“Scared? Fear the Maker” – Outreach Media

Posted by on July 4, 2011 in Thoughts | 4 comments

There’s one thing I can never understand, and it’s the perceived dichotomy between the “all-loving God” and the “vengeful God”. Apparently God is to be feared, because he is all-powerful and could exact all sorts of damages upon us and our souls if he so chose to. But on the other hand he loves us with a more pure and generous love than anything else can offer. It doesn’t sound like a very nice relationship to enter into willingly.

This month, Outreach Media have gone with this poster:

Fear The Lord

The message reads ‘Scared? Fear the Maker. “The fear of The Lord us the beginning of wisdom” The Bible’. It reinforces the fear factor by including a picture of a snarling lion, and this lion is pissed! Just look at those fangs, and the squinty eyes which say “I’m going to eat your scrawny human ass.” Definitely not something to be messed with, and if I were to be approached by a lion showing these aggressive signals in the wilds of Africa, I would probably pee my pants with fear.

The webpage for the poster starts with a bit of a story about just how frightening lions are, and then goes on to say that you should fear God. Why? Well this is what they have to say about that:

“The Bible says very clearly that: “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom”. We should be afraid of God. He’s very powerful. He invented the lion with his claws and teeth and, like the lion He made, He has power over our lives. Unlike the lion, He’s not confined to the Savannas of Africa. We will have to meet him one day.”

So God is like a lion, only he “invented” lions so he is scarier than a lion. It goes on:

“Thankfully, God is not only fearful, but loving. He sent Jesus to make it possible for us to come close to Him. So if you’re afraid of meeting Him then ask Jesus for help. Jesus’s death on the cross pays for your sin so you can come close to God without experiencing His terrifying anger.”

Phew! That’s a relief! Lucky he sent Jesus down to save us from the sins he apparently bestowed upon us in the first place, or he would scourge us with his “terrifying anger”, and we wouldn’t want that would we?

Now, here’s where the problem lies.

The God we should be afraid of invented man, right? He then made women from man, told them not to be aware of themselves, or anything around them, and when they disobeyed he cursed every human thereafter to be in sin, as a debt to him for inventing us. We are told he is a loving God, but we are also told he is a jealous God:

Deuteronomy 6:15 “for the LORD your God, who is among you, is a jealous God and his anger will burn against you, and he will destroy you from the face of the land.”

He is a hate-filled God:

Prov. 6:16-19, “There are six things which the Lord hates, yes, seven which are an abomination to Him: 17 Haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, 18 A heart that devises wicked plans, feet that run rapidly to evil, 19 A false witness who utters lies, and one who spreads strife among brothers.”

He is a vengeful God:

Psalm 94:1 “O LORD, the God who avenges, O God who avenges, shine forth.”

If this God were to exist, to tell you the truth, he sounds like a bit of an asshole to me. True I am cherry-picking the Bible to make my point, but what is my point exactly?

Religions play on the fears of humans, most strikingly the fear of death and the unknown thereafter. They use this fear to keep the people in line with the outcomes they wish to see, because if someone is afraid for their lives, they will be all the more likely to do as is demanded of them by those they are afraid of. The organised religions have used their figureheads such as popes, priests and imams to announce to the people that is they do not heed their words, then the outcomes for the poor peasantry will be dire, and this is based only on the book which they created and control. A scared citizenry is easier to control, and add to the fear of death, the potential for pain and sufferring AFTER death, the people become putty in the hands of the religion.

They tell us to fear and love God, because if we don’t he will hurt us. This sounds a lot like an abusive relationship, don’t you think? The website Helpguide.org in its section about Domestic Violence And Abuse says this about the signs of an abusive relationship:

“There are many signs of an abusive relationship. The most telling sign is fear of your partner. If you feel like you have to walk on eggshells around your partner—constantly watching what you say and do in order to avoid a blow-up—chances are your relationship is unhealthy and abusive. Other signs that you may be in an abusive relationship include a partner who belittles you or tries to control you, and feelings of self-loathing, helplessness, and desperation.”

Fear? Check. Walking on eggshells to avoid a blow-up? Check. Control? Check. Self-loathing (in this case of humanity itself) helplessness and desperation? Check.

If God were a a husband in a relationship with a human, he would likely be locked up, or at a minimum be given a restraining order. Hardly sounds like a loving God to me.

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4 Comments

  1. “The message reads ‘Scared? Fear the Maker. “The fear of The Lord us the beginning of wisdom” The Bible’. It reinforces the fear factor by including a picture of a snarling lion, and this lion is pissed! Just look at those fangs, and the squinty eyes which say “I’m going to eat your scrawny human ass.” “
    Well, maybe I am scared, but my rifle it is not…

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  2. Hmmm. Looking at that lion makes me think, “What a wuss…I’ll bet my old tomcat could kick his ass, for teh Gumbyman knows no fear!”

    On a more serious note, I think I parted ways with any fear of a god when I noted that the only reason I had for such fear was what could happen to my soul, and that no one had ever really proven that souls exist. I don’t remember ever ‘seeing’ a god, even as a believer, at work in the world, but my main concern was the hereafter, not the here and now.

    After that, it was farewell to religion.

    The whole thing with my own atheism and skepticism involves a sort of chicken and egg question, and I suspect the relationship was reciprocal whichever one lead to the other.

    My hat is off to you for a good post, Marty.

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  3. bhahahahaha this is just hilarious. I’ve always found religion to be very strange. The advert is so obviously transparent in it’s motivation, how could anyone fall for this?? you’d have to be a total lemming.
    There’s nothing to fear in life, except that which you manufacture in your own mind.

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  4. Hey Dude
    Based upon what you have written and what you have read – I complete agree with your point – Who would want to know a God like that.
    Sadly though somewhere along the line someone seems to have the missed the point – For my vote and this is based only upon what you say they said i think its the  website that ran this compain in the first place.
    Fear of God has very little if anything to do with being scared or afraid that he is going to abuse yopu if you don’t obey him.
    Fear of the Lord is most accurately translated Reverence – that is to higher esteem – to regonise and acknowledge his emensis power, wisdom and love. To hold him as persious Kinda like the difference between how you would hold a cheap $5 vase verse how you would hold a $million vase. Because you recognise the value of the second vase your approach to it is totally different – It’s not about being scared of the vase but being concious of its value. That’s reverance. We should reverence God not run and hide from him. Time and time again Jesus said come to me. and little children flocked to him obviousl not scary Peter who promised his undying devotion to him and then turned around and denied he even knew right at his most curcial time of need – And Jesus response forgiveness and acceptance not lightening bolts and disease.
    Sorry dude it sounds to me like you have been lied to – The God you speak is not the one I know.

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