Opinions on faith and life

Phobia Mania

2008-02-01

Why is it that when someone disagrees with a popular belief that they are accused of fear? If you speak out against homosexuality, you’re a homophobe. If you expose the New Age lies of contemplative spirituality, you’re afraid of the spiritual. If you resist the planned dismantling of this once-good country, you’re afraid of change, or other nationalities. No matter what the topic, if you disagree with whatever is popular, you must be afraid of it.

Yet few who fly the fear flag (say that five times fast!) ever stop to think about how that would apply to them. Are they Christophobic? Bibliophobic? Anglophobic? Theophobic? Gynophobic? Afraid of a constitutional republic? Afraid that maybe God really did create the world in six solar days? Afraid they really will have to stand before Him on judgment day?

Let’s drop the phobia mania and just admit the truth: people can disagree with you, and it has nothing to do with fear. Or hate. Or stupidity. Or blindness.

I see this phobia mania especially in the letters (i.e. hate mail) to what we call “discernment ministries”, individuals or organizations that expose falsehood by comparing teachings to the Bible. They must certainly be afraid of ____ [insert name of favorite heresy here] to speak out against such a good/ harmless/ positive thing. It helps people, it brings us closer to God, it is the answer to war, etc. etc. etc....

But the only thing we who speak out are afraid of is that these false teachings are leading so many souls to hell. We speak because we care. We warn because there is real danger. We watch and test and stay alert for the smallest error, because it only takes a spark to start a forest fire. Error is poison. Is your family doctor “afraid” when he tells you to stay away from toxic chemicals? Was your mother “afraid” when she told you to look both ways before crossing a street?

Error itself is not to be feared, it is to be despised. We cannot “dialog” with error, we can only expose and destroy it. We cannot ignore it and hope it goes away. We cannot mix it with truth or look for the “good” in it. We don’t need to taste poison when the Bible marks it as such. And we can leave no stone unturned:

Now the Berean Jews were of more noble character than those in Thessalonica, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true. (Acts 17:11 TNIV)
Truth is not afraid of examination. If any movement or teaching whines when it is challenged, using the fear label or “don’t throw the baby out with the bath water” or “touch not God’s anointed” or any other excuse, it has something to hide. When people refuse to hear anything negative about their favorite teacher or teaching, that’s a sure sign of error-- and fear. Error runs like roaches from the light of examination. It lashes out at whoever is daring to question it. It plays the victim in an effort to discredit the questioner.

There is a “spirit of error” overtaking what used to be Christianity. Many leaders are calling openly for the expulsion of dissenters from whatever globalist strategy is popular. They want peace at any price, and will go to war against us to get it. (Quite obvious hypocrisy, I know, but that doesn’t stop them.)

Don’t give in to fear. “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” (2 Tim. 1:7)

2 Comments

Lin

"Truth is not afraid of examination. If any movement or teaching whines when it is challenged, using the fear label or “don’t throw the baby out with the bath water” or “touch not God’s anointed” or any other excuse, it has something to hide. When people refuse to hear anything negative about their favorite teacher or teaching, that’s a sure sign of error– and fear. Error runs like roaches from the light of examination. It lashes out at whoever is daring to question it. It plays the victim in an effort to discredit the questioner."

Well said! I hear the ’touch not thine anointed’ all the time these days and it is scary! So many are setting up earthly priests and kings we dare not question.

I grew up with ’priesthood of believer’ drilled into my head. We do not hear much of it these days and consequently, we are not growing mature Christians who are Bereans.

All believers can be taught by the Holy Spirit when reading the Word. I was reading Galatians 1 last night and it hit me when Paul said this:

15But when he who had set me apart before I was born, and who called me by his grace, 16was pleased to reveal his Son to me, in order that I might preach him among the Gentiles, I did not immediately consult with anyone; 17nor did I go up to Jerusalem to those who were apostles before me, but I went away into Arabia, and returned again to Damascus.(ESV)

In the NASB, it says ’did not consult with flesh and blood’. Paul did not run to the other Apostles right away to be taught. So who taught him? I think you get my point.

Excellent post!

Paula Fether

Hi Lin, thanks for your kind comment!

I’d add that I’ve also heard many accounts of people who were saved by the scriptures alone. Some of them were in the process of trying to prove the Bible to be myths and the resurrection a hoax when the Spirit (and ugly facts!) turned them around. This proves that the written Word is not the dry and outdated book many even in the churches are calling it; it’s truly "living and active".

We’re all "anointed"!