Fear God

Argue for and against Christianity

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nobspeople
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Fear God

Post #1

Post by nobspeople »

What's the point of fearing God?

"The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction."
Though I've never seen God shell out knowledge - factually Genesis seems to indicate he doesn't like to give knowledge - or at the very least does so in accordance with his will, which we're demanded to have faith in, not knowledge of.

"“I tell you, my friends, do not fear those who kill the body, and after that have nothing more that they can do. But I will warn you whom to fear: fear him who, after he has killed, has authority to cast into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him!"
That's a pleasant thought! What a was to win souls: threatening them with hell!

"And his mercy is for those who fear him from generation to generation."
More threats (promises?).

"But in every nation anyone who fears him and does what is right is acceptable to him."
Seems he wants those to fear him and they will be rewarded with being 'acceptable'? What grand praise! :facepalm:

How does 'fear' promote love and devotion in a positive way? Or is this a case where the ends justifies the means?

Fearing God, some say, saves us from our sinful nature. Perhaps, but is that the best way to go about it? Does using vinegar catch more flies than honey actually work? Maybe that's why it seems the fear of hell is taught throughout Christianity more than love and acceptance.

Some say God poses an ominous threat to their ego, but not to them directly. Debatable. Still, that's harm and harm's not a good thing, particularly when it comes to a being that's capable of any and every thing possible. Surely there's a better way, for him, to go about getting the point across without harm. Is God so barbaric, so archaic that it resorts to physical and emotion abuse to get its point across when it's capable of so much more?

Or is this yet another "that's not what fear meant then" excuse pulled from believers?

Maybe we just need 'the spirit' to interpret this the 'correct way'?

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Re: Fear God

Post #2

Post by RJG »

A god that wishes to be feared isn't a pleasant entity at all. :x

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Re: Fear God

Post #3

Post by 1213 »

nobspeople wrote: Wed Apr 07, 2021 11:54 am What's the point of fearing God?...
I think about the same as the point of fearing fire. Do you fear fire? Probably for most it means they understand that fire can burn, if the do wrong thing. I think the same is with God, if you do wrong things, God can let you die.

However, if you know God, you know He doesn’t do anything evil/wrong/bad, which is why you don’t have to fear that God would do something bad. And that is why I think it is said:

There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear has punishment. He who fears is not made perfect in love.
1 John 4:18

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Miles
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Re: Fear God

Post #4

Post by Miles »

nobspeople wrote: Wed Apr 07, 2021 11:54 am What's the point of fearing God?

"The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction."
Though I've never seen God shell out knowledge - factually Genesis seems to indicate he doesn't like to give knowledge - or at the very least does so in accordance with his will, which we're demanded to have faith in, not knowledge of.

"“I tell you, my friends, do not fear those who kill the body, and after that have nothing more that they can do. But I will warn you whom to fear: fear him who, after he has killed, has authority to cast into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him!"
That's a pleasant thought! What a was to win souls: threatening them with hell!

"And his mercy is for those who fear him from generation to generation."
More threats (promises?).

"But in every nation anyone who fears him and does what is right is acceptable to him."
Seems he wants those to fear him and they will be rewarded with being 'acceptable'? What grand praise! :facepalm:

How does 'fear' promote love and devotion in a positive way? Or is this a case where the ends justifies the means?

Fearing God, some say, saves us from our sinful nature. Perhaps, but is that the best way to go about it? Does using vinegar catch more flies than honey actually work? Maybe that's why it seems the fear of hell is taught throughout Christianity more than love and acceptance.

Some say God poses an ominous threat to their ego, but not to them directly. Debatable. Still, that's harm and harm's not a good thing, particularly when it comes to a being that's capable of any and every thing possible. Surely there's a better way, for him, to go about getting the point across without harm. Is God so barbaric, so archaic that it resorts to physical and emotion abuse to get its point across when it's capable of so much more?

Or is this yet another "that's not what fear meant then" excuse pulled from believers?

Maybe we just need 'the spirit' to interpret this the 'correct way'?
From what is said about god in the bible it's evident he has no moral compass whatsoever. And if he is still sticking his fingers into the lives and affairs of his earthly creatures fearing him would be the prudent thing to do. And because no one could ever second guess him and do the "right thing," the lurking possibility that a person may be the innocent object of his wrath should be enough to give a guy night sweats.

Thank god I'm an atheist.



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Re: Fear God

Post #5

Post by Tcg »

1213 wrote: Wed Apr 07, 2021 2:18 pm There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear has punishment. He who fears is not made perfect in love.
1 John 4:18
"The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction."
Proverbs 1:7
I guess we have to choose between love and knowledge. Either that or simply realize that once again the Bible isn't consistent in it's claims.


