I have been deeply disturbed by how American culture, especially in the last few years, is driven by fear. I recently wrote a few thoughts on this for the V-3 Church Planting blog:
One of the most pressing pastoral concerns of our day is addressing the overwhelming fear that binds us in the Western world, and particularly in the United States. The noted writer Marilynne Robinson has an essay in her recent collection The Givenness of Things that boldly names this pervasive culture of fear in which we live (I highly recommend reading the full essay!). She writes:
“[My] thesis is always the same, and it is very simply stated, though it has two parts: first, contemporary America is full of fear. And second, fear is not a Christian habit of mind.
Fear Is Not Our Heritage
A careful reading of scripture will indeed reinforce Robinson’s second point: fear is decidedly not a Christian habit of mind. One of the refrains that echo through the Old Testament, describing the people of God that Israel has been called to be through the Torah, is “none shall make them afraid” (see Micah 4:4, Ezekiel 34:28).
Similarly, the New Testament reminds us that we have not been given “a spirit of fear” (I Tim. 1:7) and that “perfect love casts out fear” (I John 4:18). The early Christians, in spite of widespread persecution, were emphatic that Christ’s resurrection had conquered death and, therefore, removed any reasons to be afraid.
And yet, despite our calling as God’s people, who follow in the way of Jesus, we are a decidedly fearful people. We have, to a large extent, been formed by cultural powers that thrive by cultivating fear.
Read the full post here.