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Published:November 1st, 2007 23:53 EST
What It Means to Fear God

What It Means to Fear God

By Garrett Godwin

"Are you a God-fearing man, Senator?  That is such a strange phase.  I've always thought of God as a teacher, a bringer of light, wisdom, and understanding.  You see, I think what you really are afraid of is me.  Me and my kind.  The Brotherhood of Mutants.  Oh, it's not so surprising really.  Mankind has always feared what it doesn't understand.  Well, don't fear God, Senator, and certainly don't fear me.  Not any more."
                                          -Magneto to Senator Kelly (X-Men, 2000)

In the world of X-Men, Magneto is the equivalent to Malcolm X, with the former believing that humans can never be mutants, who, according to Magneto, is the next stage of evolution.  The latter was a "Black Power" paradigm that changed the dominant political struggle of civil rights liberalism to eclectic expressions of Black Nationalism.  Both Magneto and Malcolm X believed that one must make their place in the world by taking forceful and proactive stances by "any means neccessary."

What Magneto was right about God is that God is the light of the world, bringing that light through His Love, His Word and His Spirit.  Not only is God the foundation of light and goodness that has no darkness or evil at all, but He also truly shows Himself as the light through His only Son, our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ (John 8:12; I John 1:5).

However, what Magneto was wrong about God is that He isn't a teacher or prophet.

"Don't say that Jesus is a great moral teacher, but I don't accept His claim to be God.  A man who was merely man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a good moral teacher.  He would be a lunatic-- on a level with the man who says he is a poached egg ... or else he would be the devil of hell.  You must make your choice.  Either this man was, and is, the Son of God or else a madman or somehting worse.  You can shut Him up for a fool, you can spit at Him and kill Him as a demon or you can fall at His feet and call Him Lord and God.  But let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about His being a great moral teacher.  He has not left that open to us.  He did not intend to."
                 -C.S. Lewis, author of The Screwtape Letters and The  
                  Chronicles of Narnia

To fear God is not to be afraid of Him, but to be in awe of Him, praising Him for who He is, what He has done for us and what He can still do.  To fear God is to honor and respect Him for all that He is (King of all Kings, Lord of Heaven and Earth, Creator of Everything & Everyone); all that He stands for (truth, justice, love, holiness, purity, righteousness, humility, forgiveness, etc.) 

In the end, the same love that God still has for us, out of that fear for God comes an amazing love for Him like no other-- making Him the foundation and center in our lives of everything we say, think and do.  So, like Psalm 150 states, let everything-- and everyone-- that have breath, praise the Lord.