The Lost Art of Fear

Psalm 72:1-7

Give the king your justice, O God,

and your righteousness to the royal son!

May he judge your people with righteousness,

and your poor with justice!

Let the mountains bear prosperity for the people,

and the hills, in righteousness!

May he defend the cause of the poor of the people,

give deliverance to the children of the needy,

and crush the oppressor!

May they fear you while the sun endures,

and as long as the moon, throughout all generations!

May he be like rain that falls on the mown grass,

like showers that water the earth!

In his days may the righteous flourish,

and peace abound, till the moon be no more!

The church I serve formerly sponsored two BSA scout troops. That is coming to an end – sadly – as of the end of this year. I say sadly because no one wised for this to happen, but the LGBT idealogues pushed the BSA to policies which ultimately will not allow groups such as ours to disallow openly LGBT persons to serve as leaders of troops we sponsor. Because we fear God, however, and want to uphold the values he has revealed in Scripture we have chosen not to re-charter our troops. We have nothing against Boy Scouts. Our troops have been a blessing to us, and previously the BSA stood for morality, decency, and godliness. I was a Boy Scout. My sons were Boy Scouts. But today’s agenda moves this program farther and farther away from the scouting programs of yesterday. The losers in all of this are the boys.

Those who propose this agenda agenda of acceptance would argue that they are maintaining these values. I must disagree. The call to morality and godliness is much broader than the oft-trumpeted call for unconditional love and tolerance. God is indeed a God of grace. He loves all people. His love is unconditional, and Jesus himself promised that whoever comes to him he will in no way cast out (John 6:37). Jesus is the embodiment of God’s love and grace. 

Without grace we have no hope. But an unrepentant heart will receive grace as entitlement. Grace is never deserved; it is given. It is not something to which we are entitled. It is something we do not deserve, and when embraced by a repentant heart will move us to gratitude, fear, love and trust. 

There’s that word: fear. Jesus is also the embodiment of truth. That truth is found in his word, and expressed in the life and ministry of Jesus. Jesus forgave the sin of the woman caught in adultry and then told her to “go and sin no more” (John 8:10-11). He expressed much the same idea to the lame man whom he healed (cf. John 5:14). He also taught us not to fear man or the devil, but to fear God (cf. Matthew 10:28). 

That seems to be the challenge today. We not only have tee-shirts that say, “NO FEAR”, we teach it to our children, and have so domesticated God that we no longer fear him. He is only thought of as a loving God – not as a God of justice, holiness, and judgment. Where there is no fear there is no reverence, no restraint, no repentance. There is only a weak nod to true goodness, and an empty and impotent love that is truly not love at all. 

I have already received emails regarding our decision to end our sponsorship of BSA troops. One subtly accused me and our church of being unloving and judgmental. I do not look forward to the accusations and judgments of others. But when I weigh my fears of man against my fear of God, God wins (thankfully!).  

I dont’ believe I have handled this perfectly, but I have done all I can to express the grace and truth of God in this situation. We are not entitled to God’s grace, but he lavishes is on us abundantly. May God make us all truly repentant so that we may receive his grace with grateful and generous hearts!

  1. Celeste May said:

    Well said and “well done, good and faithful servant”. I know this decision will not be popular, but as Godly leaders, we must hold true to His teachings and His truth. As we are forced to choose how to go handle the world’s issues, may we have the courage to stand with God. Every time.

    • dlbpandp said:

      Thanks Celeste. We should fear, love, and trust in God above all things. Thanks for your encouragement to do just that.

      Blessings! David

      Abundant Blessings! David Bahn, Senior Pastor [Jesus said,] “The thief comes to steal, kill, and destroy. I have come that you may have life in abundance.” John 10:10

      St. John Lutheran Church

      > >

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