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Does Fear=faith?


Rosa Mystica
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*I'm looking for opinions from both Christians and Non-Christians on this one*:

 

Let's say that a Christian has been questioning their faith. Suppose that this individual has come to the discovery that the Christian system is probably not reflective of the objective reality (i.e. is probably not the "right religion" or what have you). Now, let's also suppose that this person also has a fear that this conclusion of theirs might be wrong, and that they may suffer eternal punishment or some other horrible consequence for their increasing inability to accept Christianity.

 

This individual sees that things with in the Christian faith do not add up. Yet, they still experience fear of its punishments, and is afraid that they might be real after all. IOW, they have lost an intellectually-based belief, and have gained an emotional, fear-based one.

 

The question I ask is this: is this person with a fear based-belief still a Christian? Is the fact that they are gripped by fear indicative of the fact that they still believe it, on some level? Or is it just a commonly-felt emotion that accompanies a deconversion from Christianity?

 

I'm very interested in hearing the answers to this question. As for myself, I'm not completely decided. I'm inclined to say that fear=fear, not faith. But I also acknowledge that the presence of a fear-based belief means that the one who experiences it continues to be affected by their religious system, at least on some level.

 

What do you think?

 

Rosa

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Well, suppose there is actually a God, and you believe it, then flip the question around.

 

What do you think the Christian God would do with such a fearful person? Do they actually "love" God, or are they merely in it for self preservation? Isn't "perfect love" supposed to cast out all fear? To me such a fear seems irrational in terms of the Christian salvation doctrine, because a decision born out of such fear is selfish and egocentric by nature - because you only "worship" God to save your own but. This is probably the reason why Christians makes such pathetic moral subjects. They only way they can drone out the fear of punishment when letting God down, is to take their “sins” and struggles underground. Net result; walking, talking hypocrites for God.

 

Don’t know how thrilled the Christian God can be with such subjects!

 

But that's hypothetically speaking of course.

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Well, suppose there is actually a God, and you believe it, then flip the question around.

 

What do you think the Christian God would do with such a fearful person? Do they actually "love" God, or are they merely in it for self preservation? Isn't "perfect love" supposed to cast out all fear? To me such a fear seems irrational in terms of the Christian salvation doctrine, because a decision born out of such fear is selfish and egocentric by nature - because you only "worship" God to save your own but.

 

This is an interesting point, actually. Never thought about this before.

 

This is probably the reason why Christians makes such pathetic moral subjects. They only way they can drone out the fear of punishment when letting God down, is to take their “sins” and struggles underground. Net result; walking, talking hypocrites for God.

 

Do you believe that all Christians worship out of fear? Or just most?

 

Don’t know how thrilled the Christian God can be with such subjects!

 

But that's hypothetically speaking of course.

 

Neither do I, in all honesty. I shall have to think about this some more. :scratch:

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No, I think Faith is the antithesis to knowledge and reason. It can create fear, hatred, and blind devotion (or what they could consider love).

 

So, in your opinion, fear is something created by faith, but not faith itself? Or have I misunderstood you here?

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Everybody has faith and faith has nothing to do with religion, IMO. Whatever we believe about ourselves and others, we have faith that what we believe is true. It doesn't matter if it is true or not...if we believe it, it is 100% true for us. There are many times that we have faith in what we believe to be true about ourself just to discover it is not true. We usually will adjust our thinking to accept something else as true and then we have invested our faith in this new thinking. We all have faith. Where faith becomes blind is when new information cannot be accepted as true when everything else points to it being true. I think this is what Asimov is stating here...but I could be wrong. I used to argue the same thing and I would separate out belief from faith (Objectivist philosophy). Now, I use faith and blind faith.

 

Fear is the motivator for change or it can be a tool used for submission. I couldn't agree more with thunderbolt. He nailed it, IMO. Fear is what the allegory of Adam & Eve spoke about when the snake tempted Eve. It was fear that turned us away from knowing who we really are. We feared god would punish us because we believed the lie the snake told (had faith in it). I say we because I see the allegorical Adam and Eve representing the whole of mankind, not individual people. It's a story about the condition of mankind. So, yes, some Christians are very hipocritical, but they are unaware that they are.

