The Fears of Christianity
Do you fear death?
I recently proposed this question to a group of Christian students with every one of them answering ‘yes’. I asked them why? This was slightly harder for them to provide an answer for. In the end it was decided that it was the ‘fear of the unknown’ that was frightening about death. The question of ‘will it hurt,’ ‘how will it happen,’ ‘when will it happen,’ and ‘what will happen afterwards’ are all which were frightening to these students.
As I myself reflected on the fears of death, I began to think about what role fear has in Christianity. I came up with this statement:
That which the world tells us to fear most, Christianity tells us to fear least. In the same respect, that which Christianity tells us to fear most, the world tells us to fear least.
This applies to much more than death, although death is a good example, one I will explain later. Take money for example. The world says to fear poverty, avoid it at all costs. Christianity says to fear wealth, avoid it at all costs.
The world says to fear war, Christianity says to fear peace. Christianity is fundamentally violent. The world isn’t too violent, the world isn’t violent enough. The world’s violence is that against flesh (beating a wife, killing a neighbor, etc.). The violence that the world lacks is a spiritual violence. We are called to make war, so to speak, against sin, against lust, against ourselves and our prideful and sinful nature. Why then, do so many people remain content to continue sinning? They aren’t too violent, rather they aren’t violent enough.
Now, let’s examine this thing we call death. Is it something to be feared? I believe that it is not. Rather, it is something to be embraced. There are far, far worse things in the world than death. Living a life without love is to be feared far greater than death.
If we as Christians were to attempt to reflect this idea that the very things we fear most, are to be feared the least, what would that look like? Perhaps we will find one of the greatest desires of our hearts, a purpose. When we look past the vapor of the world, we see an ever small glimpse of heaven beyond the mist. While it is too far away to fully grasp, we will find what truly is to be feared. In that moment we find fulfillment, we find God.