Hey, Peddlers of Fear! I’m Done With You! (Eric Berry & The Guardians will explain why)

Our family went to see “The Guardians” movie on a sneak peak the other night. It was brilliant. he whole movie is about the toxic nature of fear. Fear is deadly and so simple to counteract – simply don’t give it any oxygen.

This week I have been returning to this hilarious clip of Eric Berry freaking out on the sidelines because there is a live horse walking around. I’ve watched this thing a dozen times and it never gets old. It’s just so crazy to see one of the toughest players in the NFL completely controlled by an irrational fear of horses. It’s so out of character for a guy that tough to fear some little thing. This is the power of fear.

It seems as though everywhere I turn these days I’m faced with fear. From the Fiscal Cliff, to the missiles raining down on Tel Aviv, Gaza, and the West bank I see fear. I have heard no less than at least a half-dozen times since the election that Obama will “take this country down,” or that this is “the end of our nation as we used to know it,” … fear. Politicians and power-brokers make their way in the world by fostering, fomenting, and leveraging fear. They tell us what to be afraid of and who to blame. Why so much fear?

Some fear is obviously good. It’s good to fear traffic. This keeps us from playing in the street. But too much fear in our society is irrational and useless. It’s meant only to provide others with a means of control and a way to make money.

Fear is not a characteristically Christian emotional response to the brokenness of the world. Christians refuse to live in fear. The bible says that perfect love casts out fear. If you are busy with fear, you have no room to love. If you are sowing the seeds of fear, you are not sowing the seeds of love, and you will reap what you sow. If you are controlled by fear, you are not controlled by love, and you make yourself an enemy of God.

Why so much fear?

What do we have to fear, death? Christians don’t fear death. Will the peddlers of fear threaten us with resurrection? Go for it! I am not afraid of death. The Christian lives in hope of the resurrection. We stare death in the face and say, “Nice try!” Death will not have the final word – that’s the meaning of the resurrection. So we do have to live in fear, we can live in hope.

Christians have a sacred duty to become the non-anxious presence in our culture. While everyone else is yelling, “The sky is falling!” We say, “Nah – the sky isn’t falling. All is well. I know who I believe in and am convince that he is able to keep…” God is the keeper. We are kept. I am not afraid.

About Tim Suttle

Tim Suttle is a pastor, writer, and musician. He is the author of several books: Shrink: Faithful Ministry in a Church Growth Culture (Zondervan 2014), Public Jesus (The House Studio, 2012), and An Evangelical Social Gospel? (Cascade Books, 2011). Tim's work has been featured at The Huffington Post, The Washington Post, Sojourners, and other magazines and journals. Tim is also the founder and front-man of the popular Christian band Satellite Soul, with whom he toured for nearly a decade. He has planted three successful churches over the past 13 years and is the Senior Pastor of Redemption Church in Olathe, Kan. Tim's blog, Paperback Theology, is hosted at Patheos.


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