I grew up in the Mayberry-type small town of Glenwood, Arkansas. I could ride my bike wherever and whenever I wanted. I could go to the local Menlo movie theatre, watch the latest movie for twenty-five cents, and buy a coke, a popcorn and a candy bar for another quarter.
One evening I asked my Dad if I could go to the movie at night and meet some friends there. He drove me and dropped me off. After the movie my friends went home, but my Dad wasn’t there to pick me up.
I assumed he had forgotten me and started walking home, IN THE DARK! With few street lights, my imagination began to run wild. Fear began its work of warping my imagination. It seemed like an hour, but it was probably about a ten minute trek.
I walked into the house in tears. My Dad said if I had just waited, he was coming to pick me up.
A derisive term of “homophobic” has been minted to describe those of us who hold a biblical standard for marriage of one man and one woman committed in a godly relationship called holy matrimony.
It is a term designed to cause me to shrink back in fear of being called “a fearful person.”
I believe the Bible is God’s word and it says:
For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.
2 Timothy 1:7
The Spirit of God who indwells believers in the Lord Jesus Christ produces not a “phobia” but power, love, and self-control. We who hold the now unpopular view of biblical Christianity are not to shrink back into a hole of fear, dread, or timidity. Rather, we are to stand confidently in God’s redeeming “agape” love, God’s “dynamite” power, and with God’s ability for self-control through wise discernment.
I do have a healthy “fear” and respect for the loving Creator of the universe. Why?
The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is insight.
Hell is a real place of total darkness, pure evil, and eternal loneliness. It is a place to feared. Jesus said,
And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell.
Matthew 10:28 ESV
Regardless of the derision or labels placed upon me, I choose to live by the love of God, the power of His Spirit, and the wise-discretion which results. I choose to live in this messy world between conviction of the truth and compassion for people, between the wisdom of God’s word and the winsomeness of God’s grace.