Remember Martina McBride's song, "When God-Fearin' Women Get The Blues?" Fun song right? Sort of kickass, too, yeah? What I never understood was the phrase "God-fearin'." I still don't, because frankly, I don't fear God and I don't understand why I should? I mean, sure, when I was kid, sometimes my grandma would try to get me to stop doing something by telling me if I don't stop, God will be mad at me. But she also told me if I whistled at night ghosts would come out. Clever grandma I must say, clever indeed.
My God is loving, he protects me, and guides me, and he sure has been good to me in life, so I really love him. I'm not afraid of him. I think if we fear God, then we act out of fear instead of love as we're taught. I think pushing people to act out of fear is a very old school way of just trying to get people do what you want them to do and believe what you want them to believe. Of course, there are certainly bible versus that talk about fearing God, but let's face it. I'm bible illiterate, as apparently many Catholics are in general. So I can't say I remember the context of that notion off the top of my head, and there may be a modern interpretation of that phrase. Of course, there are also non-literal interpretations and modern interpretations of what it means to fear God, but let's talk about it in its literal sense, because I do feel there are a lot of question who behave according to a literal sense of the notion. Frankly, while the bible is a beautiful love letter from God to us, there are also certain parts of the bible I just don't agree with.
Some Christians may gasp, and call me crazy or something or other now. However, I think it's important to question and challenge our faith, question the church (or other religious institution depending on your faith, or even if you're atheist), question people, question everything. Maybe that's the lawyer in me speaking, who knows. No matter, questioning our faith strengthens our faith, because when we question and challenge our faith we are able to realize what we truly believe.
Ultimately, a lot of what we hear and know is interpreted by man. So, for example, when I'm at mass listening to the priest give his liturgy, sometimes he speaks right to me. Other times, I don't necessarily agree with what the priest says, because I may have a different opinion or interpretation of what he's discussing. And other times, I'm just totally zoned out, but that's a different story.
Our relationship with God is very much a father-child relationship, and I don't agree with everything my daddy tells me either, smart as he is. Who ever said that we have to agree with everything anyone says? I believe that's called tyranny. Don't be afraid to challenge your faith and challenge the institutions of religion. Challenging your faith opens up your mind and creates greater and deeper understanding. Disagreeing with someone or something never made anyone a "bad" person.
In fact, my husband and I were discussing a multitude of topics one night, and he turned to me and said, "You know, a lot of what you say and believe goes against the Catholic Church." I laughed and quickly responded, "I strongly disagree. Maybe it goes against what people in and of the institution say, but what I say and believe most certainly does not go against my Catholic faith." My faith, and Catholicism tells me only one thing--to love. That is all I know. Love. So as long as I act out of love, then how can that be un-Christian?
So remember all, act out of love not fear.
BIG LOVE & HUGS