Saturday, October 29, 2011

#302 / Fear Not

The Bible provides a "Fear Not" admonition in many places, in both the Old and the New Testaments. Click this link for what I feel certain is only a partial list.

We sometimes think that fear is an emotion, and is visited upon us, and as such, as something coming from the "outside," is more or less beyond our control. Many people think that "love" is like that, too. Both "love" and "fear" can fit that formula.

If you have read Works of Love, by Soren Kierkegaard, you know that his exegesis demands that we understand things differently. His book essentially comments on the commandment (found in Mark 12:30) that "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength." This is the first and the Great Commandment, and the second is like unto it, "Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself." On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.

For Kierkegaard, speaking of love, "love" is not an emotion, it is an action that is commanded. The most important thing is the commandment.

"Fear Not," while phrased in the negative, instead of in the positive, is similarly a commandment.

It is one thing to think that we "shouldn't" submit to our fears. It's another thing to think that this might be one of our basic obligations in this life.


  1. Be of determined and sustained courage to do love acts. The frequency of love acts is a function of intuitive listening and discernment in community. For this listening and discernment, we humans need liturgical locations and processes in our lives in our culture. Such is my augmented summary of your important point following Kierkegaard this morning.

  2. Agreed. I think Kierkegaard would have agreed, too!


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