 

The way to avoid blind faith and its consequences (like Asimov states) is not to believe what others say about you and what you tell yourself about yourself. This usually only applies to negatives such as believing things that cause one to be fearful or things that cause unhappiness because once one's faith is invested in lies, they become true for the person and their life will reflect their faith.

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This individual sees that things with in the Christian faith do not add up. Yet, they still experience fear of its punishments, and is afraid that they might be real after all. IOW, they have lost an intellectually-based belief, and have gained an emotional, fear-based one.

 

The question I ask is this: is this person with a fear based-belief still a Christian? Is the fact that they are gripped by fear indicative of the fact that they still believe it, on some level? Or is it just a commonly-felt emotion that accompanies a deconversion from Christianity?

 

Greetings, Rosa :)

 

My answer is yes, those who cling to their faith through fear are indeed still real Xians. After all, that is the distilled, basic thrust of Xianity - believe in Jesus and live by the Babble, or suffer eternal torment. Pretty cut and dry, and doesn't place many stpiulations on "faith". It can be willfull, forced, brainwashed, induced through fear, whatever. The possibilities are endless, especially as Xian history has shown us. Fear is the most basic reason to accept and believe in Jesus, since without the fear of Hell, why even believe or live by a single one of Xianity's moral statutes?

 

The only thing they exist for is to "save us from Hell." There is no indication that the Babble and Jesus were for anything but the salvation of man. What does man need saving from? Why, an eternity of suffering. Suffering sucks, and no one wants to feel endless pain in endless varieties, so they believe in Jesus. Fear drives faith, drives the fundamental acceptance of Xianity in the heart of every Xian who has made a conscious decision to be Xian as opposed to those Xians who are believers simply because of custom.

 

Xianity is a fear-based faith, plain and simple. Those who buy into Xianity believe because they fear to be wrong, almost every single Xian.

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Do you believe that all Christians worship out of fear? Or just most?

No, I don’t. I have a number of friends who worship Jesus without the nonsense of hell and all that jazz. They are absolutely convinced of his love, but they know I am not convinced of the reality of Jesus. If there is a God, then whether I believe or not should be immaterial to him. If me NOT believing in him is some cause for him to send me to *hell*, then it’s a NEED in him that needs to be fulfilled. And IF he has such a NEED, then he is not all sufficient. I.E. any God with ANY need cannot be God, because it makes them non sufficient. If you get my drift.

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The question I ask is this: is this person with a fear based-belief still a Christian?

He wasn't a Christian to being with, and would not be a Christian after. There are no true Christians. At least that's what I'm begin told over and over again, that I was never a real Christian for over 30 years. So my answer is: "neither". With or without fear, with or without faith, it doesn't matter. If he doubts, ever, he was never a true Christian, and he will never be able to be one.

 

On a serious note, the Bible say you should "fear" God. And the truth is that if you believe, then you belive, and it has nothing to do with fear. The concept in the Bible is based on what you believe, and what you fear. But also if someone fears God, then he must believe in a God to have fear of, so he still must have belief. You can't fear "hell" if you don't believe there is a hell. You can't fear God's punishment unless you believe there is a God that can do punishments.

 

So if a person "lost" his faith, but then "fear" God, then he never lost his faith.

 

I'm very interested in hearing the answers to this question. As for myself, I'm not completely decided. I'm inclined to say that fear=fear, not faith. But I also acknowledge that the presence of a fear-based belief means that the one who experiences it continues to be affected by their religious system, at least on some level.

True, fear is not the same thing as faith, but faith is when you believe something that can't be seen or proven, and fear in God must mean (like I said above) the person have to have faith or belief still. If you completely get rid of the belief, or notion of God, you also get rid of the fear.

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The question I ask is this: is this person with a fear based-belief still a Christian?

He wasn't a Christian to being with, and would not be a Christian after. There are no true Christians. At least that's what I'm begin told over and over again, that I was never a real Christian for over 30 years. So my answer is: "neither". With or without fear, with or without faith, it doesn't matter. If he doubts, ever, he was never a true Christian, and he will never be able to be one.

