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8.29.2005

On fearing God and not man


A Christian blogger recently wrote this:

I just can't spend all day trading barbs with a person who is free from the fear of men and only fears God -- whatever that means.

The three levels of understanding 'Fear God':

1st: tremble before God (the atheist thinks it means this).

2nd: reverence God, but also actually fear Him - as in tremble before Him - because He can kill your soul (the seminary type has this understanding, and thinks he's reached the summit of understanding when he learns that 'reverence' is part of fear).

3rd: fear God means #2 above, yet it further means don't fear man. Fear God, i.e. don't fear man. When you truly fear God you cease to fear man. Fearing man means fearing man's opinions and what man thinks about you. When you are asleep in the mass you fear man (and you don't fear God). You can't fear God and fear man at the same time. Once you truly fear God you cease being at the level where you fear man. And once you get to where you truly fear God you have true independence of mind and autonomy and no allegiance to anything regarding man. Only to God. (Many 'think' they are independent, yet look at the groups you are a part of and that you identify with and give your allegiance to.) Genuinely only fearing God enables you to then truly pursue wisdom. Fear God, it is the beginning of wisdom. Right now, you can't pursue wisdom because you aren't allowed to engage anything, any influence, that is not approved by the men whose opinion you fear. You are in a prison of fearing man, and you don't realize it. Notice you don't even actually read the Bible independently or in a way that those who truly value it read it (dedicated complete readings). You aren't allowed to by the men you fear (they even, often, mock such a thing): and you can say anything you want to that publically, but just recognize the truth of it to yourselves, alone, in silence, with yourselves. (To be at this 3rd level of understanding what "Fear God" means you have to be of a different level...a different order... And anybody can enter it. It's not for everybody, but it's available to anybody. Man will tell you differently, but God tells you what is true. Fear God, it is the beginning of wisdom.)

+ + +

(Now some of you that have read the subheading of this blog...admit that it bothers you. You read it and scratch your chin and get a half-grin on your face. You don't like what it says. It bothers you. But the more you look at it closely you know you can't attack it. You know if you do you will be putting the fear of man above the fear of God. O, mainstream, sleeping, lukewarm Christian; living in the nursery. Drooling over your sorry self. Calling yourself a Christian. You're no Christian when you fear man more than you fear God.

Oh, now, you weren't thinking of arguing that the fear of man has a legitimate place somewhere between a follower of Christ and Christ Himself were you? No... No, you don't want to go there, mainstream Christian. You definitely don't want to go there. Not if you don't want to go up against the Word of God itself. There is but one Mediator between God and man... Yeah, going down that road is not a good life turn. Many of you will, though! to defend your fear of man. A real Christian won't, though. A real follower of Christ doesn't fear man and has no desire to promote the fear of man...)

32 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have been doing much thinking about fearing God and not man. At lunch today I spent some time meditating on what the implications were for having no fear of men. I certainly did not think about it from the standpoint of scratching my chin and grinning. No, my thoughts were of how dangerous it is NOT to fear God (how many live their lives). Christ was truly the example of not fearing what man could do to you and I believe also that the Apostle Paul fit into this category. They both stood boldly in the face of opposition from men. Christ, knowing he would suffer, allowed Himself to be nailed to the cross, not fearing man but God. It was God's foreordained plan for him.

Most all professing Christian's fear man more than God. No doubt. Just take a look at the Boar's Head Tavern posts today on what or Who was responsible for Hurricane Katy. The iMonk, thinking he is the know it all, does not attribute total sovereignty to God (does he ever). He fears man because he loves the praise of man. Let something be said of him on the internet and he rushes in to try and hush his critics. Perhaps his depression is caused from his loss of his first love. I can see how it probably is. His bar room of dildos spout nonsense and foolishness as well as sacreligous statements. They say, "eat, drink, and be merry for someday we will die...yippee". They have no fear of God. iMonk with his little tavern of godless followers have no fear of God. If they did, they would not run their loose, godless tongues as they do.

Read the "Valley of Vision" by the Puritans. It is a record of their prayers and you will see how deeply these men feared God. Match their words against what is said on the BHT website as well as Phil Johnson's. I have come to see that most people who comment on Pyromaniac seem to worship Phil Johnson for his close association to John MacArthur. They are men worshippers. Most recently when a John MacArthur commentary was placed on the Pyromaniac website, look at how many people commented because they hoped that John MacArthur would read their post. I followed one commenters link and the main article on his blog was to "John MacArthur Fans" regarding Dr. MacArthur's soon appearance at a conference in Dallas, TX. I love Dr. MacArthur as a brother in Christ but do not worship him. He is fallible and sinful and most that read him do not view him that way. They are quicker to question God than men like MacArthur and Piper. What have we oome to when we worship men more than God. The church is full of celebrities. iMonk is a celebrity wanna be....he will probably never get there because his low intelligence is shown through his lack of humility and pride filled statements.