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Re: Fear God

Post #6

Post by Tcg »

[Replying to nobspeople in post #1]

I never had any fear of God. When is was very young I accepted the teachings of my church and was convinced I was bound for heaven. Once I became an atheist, I had no reason to fear a God I lacked belief in.


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To be clear: Atheism is not a disbelief in gods or a denial of gods; it is a lack of belief in gods.

- American Atheists


Not believing isn't the same as believing not.

- wiploc


I must assume that knowing is better than not knowing, venturing than not venturing; and that magic and illusion, however rich, however alluring, ultimately weaken the human spirit.

- Irvin D. Yalom

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Re: Fear God

Post #7

Post by Paul of Tarsus »

nobspeople wrote: Wed Apr 07, 2021 11:54 am What's the point of fearing God?

Is God so barbaric, so archaic that it resorts to physical and emotion abuse to get its point across when it's capable of so much more?
Assuming these are the questions for debate, I'd say that it's illogical for God to want anybody to fear him. He then doesn't use any kind of abuse to force his will on anybody. He is capable of establishing much better relations with people in much better ways if he interacts with us at all. The point of portraying God as a violent and fearsome despot is based in the nefarious motives of many of the Bible's writers. It is they and not God who can profit from making God out to be a cosmic bully who will harm those who oppose the Bible's writers.

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Re: Fear God

Post #8

Post by Miles »

Paul of Tarsus wrote: Wed Apr 07, 2021 8:24 pm
nobspeople wrote: Wed Apr 07, 2021 11:54 am What's the point of fearing God?

Is God so barbaric, so archaic that it resorts to physical and emotion abuse to get its point across when it's capable of so much more?
Assuming these are the questions for debate, I'd say that it's illogical for God to want anybody to fear him. He then doesn't use any kind of abuse to force his will on anybody. He is capable of establishing much better relations with people in much better ways if he interacts with us at all. The point of portraying God as a violent and fearsome despot is based in the nefarious motives of many of the Bible's writers. It is they and not God who can profit from making God out to be a cosmic bully who will harm those who oppose the Bible's writers.
Or perhaps those portraying god as a violent and fearsome despot are onto a truth other writers try to muzzle with grandiloquent words of praise and love. I know if I was completely unaware of Christianity and came upon the Bible, after reading it I would think of this god as a degenerate, egotistic beast who deserved to be reviled rather than worshiped. Deeds of immorality and evil can never be expunged by good works.


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Re: Fear God

Post #9

Post by JehovahsWitness »

nobspeople wrote: Wed Apr 07, 2021 11:54 am What's the point of fearing God?

My bible Encylopedia has the following entry under FEAR...
What is the fear of Jehovah that we should have?

The Bible shows that there is a proper fear and an improper fear. Thus, fear may be wholesome and cause the individual to proceed with due caution in the face of danger, thereby averting disaster, or it may be morbid, destroying hope and weakening a person’s nervous stamina, even to the point of bringing about death. The fear of God is healthful; it is an awe and a profound reverence for the Creator and a wholesome dread of displeasing him. This fear of incurring his displeasure is a result of appreciation of his loving-kindness and goodness together with the realization that he is the Supreme Judge and the Almighty, who has the power to inflict punishment or death upon those who disobey him.​—See AWE; DREAD.

source: https://wol.jw.org/en/wol/d/r1/lp-e/1200001500#h=4


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LOVE, HATE and ...BIBLICAL FEAR
INDEX: More bible based ANSWERS
http://debatingchristianity.com/forum/v ... 81#p826681


"For if we live, we live to Jehovah, and if we die, we die to Jehovah. So both if we live and if we die, we belong to Jehovah" -
Romans 14:8

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Re: Fear God

Post #10

Post by nobspeople »

1213 wrote: Wed Apr 07, 2021 2:18 pm
nobspeople wrote: Wed Apr 07, 2021 11:54 am What's the point of fearing God?...
I think about the same as the point of fearing fire. Do you fear fire? Probably for most it means they understand that fire can burn, if the do wrong thing. I think the same is with God, if you do wrong things, God can let you die.

However, if you know God, you know He doesn’t do anything evil/wrong/bad, which is why you don’t have to fear that God would do something bad. And that is why I think it is said:

There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear has punishment. He who fears is not made perfect in love.
1 John 4:18
While I appreciate and understand you POV, fearing fire ultimately, has little to do with your eternal soul, not to mention fire isn't a 'real being' as God is said to be.
And fearing God won't do something 'bad' is only part of the issue (though it could be argued drowning 99.9% of all life isn't a good thing).

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