 

That view, IMHO, is a load of crap. I don't know why some Christians subscribe to it. I know that I was never taught to believe that growing up- but maybe that's b/c I was raised Catholic.

 

On a serious note, the Bible say you should "fear" God. And the truth is that if you believe, then you belive, and it has nothing to do with fear. The concept in the Bible is based on what you believe, and what you fear. But also if someone fears God, then he must believe in a God to have fear of, so he still must have belief. You can't fear "hell" if you don't believe there is a hell. You can't fear God's punishment unless you believe there is a God that can do punishments.

 

So if a person "lost" his faith, but then "fear" God, then he never lost his faith.

 

For a long time, I tended to believe that too. But I know that I've seen people on this and other message boards ask questions like "What if fundamentalists are right after all and I'm damned?" A lot of these posters, from what I have seen, claim to be ex-Christians. Do you think people like this still believe on some level? Another thing- fear is a *very* common emotion experienced by deconverts (or so I've heard). It takes a long time to get rid of a fear that's been long engrained into you. Is a person who has difficulty getting over such fear a "believer"? I'm really not so sure.

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For a long time, I tended to believe that too. But I know that I've seen people on this and other message boards ask questions like "What if fundamentalists are right after all and I'm damned?" A lot of these posters, from what I have seen, claim to be ex-Christians. Do you think people like this still believe on some level? Another thing- fear is a *very* common emotion experienced by deconverts (or so I've heard). It takes a long time to get rid of a fear that's been long engrained into you. Is a person who has difficulty getting over such fear a "believer"? I'm really not so sure.

I see. Personally I became a Christian at 7 (pentecostal evangelical), and left the faith 30 years later (that was about 4 years ago, so now you know how old I am!). And honestly, I don't fear if the fundamentalists are right. Even though I was one for 10 years! I was one of the extremist, evangelical fundamentalists that believed 100% in the infallible Bible and literal translation of it. And I do not have any fear of me being wrong and them right, rather the opposite. I fear they are so wrong that they might hurt humanity and our planet so much that we will have a harmageddon, because they make it so, and not because it was biblical.

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No, I think Faith is the antithesis to knowledge and reason. It can create fear, hatred, and blind devotion (or what they could consider love).

 

So, in your opinion, fear is something created by faith, but not faith itself? Or have I misunderstood you here?

 

Faith is belief in something regardless of evidence or logic. In that aspect, no, NBBTB, not everyone has faith.

 

Fear != Faith...that's as distinct as I can get.

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Xianity is a fear-based faith, plain and simple. Those who buy into Xianity believe because they fear to be wrong, almost every single Xian.

 

Nicely put, Wolfie! :goodjob:

 

What would xtianity be w/out the lake of fire? 'Turn or burn' - that's the essence of the gospel. If there is no hell/judgement day for unbelievers, why would Jebus even need to be 'sacrificed' for us? That was kind of the whole point of the NT.

 

Fear is what biblegod is all about.

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Fear does not equal faith. If you believe that your deity is essentially good, fear is unnecessary and possibly even absurd. (For instance, I can't conceive of fearing Guan Shi Yin, one of the most gentle beings in any pantheon anywhere.)

 

On the other hand, if you worship an evil and/or unpredictable deity, fear is the natural reaction. It probably won't be an obstacle to faith, and faith may take the edge off the fear.

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The people who are Christians who believe in no hell are still faithful followers because they desire eternal life with god. They believe they are "saved" from being eternally dead and unable to be with god. They want to be with God, friends and family in the afterlife.

 

Pity more Xian sects were not more like that...

 

In a way, like I said in an older thread, that's how I viewed Xianity. Of course, that's not the Xianity found in the NT that has existed for roughly 2000 years and has come to define the Xian religion. Since I believe Xianity is a myth anyway, folks revising Xianity and taking out the Hell doctrine is just fine with me - no god is going to punish anyone for what would amount to a serious improvement. But ignoring the eternal punishment doctrine is unbabblical; also, if the eternal punishment doctrine were removed and replaced with the more compassionate and reasonable idea of being saved from eternal death (as you said), then eternal sleep in the grave becomes the New Hell to terrify believers with. Faith still remains a problem, faith in a god who would permit loved ones to be parted from each other eternally for finite infractions and who does not just punish genuinely wicked people instead of punishing those whose only "crime" was unbelief.