I agree c.t. We must fall on our faces and begin to cry out to God to give us a greater and greater fear of Him. Thanks for writing this piece.

August 29, 2005 at 3:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

But doesn't Michael Spencer usually follow the road of compromise? I agree with you that he loves the praise and adoration of men. I also agree that he does not appear to be that intelligent. Just my thoughts!

August 29, 2005 at 3:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

>God is sovereign-creator, sovereign-sustainer, sovereign-judge and sovereign-transformer of evil into good. I worship Him for all those things...

August 29, 2005 at 7:42 PM  
Blogger c.t. said...

The Puritans (especially when you read them directly and read people like J. I. Packer writing about them, i.e. especially when you have a true understanding of them) are role models that any Christian could do worse than follow.

Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress alone sums them up (and all with a similar on-the-mark approach and similar necessary ethic).

There is foundational ethic to be learned and derived from classical influences as well. The Puritans foundationally were known for their education and valuation for classical education. A Christian can do worse than to get to know Homer and Plutarch and Socrates and even the Stoics. They are not the Word of God, needless to say, yet they contain the ethic and understanding that a Christian needs in this world full of the influences and illusion of the Kingdom of the Devil.

A Christian who knows classical influences AND the Word of God is a more serious Christian. A much greater threat to the devil's world (so be careful), and also a much greater threat to assault heaven itself...

August 30, 2005 at 5:30 AM  
Blogger centuri0n said...

I just want to make sure that you are saying what I think you're saying:

Is it your view that you are beyond correction from other men? For example, Jesus certainly says "fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell." (Mt 10:28) But is His meaning here that all men are worthless and useless and we can take no cues or correction from them?

I think it can't be -- because in this same passage, Christ also says, "He that receiveth you receiveth me, and he that receiveth me receiveth him that sent me. He that receiveth a prophet in the name of a prophet shall receive a prophet's reward; and he that receiveth a righteous man in the name of a righteous man shall receive a righteous man's reward." (v. 40-41) There is little doubt that here Christ says that men can do honor God when they rightly honor (not worship or exault) other men for God's sake.

The slogan "Fear God, not man" as you apply it puts this exhortation from Christ out the door. And it is a shame that, after reading the Bible over and over as you are proud to confess here at your blog, you do not have a complete picture of what God has done for us and calls us to be and do through Jesus Christ.

August 30, 2005 at 7:46 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

And give us your view of the church while you're at it, ct.

August 30, 2005 at 9:29 AM  
Blogger c.t. said...

CenturiOn says: "fear man".

God says: Fear God.

I'll go with God.

CenturiOn says: "The fear of man is the beginning of wisdom."

God says: The fear of God is the beginning of wisdom.

I'll go with God.

CenturiOn says: "When someone tells you to fear God and not fear man don't fall for it. Continue to fear man. Jesus even says that!"

God says: Fear God.

I'll go with what God says.

August 30, 2005 at 10:47 AM  
Blogger c.t. said...

And give us your view of the church while you're at it, ct.

The devils are coming out of the woodwork now. Get behind me, devil, with your accusation. Meet me in the real world, devil, and you'll see first hand how an elect of God deals with devils like you. The devil accuses. Your church is full of the spirit of the devil, led by a minister of the devil, based on how you accuse, devil. I'm an elect of God. I don't walk into synagogues of Satan. Keep your stink to yourself, devil.

August 30, 2005 at 10:51 AM  
Blogger c.t. said...

Notice this as well: this is centuriOn's third - third - mocking reference to me reading the Bible. These dupes of the devil can't help themselves. They get in the presence of an elect of God and they can't help but channel the devil purely.

August 30, 2005 at 10:55 AM  
Blogger c.t. said...

CenturiOn scriptured-lawyered that response above, getting my King and Lord and Savior to say what the devil says, in exactly the same way homosexuals Scripture-lawyer the Word of God to get it to say homosexuality is 'OK'.

When you hit these devils where they are most in rebellion to God they will say and do anything. Anything.

Tell a duped prisoner to the devil that he is putting the fear of man above the fear of God and see what comes out of them. The only reason centuriOn waited literally weeks before his lame response above is because he doesn't have the Roman Catholic arrows in his quiver. He wants to have those arrows, but he can't go in that direction after spending so much time positioning himself as a Reformed Protestant. Hilarious.

August 30, 2005 at 11:01 AM  
Blogger c.t. said...

In case you missed it: centuriOn took the tack of replacing the love of God's people with fear and reverence due only to God and God's Word.

