THE FEAR OF GOD AND CHILDREN
|#1 Love for self produces a defensive hatred for the things of God
|#2 Moral relativity shuts the door to God.
|#3 Locks on their minds keep the door shut.
At this point we will not discuss the contributing philosophers to each of these philosophies, but instead we will point out that the teaching on the fear of God goes against each of the above points. All the points above are totally unbiblical but are to different degrees accepted by professing Christians living in the modern world. This is the reason the Christian no longer lives very differently than the non-Christian. There no longer is a fear of God.
If one notices each of the above categories, one will see that freedom of self-expression, thought and choice are deeply integrated here. The fear of God speaks of constraining oneself to God's ways. They know that if children hear the Word of God, then this will shape their perspectives and interfere in what they believe is full self-development.
Fear and Discipline
Furthermore, they 'guck' up the word 'love.' They seem of good intent when they only want to affirm and don't dare say anything negative or imposing on another person, but this is not what love is at all. The basis for this thinking is again that we are born innocent and will grow fine on ourselves if others just don't get involved bringing their expectations into our lives. One can see very quickly that the teaching of the fear of God stomps on this sloppy version of love. Here are some biblical supports against this kind of affirming love.
Love undoubtedly has a wonderful affirming character that we need to grow in (see I Corinthians 13). However, love has its balancing truths. For example, Jesus fully represented God when it is said of Him that He was full of grace and truth. We are to speak the truth in love (Ephesians 4:5).
Behind the fear of the Lord stand three attributes of God. God is a just, holy and mighty being tolerating no sin and bound to judge and get rid of all sin. Because God is so much greater than ourselves He is awesome in glory causing us to fear Him (a good example are the angels covering themselves before God's presence). Because God is holy, sinful creatures like us are naturally fearing God when exposed to His presence. Christians do have the covering of Christ and so this fear is modified in a certain way but hardly eliminated. The more we realize the depths of our sin and the potential chastisement upon our lives, the more we will fear Him more.
The world is attempting to make all forms of punishment and chastisement wrong. For example, the people are taught to side against capital punishment even though the scriptures clearly support it. We are intimidated by the society to stand against discipline because it imposes ones judgment upon another. This is in complete contradiction to Hebrews 12 which clearly says that if we do not chastise, then we do not love. Affirming words without discipline is not love because it does not build the fear of God into their lives. Without the fear of the Lord, much harm and foolishness will come to them.
Much can be said about the need for proper discipline both in children as well as Christians. Only by fearing the Lord, will we discern these evil ways and be able to stand against them. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge and wisdom.
The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge; Fools despise wisdom and instruction. (Proverbs 1:7).
Fear God and Fear not Man
Fearing God | Problems with Fearing God | Fear of God in NT | Fear and Love of God | A Shaping Fear
Other Titles in 'The Godly Man' Series
Pure Heart | Humble | Gracious | Loving | Truthful | Faithful | Waiting upon God | Good | Righteous