 

Though the Xianity you posit (and others believe in) would be far more preferable to the current version, fear will still be the key drive behind faith in a savior. Even so, I hope those more liberal Xian sects grow in popularity and overshadow their hellfire-and-brimstone counterparts.

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*I'm looking for opinions from both Christians and Non-Christians on this one*:

 

I'm very interested in hearing the answers to this question. As for myself, I'm not completely decided. I'm inclined to say that fear=fear, not faith. But I also acknowledge that the presence of a fear-based belief means that the one who experiences it continues to be affected by their religious system, at least on some level.

 

What do you think?

 

 

Hello Rosa... Welcome to Ex-C

 

I agree with you .. fear = fear.

 

I have never acquainted faith with fear, and have been struck - in my time on this board - how often the two are linked together. I've actually seen posts by fundies that refer to Jesus as "life insurance". What a hellish way to look at things, I can't even imagine it.

:vent:

 

Faith, to me, has nothing to do with fear of anything. Not fear of God, not fear of hell, not fear of evil, devils, etc.. Not fear of loosing family &/or friends if I decide to be something other than Christian.

 

Faith is very simple to me ... it's just something I feel within myself. In my deepest core I just feel as though there is something more than meets the eye. That's all ... pretty simple ... no fear ... just a sense of awe or wonder. :shrug:

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In that case, they are believing with no fear at all....of course True Christians ™ would refer to those two those wonderful people as heretics, right you two? :grin:

 

:lmao: Got that right, SAA. I've learned to wear the "hereitc" badge pretty proudly. :lmao:

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Hi Rosa!

I think there's a difference being affected by the traits of fear that go with your past beliefs and still continuing to hold to them and feeling fear because of concern about losing them. I get days in which quite strong fear emerges, but I'm able to introspect and be aware it's because of old "cues" bringing up past emotions. So, for example, when I see my mother and she makes comments to me about the afterlife and my occupancy of a rather hot region, it does tend to bring that cold pit in the stomach feeling for a while. But I can deal with that and I know with time, that response to her words will fade. It's like any irrational phobia, really, however much you know something not to be true, (for example, a spider phobia can produce terrifying sweats in someone at a harmless small 8 legged object) it can still induce fear and anxiety. The trick to overcome it is to face it.

Cat

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I have never acquainted faith with fear, and have been struck - in my time on this board - how often the two are linked together. I've actually seen posts by fundies that refer to Jesus as "life insurance". What a hellish way to look at things, I can't even imagine it.

 

Unfortunately, that's not what the bible says. Don't get me wrong, Open Minded: I'm happy to see hell disappear from the xtian religion - after all, hell was made up in the first place. :Doh:

 

But you can't deny that the NT tells us that damnation & hellfire await those who reject christ. Jesus came to save us from the wages of sin - no matter if you believe in hell or not. In that respect, traditional xtianity very much preaches fear. Fear god, fear hell, fear judgement. It's hard to consider Jesus a savior if he doesn't actually save you from something.

 

Just playing 'devil's advocate', so to speak. :wicked:

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No, I think Faith is the antithesis to knowledge and reason. It can create fear, hatred, and blind devotion (or what they could consider love).

 

So, in your opinion, fear is something created by faith, but not faith itself? Or have I misunderstood you here?

 

Faith is belief in something regardless of evidence or logic. In that aspect, no, NBBTB, not everyone has faith.

 

Fear != Faith...that's as distinct as I can get.

Maybe I should explain a little more as to how I am using the word faith...and just to mess with you a little. :wicked:

 

Do you believe the things you tell yourself about yourself? I am not talking about what logic and reason you use in order to believe things about the outside world. I am asking if you believe the things you tell yourself about yourself. If you tell yourself you are a good person, do you tell yourself that you are a good person because of the things you believe? How do you come to believe the things you believe (about yourself)? Or, do you do good things and then know that you are good? How could you know good things if you didn't believe they were good first? You have faith that what you believe about yourself is true.

