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.)
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(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...)