A challenging piece by Robert Dilday, managing editor of the Virginia Baptist Religious Herald.
"Perfect love," wrote the Apostle John, "casts out fear."
For Christians, that simple maxim would seem to be an easy formula for stress-free living. But 2,000 years after those words were written, many disciples of Christ still find their lives dominated by fear -- and worse, many Christian leaders believe, their response to it often is indistinguishable from that of the society in which they live.
“What shocks me... is that many Christians have bought into fear as a thoughtful reaction to terrorism, to immigration, to health care and to many other important issues,” Drew Smith, an ordained Baptist minister who is director of international programs at Henderson State University in Arkadelphia, Ark., recently blogged.
Bill Shiell, pastor of First Baptist Church in Knoxville, Tenn., observed many Christians “are informed primarily by forwarded e-mails and relentlessly repetitive information, rather than the good news of Christ.”
“The phrase ‘do not be afraid’ is used 365 times in the Bible for a reason,” said Shiell. “The faithful are often the most susceptible to fear.”
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