 

If you believe 100% that fear != faith then you have faith that that is true...don't you?

 

I'm just doin' a little mind freak...don't yell at me! :grin:

 

(Sorry Rosa for the distraction.)

 

 

 

 

Just as an aside...many times the word fear is used as a meaning of reverence or awe.

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Do you believe the things you tell yourself about yourself? I am not talking about what logic and reason you use in order to believe things about the outside world. I am asking if you believe the things you tell yourself about yourself. If you tell yourself you are a good person, do you tell yourself that you are a good person because of the things you believe? How do you come to believe the things you believe (about yourself)? Or, do you do good things and then know that you are good? How could you know good things if you didn't believe they were good first? You have faith that what you believe about yourself is true.

 

If you believe 100% that fear != faith then you have faith that that is true...don't you?

 

I don't remember saying that I believe 100% that fear != faith. I know that fear != faith because they are not synonyms.

 

Not only that, but you are also interchanging different definitions of faith to suit your purposes. Not to say you are doing it knowingly.

 

The logic and reason I use in order to believe things about the outside world also applies to me.

 

Just as an aside...many times the word fear is used as a meaning of reverence or awe.

 

Then Rosa should have clearly defined what she meant by fear, and clearly defined what she meant by faith.

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Unfortunately, that's not what the bible says. Don't get me wrong, Open Minded: I'm happy to see hell disappear from the xtian religion - after all, hell was made up in the first place. :Doh:

 

But you can't deny that the NT tells us that damnation & hellfire await those who reject christ. Jesus came to save us from the wages of sin - no matter if you believe in hell or not. In that respect, traditional xtianity very much preaches fear. Fear god, fear hell, fear judgement. It's hard to consider Jesus a savior if he doesn't actually save you from something.

 

Just playing 'devil's advocate', so to speak. :wicked:

 

How right you are. Most Christians - I know - either don't believe in a literal hell, or they believe it's reserved for the really wicked - like Hitler, etc... (I don't believe in a literal hell).

 

I used to feel that most Christians would fall into the above category. But my time at this website now has me wondering. Now I would say that most MAINSTREAM Christians would fall into that category. Fundies are in an entirely different category and I wouldn't even begin to hazard a guess in this area. :Hmm:

 

Sad, really ........ :(

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If you believe 100% that fear != faith then you have faith that that is true...don't you?

 

I don't remember saying that I believe 100% that fear != faith. I know that fear != faith because they are not synonyms.

 

Not only that, but you are also interchanging different definitions of faith to suit your purposes. Not to say you are doing it knowingly.

 

I did say if. :P

 

And you're no fun to play with.

 

Edit...don't want to play with Asimov...

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If you believe 100% that fear != faith then you have faith that that is true...don't you?

 

I don't remember saying that I believe 100% that fear != faith. I know that fear != faith because they are not synonyms.

 

Not only that, but you are also interchanging different definitions of faith to suit your purposes. Not to say you are doing it knowingly.

 

I did say if. :P

 

And you're no fun to play with.

 

:lmao::lmao::lmao:

 

Oh, I'm sorry...let me redo this:

 

 

DOH!! :Doh: You got me there, NBBTB!! I do have faith in myself...and uh...clearly that's something or other and yea, I'm so wrong.

 

I take it back, 100%. :woohoo:

 

 

:HaHa:

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If you believe 100% that fear != faith then you have faith that that is true...don't you?

 

I don't remember saying that I believe 100% that fear != faith. I know that fear != faith because they are not synonyms.

 

Not only that, but you are also interchanging different definitions of faith to suit your purposes. Not to say you are doing it knowingly.

 

I did say if. :P

 

And you're no fun to play with.

 

:lmao::lmao::lmao:

 

Oh, I'm sorry...let me redo this:

 

 

DOH!! :Doh: You got me there, NBBTB!! I do have faith in myself...and uh...clearly that's something or other and yea, I'm so wrong.

 

I take it back, 100%. :woohoo:

 

 

:HaHa:

That's better!

 

And... :kiss: my :moon::HaHa:

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