The Instinct of Fear

Fear continues as one of the strongest instincts known to humanity. To a point, the story of the change from a savage to a civilized person is the story of the banishing of groundless fear. Primitive man’s life was surrounded by terrors. He walked every step of his life in the midst of countless fears. There were demons and witches and superstitions. Phenomenally brave in battle, such a man was still a child in his terror of the darkness, terror of his gods, of what other people might do to him by magic or voodoo or what have you. When the wise old book speaks of the fear of the Lord as the beginning of wisdom, it says a great deal and states the profound truth that as the God of heaven and earth enters life, the old primitive fears take flight.

One of the deepest and clearest insights that comes out of the Hebrew Christian faith is that God is not a God of whim and caprice. His character does not dart and shift according to what mood he is in or what incantations some priest makes or what sacrifice is offered before him. In him, meaning God, says the Bible, there are no variables or turning or shadow of turning. So, primitive fear and superstition decrease as our Christian commitment increases. A person cannot be an adult believing Christian and hold his faith in magic and the power of people to do to him things by repeating words and getting silly articles from practitioners who traffic in people’s ignorance.

Published by Intentional Faith

Devoted to a Faith that Thinks

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