that happen here. Not so, at least not in the way that they think. The world is not to be feared; if anything is to be feared (and I would say that something needs to be, for the above mentioned reason), it is God. While action *ought* to stem from love...let's face it, people suck at that type of thing. But fearing God is not (or at least should not be) some paralyzing fear like worrying about kidnappers...it is a positive and uplifting thing, making one receptive to God. The original language of the Bible has "fear" meaning a great many different things. For instance, there is the type of fear that comes from thinking "Oh no, that person over there looks like he is up to no good, let's go somewhere where he is not." But that is not the only type of fear one can have; you can, say, fear your employer because they have power to lay you off. Does this mean you are *afraid* of them? No. At least hopefully not! (That analogy sounds v appropriate, but it's not really, it still doesn't come close to what our relationship with God is.) I think that a lot of times our relationship with God sounds contradictory. Most true things in life seem that way, lol. Unfortunately, "fear" is usually taken out of context even for the most well-intentioned people. They read words and think nothing of the actual meaning. It's not an easy thing to grasp; I've probably butchered the explanation myself, lol. But, I woke up early and retreated to the office this morning so at least you gave me something interesting to think about. :D The Lutheran Catechism is an interesting thing...Martin Luther had a lot of wisdom, but reading it all together doesn't really make a lot of sense, at least to me, because a loooot more context is needed. When talking about proper fear, love is always mentioned. Always. We truly have no reason to be afraid, or scared, or worried. <3

    This is what happens when I start thinking at 6 in the morning, lol.

    ReplyDelete

Thanks for stopping by! I love your comments! :) <3