Why Are We So Afraid?

The other day I was thinking about the various things that the Church is crying out against in American society.  I talked with someone about a documentary he wanted me to watch about the rise of Islam, and he said, “it’s scary, scary stuff.”  That has just stuck with me.

Why are we so afraid?

It got me thinking about Jesus.  He struck fear in the heart of the religious leaders of his time and they influenced the political leaders to be afraid of him as well.  He was a threat to their power.  He was declaring a new kingdom and a new way of living with God the Father.  He was seen as a revolutionary and a threat.

Revolutionaries are always a threat to those in power.

Change is always a threat to those in power.

The Church is clearly seeing a diminishing of our “power” and influence in American society.  The responses that I am seeing more often than not boil down to fear.

Are we afraid of losing our “power.”

The really sad thing about all of this is that we blame society for our loss of influence in American society.  But the real reason that we have lost our influence is because we gave it away.  We stopped caring about being a force for good in society and instead huddled together in our little clubs.

Don’t blame the media, the president, muslims, or the Gays for our fear.  It’s our own fault.

How do we overcome our fears?

Engagement.  Engagement does not mean agreement.  Engagement does not mean debate.  Engagement starts with conversation.  Stop decrying the evils of american society to club members who already agree with you.  Get out and get to know a gay person.  Talk to a muslim.  Serve the poor.

Do something.  Don’t let fear paralyze you.

Jesus help me to not let fear paralyze me.

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One thought on “Why Are We So Afraid?

  1. Nearly every person who acknowledges an aversion to homosexuality does so on the basis of what he or she believes the Bible has to say. In their mind, there is no doubt whatsoever about what the Bible says and what the Bible means. Their general argument goes something like this: Homosexuality is an abomination and the homosexual is a sinner. Homosexuality is condemned in both the Old and New Testaments. Therefore, if we are to be faithful to the clear teachings of Scripture we too must condemn homosexuality. One would have to be living under a rock to be unaware that this premise is being widely debated among evangelicals today and seriously challenged by biblical scholars, theologians and religious leaders everywhere.

    It rarely occurs to any of us that our reading of Scripture is profoundly colored by our own cultural context and worldview.

    In light of your post above and since I speak and write on this topic, I thought you might find this blog of particular interest (link below). Feel free to surf the “Archives” page as well. If you like, tell me what you think.

    -Alex Haiken
    http://JewishChristianGay.wordpress.com

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