One of the most common elements used to retain congregants, relationships, and/or loyalty; is fear. Fear of what may be, and fear of what might happen! I can recall all to well the multiple “Word from God” warnings I received regarding my departure from the Oneness Pentecostal faith. I can recall the many horror stories of once strong Christians who suddenly ended up in sexual depravity, alcoholism and drug use because of their departure from Oneness theology. These “backsliders” were exampled from the pulpit, during bible studies, and even casual conversations… These were all lessons, and certainly many have been subject to this style pedagogy.
What is the real school of thought being taught here though? Is it a warning being given, perhaps a passionate beg in the spirit of genuine concern, or something more deceptive and subtle?
My thought is the real intent of the lesson is not so much my personal well being, but instead an attempt to control, by means of fear. I can think of few things I like less, than the attempts of man to intimidate, and control others with fear.
Fear is often used when genuine reason is not an ample means of persuasion. That’s a good statement there, and you can quote me!
Fear is often used when genuine reason is not an ample means of persuasion.
Fear is often used when genuine concern is not present, and fear is often used because of its power of manipulation. Fear can be a strong motivator! Consider Peter, who denied the Lord Jesus! Fear caused him to do something that he had determined he would not do! Something his heart desired not to do! Fear often makes us act in ways we might not, and live in ways we don’t want to.
This is my second entry on fear, and for good reason. You need to be aware of its power over your life. Many times we become so accustomed to fear, we no longer realize we have it! However close contemplation and reflection reveals to us that our lives have been shaped by it; it has become the steady seasoning of our diet, the salt of our sustenance! Such as:
God will stomp out...
God will make bad things happen to you, curse your life
God will not put up with you
God will not tolerate your bad decisions
God will not bless that mess
They lost the anointing when they left
God is mad at you
AND SO ON!!!
I am reminded of the story that circulated our former particular doctrinal persuasion… It recounted the tale of a young woman who was faithful to God, in the avenue of her uncut hair. She would not cut her hair as her reasonable service to God.( a well established/accepted doctrine of the Oneness Pentecostals is a woman cannot cut her hair) Well she fell into all sorts of sin, finally reaching the moral depraved consciousness that allowed her to cut her hair. She cut it… What ensued, as the story goes, was a horrible rape, followed by a “so you see…” Somehow indicating that the woman brought on the offense, by the cutting of her hair… Makes you upset, doesn’t it?
Okay well, while I agree that many times we propel ourselves out of God’s hand into all sort of dangerous circumstances… But God allowed a woman to be accosted because she cut her hair? Gee, I don’t think so. This little story is not an actual occurrence, instead it is a device, and its sole purpose is to control, in the absence of logical persuasion.
As silly as this is, as offensive as it sounds… what silly fables and fears have you accepted as truth?
What silly lies have you believed?
Come on, what doctrinal, theological boogie man, is in your closet?
Think about it for a moment? Check under the bed, that monster may be all in your head…
I’ll leave you with this! From the Message Bible
1 John 4:18 There is no room in love for fear. Well-formed love banishes fear. Since fear is crippling, a fearful life--fear of death, fear of judgment--is one not yet fully formed in love.
For more information on the Trinity - Please check out my "Sermon Notes" link on the right.
For more information on the uncut hair doctrine please look at the “Holiness Standards” under the “CATEGORIES” section to the right.
And by the way: My dear friend Pastor Nar, always ends with this, and I think I’ll share his sentiments
“God is not mad at you”
Collective fear stimulates herd instinct, and tends to produce ferocity toward those who are not regarded as members of the herd.