Who does fire and brimstone teaching, anymore? Aren’t we too contemporary of a society for that?
Apparently not, or maybe it’s taken on a different form. There are Christians out there that are genuinely fearful that one misstep will land them in Hell- far from the teaching that Jesus gave. Fear can be a powerful motivator… but one that should DEFINITELY NOT be used with Christian teaching.
Fear should never be used to motivate a Christian to live a godly life. This should come directly from the Holy Spirit’s leading. Jesus never taught through fear. Jesus personified God’s grace and mercy over sin. Nothing He did was fear based.
Yet, there are some religions that will literally make their congregations fearful. Here are some of the tactics:
- You cannot attend another church. If you do, for any reason, you will not be allowed back in.
- If you sin, you will go straight to Hell. This one does not preach that God’s grace and mercy exist. It just provides a legalistic image that no one can live up to.
- Only a select few will go to Heaven. Entrance is based on how many people. you save, and what works you do on earth.
- God will punish you severely if you sin.
- These types of people/sin will never see Heaven.
This is only a brief list, but I am sure there are more. Many of these tactics in the end promote segregation, bigotry, and anxiety to any who believe them. The reality is that you can attend any church you want- as long as it preaches about God and the Bible.
If you sin, God will forgive you if you are truly repentant. He is a forgiving, gracious and loving God.
Margaret Armanious discusses how to coax a Christian out of deep-rooted biblical fear-based teachings and into the love of Christ. She talks about common tactics some churches employ to ensure that believers adhere to the “rules” and don’t stray.
She also reveals the errancies of the teachings as she contrasts beliefs with what the Bible says, and informs the reader what should have been said instead.
Why do people use these tactics? What result does is garner? Why make people fearful- literally? What do they hope to gain?
This feature and many more in our upcoming issue of Faith Filled Family Magazine coming out on October 28, 2019.