Is Christianity based on fear?

Think about it. Endless torment for not being gullible and having a biased belief. Doesn’t this sound a bit irrational to you?

Believe in Jesus and you’ll gain admission to the eternal Disneyland; but if you don’t, you’ll forever be tortured and burned in hell.

Come on. Really? Would a loving God really need to threaten his children with endless torment? Christianity makes love compulsory, destroying the entire concept of true love.

18 Answers

  1. It’s worse than that. It’s designed to discredit logic within the individual self in order to give some power over others. Fear is a tool of power, yes. But so is the much-appreciated “selflessness.” Think about the etymological nature of that word. You are self-less. A zero. The living dead.

  2. Yes, Hell is a pretty frightening thought. The church designed it that way to gain power over the individual.

    Sin, however, is defined as turning away from God. In becoming human and occupying a physical space, the soul is made to turn away from God and be filled with the stuff of physical reality. Hell was originally defined as not being in the company of God. Imagine being forever kept apart from the one you love most, with reminders of that person scattered everywhere you went or looked. It would put the soul who knew God in torment.

    The physical world is a constant reminder of God’s presence, no matter how God is defined – as an entity or a force. Once the soul understands that and realizes its situation, no threat of an eternal burning is necessary. All it wants to do is go back home and be with the one it loves.

    This line from a church song says it best: “The world is not my home, Heaven is.”

  3. Christianity is not based on fear. It is based on the person and work of Jesus Christ. The whole foundation of Christian theology rests on the person of Christ who, according to the Scriptures, is God in flesh (John 1:1, 14), who bore our sins in his body on the cross (1 Peter 2:24), and who died and rose from the dead three days later (1 Corinthians 15:1-4).

    However, there is nothing wrong with being motivated to become a Christian based on trying to avoid the righteous judgment of God. In such a case, fear is properly warranted, and wisdom would dictate the necessity of avoiding God’s judgment. If that judgment scares people and motivates them to come to Christ and be forgiven of their sins, then that is a good thing.

    But, what motivates one person may not motivate another. One person may want to become a Christian because of fear where another might be motivated out of love for God or sorrow for sin or fatigue due to the consequences of rebellion against God. People’s reasons for becoming believers can vary wildly, but the fact is that Christianity is not based on fear. It is based on God’s work through Jesus to bring people into salvation. Fear is a proper motivator when accompanied by wisdom.

    Prov. 9:10, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom . . . “

    Matt. 10:28, “And do not fear those who kill the body, but are unable to kill the soul; but rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.”

    Let’s take, for a moment, the issue of Christianity being based on fear according to the Scriptures listed above. If a critic wants to complain about this “fear,” then on what basis does he or she complain? Is it his opinion, or is there a universal standard to which he appeals? Is he saying that fearing God is a bad thing? If so, why? Why would it be morally wrong to fear the infinite God of the universe and his holy and righteous judgment? By what standard does a critic assert that such fear is not wise or proper? After all, is it not smart to fear the judge and appeal to his mercy before sentencing?

    So, Christianity is not based on fear, but fearing God is a logical as well as wise thing to do because God is the judge who has the right to execute lawful and moral judgments upon sinners.

    http://carm.org/is-christianity-based-on-fear

  4. I was gonna say Bravo!!! when I read the question first. Not sure after reading rest of ur explanation.

    U r very much a Christian.

  5. No. You’re focusing on the wrong message. Christianity is based on love. Jesus’ message was to love your neighbor as yourself. He said, “…The greatest of these (commandments) is love.”

  6. All religion is based on fear. Where have you been? It uses fear of death to sustain belief and fear or divine retribution to maintain control. The greatest con game in history.

  7. THIS IS LOVE: “That a man lay down His life for His friends”

    And you are trying to tell God what love is??

    It is quite obvious that you do not understand. We, in Christ don’t have anything to fear. It’s those who are against Him that do.

  8. If you do good and walk on God’s path then why have fear, feel LOVE.

  9. You forgot ignorance. Not to mention a little dash of arrogance.

  10. Of course Christianity is based on fear, for it encourages its adherents to be god-fearing individuals.

Relevant information

Christianity is not based on fear. It is based on the person and work of Jesus Christ. The whole foundation of Christian theology rests on the person of Christ who, according to the Scriptures, is God in flesh (John 1:1, 14), who bore our sins in his body on the cross (1 Peter 2:24), and who died and rose from the dead three days later (1 Corinthians 15:1-4). However, there is nothing wrong with being motivated to become a Christian based on trying to avoid the righteous judgment of God. In such a case, fear is properly warranted and wisdom would dictate the necessity of avoiding God’s judgment. If that judgment scares people and motivates them to come to Christ and be forgiven of their sins, then that is a good thing.

But, what motivates one person may not motivate another. One person may want to become a Christian because of fear, where another might be motivated out of love for God, or sorrow for sin, or fatigue due to the consequences of rebellion against God. People’s reasons for becoming believers can vary wildly, but the fact is that Christianity is not based on fear. It is based on God’s work through Jesus to bring people into salvation. Fear is a proper motivator when accompanied by wisdom.

  • Prov. 9:10, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom…”
  • Matt. 10:28, “And do not fear those who kill the body, but are unable to kill the soul; but rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.”

Let’s take, for a moment, the issue of Christianity is based on fear according to the Scriptures listed above. If a critic wants to complain about this “fear,” then on what basis does he or she complain? Is it his opinion, or is there a universal standard to which he appeals? Is he saying that fearing God is a bad thing? If so, why? Why would it be morally wrong to fear the infinite God of the universe and his holy and righteous judgment? By what standard does a critic assert that such fear is not wise or proper? After all, is it not smart to fear the judge and appeal to his mercy before sentencing?

So, Christianity is not based on fear, but fearing God is a logical as well as a wise thing to do because God is the judge who has the right to execute lawful and moral judgments upon sinners.

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