The devil relies on the fear of man to maintain control in his Kingdom. The devil and his followers know that when a person only fears God they are no longer a 'tame prisoner' (Puritan phrase) of the devil.

Jesus says love your neighbor as yourself. He doesn't say give yoru neighbor the fear and reverence due only God.

CenturiOn writes:

Is it your view that you are beyond correction from other men?

The way you mean it, yes. Because you are really saying: "Is your view that you are beyond the fear of man?" Any legitimate 'correction' is based on the Word of God or it's purely worthless, fool. My discernment of doctrine, for instance, comes from having the Spirit of Truth in me, not from reverencing and fearing theologians.

For example, Jesus certainly says "fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell." (Mt 10:28)

This is an example of a person attempting to get a verse that contradicts them out-of-the-way, to innoculate themselves, so to say, because they know it will be used against them. Keep this in mind.

But is His meaning here that all men are worthless and useless and we can take no cues or correction from them?

These mainstream Christians apologists pride themselves on vain notions that they are 'critical thinkers' and something akin to academic philosophers. Read the sentence above and see if centuriOn lives up to his own standards. Here's the answer to it: Yes, if your intent is to use that statement to overturn the biblical command to fear God and not man (which is what your intent is). Yes, pilgrim. Yes. I give you an unqualified, absolute YES.

Oh, you didn't think you could get an elect of God to abandon God and take up the fear of man in just a little blog comment did you, centuriOn? You must hang out with some really weak, lame 'Christians'... Welcome to the real world. Welcome to a world you types don't even know exists. The world of the elect of God.

Fear God, it is the beginning of wisdom. Don't fear man, pilgrim, fear God. The devil wants you to fear man. God TELLS you to fear God. This is the beginning of wisdom. The fear of man is not the beginning of wisdom, no matter how many times the devils followers will attempt to argue that, in however many ways they attempt to argue it. Just know their main thing is to get you to come off the fear of God and to fear man. Be watchful, Christians.

August 30, 2005 at 11:15 AM  
Blogger centuri0n said...

Well, you and the Pope make the same claim. You should have a "King of the Hill" match with him in order to find out who's right, then you can come back and anathematize the rest of us good and proper when you have the funny hat.

I have decided, btw, not to fear man (meaning: you), so your corrections have fallen on fearless ears. Can I call you a "fool" now, or should I fear God enough to know that anyone who calls his brother a fool is subject to the judgment of being a murderer?

August 30, 2005 at 12:00 PM  
Blogger c.t. said...

I say fear God and not man, and centuriOn calls me a 'pope'.

This is the similar Alice-in-Wonderland 'retreat into unreality' tactic centuriOn's friends take on the corrupt manuscripts issue. They are the one's using the Roman Catholic approved manuscripts and they call me 'Roman Catholic' for advocating the manuscripts and translation line of the Reformation itself.

This is what happens when vain, juvenile philosophers, full of Star Trek and comic books, get in over their heads on an issue...

August 30, 2005 at 12:08 PM  
Blogger c.t. said...

get in over their heads on an issue...

Get in above their level of Spirit-given discernment.

The answer is to read the Word of God and read it humbly. Regeneration is effected, when it is, by the Word and the Spirit.

Make an effort to draw near God, and God will draw near you (James chapter 4).

August 30, 2005 at 1:10 PM  
Blogger centuri0n said...

So what would the difference be between your "fear God" claim and the Pope's claim to infallibility?

A list of 3 examples would be super.

August 30, 2005 at 2:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

centuri0n ...why don't you knock it off and quit coming in here acting like a Pharisee and a all knowing self-righteous PRICK. You bounce around the blogosphere with your pompous and self righteous attitude. Where is your humility? You began to comment to pick a fight and you know it. You are a contentious prig! go back to Pyromaniac and worship Phil Johnson's feet a little more so that you can be closer to John MacArthur....you are a man worshipper!

August 30, 2005 at 4:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

and his blog is boring at best.

August 30, 2005 at 4:26 PM  
Blogger c.t. said...

Stay on-the-mark doctrinally, to the extent that you are, centuriOn. Don't allow my belligerant manner to effect you in any negative way. Just recognize, or entertain the possibility, that to fear God and not man is a hardcore command of God and teaching of the Word of God that you just currently can't see. There are other similar teachings in the Bible. You are not alone in not currently being able to see it. Just read the Word of God as your needed foundation, and let other things potentially come in the wake of that...

August 30, 2005 at 7:10 PM  
Blogger c.t. said...

I agree with anonymous' comments, by the way. Maybe I don't think what I write should be judged on a basis of whether it is boring or not, but to each his own on that.

I upset strongholds. I expect people to disagree with me... The fear of man is a great stronghold of the world...

August 30, 2005 at 7:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Still waiting for your post on the New Testament teaching about the church, particularly church leadership as described in Ephesians and the Pastorals.

