A Culture of Fear

Scanning the headlines on my news feed, I read of disaster after disaster. From people being buried alive under collapsing buildings, floods and tornadoes, and seemingly random shootings, to fires, earthquakes, and the massacre of innocent civilians, the world is falling apart.

Listening to the news, you might think you’re going to die any moment. It could be from something you ate. Everything is bad for us. Even foods that were considered beneficial ten or twenty years ago (such as soy) are now touted as dangerous to our health.

You can’t go to this country or that country because you might be assaulted, blown up, or kidnapped. Here at home, our government is spying on its own citizens. And I just read that the next “fiscal cliff” is coming in late February.

“Big Medicine” is making your sicker, you can’t trust your doctor, and now herbal supplements apparently don’t contain what the label says they do.

The planet is getting hotter. Polar ice caps are melting, sea levels are rising, and California won’t fall into the ocean—it will simply drown in place.

We’re living in a culture of fear.

Are things really that bad? Do we live in the worst of times? Is modern medicine really doing more harm than good? Is our culture more sinful than in previous generations? Is ecological disaster really lurking right around the corner?

The media loves to proclaim disaster after disaster because people pay attention. It’s good for business. And we buy into it, because it’s all we hear. We begin to believe that the bad guys are winning.

I’m going to address a number of these issues in the coming months. In the meantime, here are a few Scripture passages you can keep in mind. Before you panic over the state of the world…

  • Remember God’s power and love:

“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” (2 Timothy 1:7)

“The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

  • Fear God, not your circumstances.

“But the eyes of the Lord are on those who fear him,
on those whose hope is in his unfailing love,
 to deliver them from death….”

“What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? … Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? … For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

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