| Fear Tactics And Christianity
Used by permission, from the Agnostic Review of Christianity website
Fear is a powerful tool to direct people in a particular direction. In order to help channel people into a particular direction, Christianity employs various tactics to silence any objections to it's tenets.
If people can be made afraid to question the teachings of a religious hierarchy, that religion can more easily become entrenched into the minds of a society. This religion in turn will gain influence and power over aspects of that society outside the spiritual arena.
Christians will often attempt to claim that fear isn't employed to sway the minds of "unbelievers".
They'll claim that it's the "love" of God for all people that brings the skeptical mind into the flock of God's followers. After all, everyone knows that Jesus is Love.
This fluffy, lollipop sucking, teddy bear mentally is soon disposed of when the Bible is actually cracked open and read.
The New Testament leaves no doubt that simple "unbelief" in Jesus as the only way to God is a transgression that an unbelieving soul will be punished for.
Examples that "unbelief" is a transgression follow:
Mark 16:16 (Jesus speaking)
He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.
He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.
1 John 2:22-23
Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son.
Whosoever denieth the Son, the same hath not the Father: he that acknowledgeth the Son hath the Father also.
Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God.
Since fundamentalist Christians claim these verses are God's word, they represent the absolute "truth".
So, we see that if someone doesn't accept Jesus as their personal "savior" and believe that he was the expected king Messiah, they are liars and stand condemned by God "the Father".
These verses make a mockery of the so-called "free" will that Christians constantly chirp about.
Christians will boldly advertise at the drop of a hat that God gave mankind "free" will because he doesn't want robots.
In order for truly free and independent thinking to be free, it can't be accompanied by threats of punishment for reaching an improper conclusion.
In truth, the paradox fundamentalist Christianity sinks into by virtue of it's own false advertising is this:
The Bible God doesn't want robots!
The Bible God wants everyone to worship him.
And anyone who doesn't do as he wants will be eternally damned.
If a person feels the urge to buy something as tremendously overpriced as the type of pious platitudes most fundamentalist Christians attempt to sell them, they would do better to buy a lollipop instead.
It's cheaper, and you can still feel like a sucker.
"Free" will isn't truly "free" when you must conform to the will of another. Failure to obey and believe will result in condemnation. A person could live a simple life as a hermit, never swat a fly, never harm anyone, and be condemned by this God because they don't believe the New Testament is the word of God.
The "free" will Christians advertise is bogus and a sham. It's counterfeit and should be exposed for what it actually is…an ultimatum.
The evolution of fear is present throughout the Bible. Claiming that fear of God leads to knowledge and that unbelieving "fools" despise wisdom is a common theme in the Bible.
The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.
1 Cor 2:14
But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.
It isn't difficult to convert these to a generic formula:
The fear of the LORD , whose name is (fill in the blank), is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction.
The natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, whose name is (fill in the blank), for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned.
Using this formula, any religious belief system will simply assert that fear of their God is the beginning of wisdom and that failure to recognize their God as the ultimate creator and authority is "foolishness".
There is nothing unique in the Biblical approach to promoting itself as the "way of God". This type of advertising through fear has been used by various religious hierarchies for thousands of years.
The consequences of not following instructions are dire:
It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.
Luke 12:5 (Jesus speaking):
But I will forewarn you whom ye shall fear: Fear him, which after he hath killed hath power to cast into hell; yea, I say unto you, Fear him.
Unbelievers are equated with wickedness:
2 Cor 6:14
Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness
Unbelievers who do not follow the prescribed instructions will be punished by God.
2 Thes 1:6-9
Seeing it is a righteous thing with God to recompense tribulation to them that trouble you;
And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels,
In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ:
Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power;
Anyone who teaches or believes anything contrary to the party line is vilified:
As we said before, so say I now again, if any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.
Punishment will also be administered to those who don't conform to the party line.
2 Cor 10:5-6
Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;
And having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience, when your obedience is fulfilled.
And lastly, if someone doesn't believe, they are equated with the dregs of society and will be tossed into the lake of fire with all the other "trash".
But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.
When the threat of punishment for the failure to reach a particular conclusion is employed, the belief is at least partially relying on fear to promote itself. Fear discourages true independent thought and doesn't encourage it beyond a prescribed path.
These types of tactics employed by Christianity (and other religious belief systems) are often dressed up in a suit of clothes and sold as God's "loving nature", or God's "holy and just nature", or God's "plan for mankind and the universe".
But in actuality, these tactics are nothing more than attempts to manipulate and coerce the minds of others.
A person cannot know what their true beliefs are if they're too scared to sample other beliefs for fear of angering some God.
Naturally, that's the whole point of using fear tactics to promote obedience and conformity in populations.
The larger the flock, the larger the base of power for a belief system. It's all about control. The Bible God will punish anyone who doesn't reach a particular and proper conclusion. There is nothing free about that type of will. Conclusions cannot be made objectively because the employment of fear tactics taints the "freedom" and independence of the thought process.
Christians can tap dance around this issue all they want. However, they're left with an inescapable problem that's a tough sell to those who aren't intimidated by threats alone. Christianity gives mankind an ultimatum based on a foundation of fear.