Perfect love drives out all fear but for some reason, a lot of us Adventists seem to actually be afraid of God. Not in the “fear God” sense where “fear” means “respect.” Nope, many of us are downright scared of God. Here are some reasons why:
We are unsure of our salvation – We’ve been told not to become complacent about salvation. Part of us thinks that if we embrace the “blessed assurance,” we’ll get soft.
We know our track record keeping the 10 Commandments – As much as we theoretically know that salvation doesn’t come from works, we also have a tendency to look at how well we keep the commandments to see if we are really following God. And our imperfections concern us.
Our preachers have leveraged guilt – This is a weird one. Some of our most popular preachers make us feel guiltiest. For many, there’s something guiltily addictive about being told where you are falling short.
Part of us thinks it’s healthy to be afraid of God – We have a great tradition of warnings against getting too chummy with God. So somewhere deep inside we think maybe we SHOULD be afraid of Him.
We are scared of the beasts and other gory apocalyptic imagery – And let’s face it. We’ve had more than our fair share of scary PowerPoint slides depicting scary End Time graphics.
We are against cheap grace – We pride ourselves on not watering down religion. Salvation shouldn’t be simple.
Something tells us letting go and trusting God is too easy. – But we’re wrong. And the grace of the gospel really isn’t earned. And the sooner we can embrace the GIFT of salvation (without a thought of having deserved it), the closer we are to taking baby steps as real Christians.