August 31, 2005 at 6:15 AM  
Blogger c.t. said...

When you can get John Calvin and John Owen out of the ring on that one (it's the 15th round and no sign of either fighter getting tired or giving up) then you can demand from a lesser theologian (myself) the definitive take on the visible church (a biblical word?).

As for the invisible church of which Christ is King: welcome, brother.

Also, throw in those heretic Puritans who disdained to even call a building a 'church' but called them meeting place.

The visible church is amorphous in the church age. In our time good teachers are available via media not available in any other time.

Here's a fact: nobody who learns hardcore, on-the-mark doctrine (five solas, doctrines of grace, covenant of redemption) learns from an elder or pastor these days. We all learn from a thousand and one sources in our own search using the discernment we have - if we possess it - from the Spirit of Truth. This is how the church is just is in these times. You can deny it all you want, but this is how it is, and it's supposed to be like this because God is in control.

Church: when Jesus says whenever two or more meet in His name He is there... That is an assembly.

Man wants to make of 'church' a domain where man has power and where the fear of man and the influence of the world is cultivated and enforced. God's elect understand differently...

Back to Calvin's 'Bk. 4': his best students parted ways with him there from the beginning.

Fear God, read His Word, and here is what will happen: you will assemble naturally with other Christians; and you will evangelize naturally, as it comes to you; and you will engage in being the light of the world and a direct influence on those in need naturally.

A regenerate soul cannot but do these things.

August 31, 2005 at 7:31 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

anonymous....she answered your question in great detail and pretty much put you in your place at the same time. Now, go back to the BHT with your little group of dildos and fat ass bar tender

August 31, 2005 at 7:48 AM  
Blogger Michael Spencer said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

August 31, 2005 at 9:31 AM  
Blogger centuri0n said...

Anon:

I guess it's fine for ct to portray me in any way he/she thinks is applicable, but for me to come 'round and say, "um, that's not what I said or defensible from what the Bible says," after ct has handled both my words and Scripture's teaching like Mike-n-Ikes -- that is, picking out the colors he/she likes and leaving the rest -- I'm a "prick".

Thanks for the insight and criticism. I'll file it away for future reference.

August 31, 2005 at 1:31 PM  
Blogger centuri0n said...

So what would the difference be between your "fear God" claim and the Pope's claim to infallibility?

A list of 3 examples would be super.

August 31, 2005 at 1:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I want to know when God cancelled the ministry of pastors and elders.

August 31, 2005 at 3:00 PM  
Blogger c.t. said...

He didn't. Does your pastor demand that you fear man? Most do. As a Christian I'm a prophet, a priest, and a king. Do you deny this teaching - this fact - of the Word of God? Is it just too radical for you, pilgrim?

Christian liberty is real. The devil in the churches denies it and despises it. The devil in the churches denies God and despises His elect.

CenturiOn asks: "So what would the difference be between your "fear God" claim and the Pope's claim to infallibility?"

I spared you the first time you wrote this by mercifully ignoring it. It is just frankly inane. Fear God is a command and teaching of the Word of God. The Roman Catholic Pope's so-called infallibility is not. (Did I really have to write that?)

August 31, 2005 at 3:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

c.t. apparently for CenturiOn you did as he is either very ignorant or showing his pompous ass again.

and by the way CenturiOn, proud bookstore owner (did you need a college degree for that weak man's job or do you do it because of greed to steal people's money on Christian trinkets - you are the trinket shop owner) You are not only a "prick" but a BIG prick - which is evident all over the blogosphere. You are a jack ass and your web site is as boring as possible. You are a Phil Johnson wannabe and fake at that.

August 31, 2005 at 4:10 PM  
Blogger c.t. said...

Anonymous, to sustain or support or validate your rhetoric you've got to have better material and insight than that.

August 31, 2005 at 4:19 PM  
Anonymous Hurricanic Smog said...

Having conversations with your other split personalities and calling people names with the one so as not to appear to be doing it yourself. How very sad.

Truly, you need to have yourself put in an institution. Your are so mentally disturbed that you don't even realize it. I wish you could find a way to seek help.

August 31, 2005 at 5:51 PM  
Blogger c.t. said...

For the record, a single person is posting furiously as anonymous here, and 'tis not moi.

There be some veterans of this Christian blogosphere that can probably guess who it be. The girth and boorishness of the comments should be enough to give it away...

And when the 'anonymous voice' is intent to make the blog owner look bad it should be obvious what is going on. I leave it to the discernment of anyone reading to draw conclusions...

August 31, 2005 at 6:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Or, some people just choose to remain anonymous and exercise the right to free speech so just get over it hurricane smog

August 31, 2005 at 6:45 PM  

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