We are terrified. We meaning fundamentalist Southern believers. Sometimes we mask it well, under the guise of anger, which is not pretty, at all. Often we take to our pulpits and pews in a blustering fit to broadcast or imbibe boisterous messages of anti-almost-anything that might infringe upon our sanctimonious self-image.
We’re terrified of pop-culture. We are terrified of losing our religious liberty. We’re scared someone is stealing “our” holiday. We’re afraid we aren’t quite American or Republican enough. We’re scared someone’s notion of holiness is different than our own.
I could address any one of these irrational angry fears, or each of them in their very own blog; but what would be the point? They each boil down to one simple idea. Fear. We give the enemy, that sneaky lion that Peter wrote about, or thief, murderer, destroyer, and liar, as Jesus called him, way too much credit–and in an almost paradoxically ironic twist ignore him as much as possible at the same time.
The very first message I ever preached lasted about thirty seconds, shorter than the time it would take you to read this blog. The words God put on my thirteen year old heart all those years ago are still true…
For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control. — 2 Timothy 1:7
Finally, I do want to address this fear of pop-culture. I watched the Smurfs as a kid. I was crazy about He-Man, Thundercats, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and the Wizard of Oz. I played (and still play) role-playing games. I practiced make-believe, and fed an over active imagination. I read all of the Harry Potter books, and enjoyed them. Nothing about any of it ever served to influence, interrupt, or corrupt my faith. If anything, engaging in such fantastic elements of imagining only served to better whet my appetite for the healthy reality of the supernatural . . . especially as it pertains to notions of divine miracles and the resurrection of Christ.
Of course, probably not everyone is mentally capable of drawing such distinct lines between real and imaginary; my parents did a fantastic job of coaching and instructing (parenting) in this respect. And not everything out there should be engaged by Christians. But NOTHING out there should be feared by us.
Regardless of your opinion on this particular subject. Many who read this will no doubt disagree with me. I hope all believers will learn to let go of these irrational fears we are so guilty of catering to. Isn’t it about time we recognize that our God is bigger than our fear?