Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Understanding Fear

1. There is a fear for which man is not responsible, but it is a fear which has a definite cause. It is startle or fright, an instantaneous and instinctual response to possible bodily danger. This quickly changes to one of the other fears or resolves to relief. God has built within man a startle or fright response to warn him of possible physical danger. It even appears that this response is an instinctive, knee-jerk reaction which happens in his brain and body an instant before he cognitively assesses his danger. One concludes, therefore, that this kind of fear is physiologically generated in man’s brain and body and is instantaneously prepares him to meet a possible threat to his physical being. Such could be termed a physiological emotion, for its origin is within man’s brain and body. It is the only fear that originates in man’s brain and body. All other fears originate in man’s immaterial heart before then a millisecond later they are experienced in man brain and body. (Ruth 3:8, Luke 24:37)

2. There are fears which are good and right. These fears have discernable causes. These
fears are consistent with loving and trusting God.
a. The fear of the Lord (Proverbs 1:7)
b. Concern (Galatians 4:11)
c. Respect (Romans 13:7,1Peter 3:2)
d. Caution (Proverbs 14:16)
e. Urgency or Emergency (Nehemiah 2:2-3)
f. Awe (Mark 16:8)

3. There are fears which are wrong. These fears have discernable causes. These fears are
inconsistent with loving and trusting God.
A. Fear of false gods (Jeremiah 10:2-5)
B. Worry or untrusting apprehension (Luke 12:7,32, Philippians 4:6)
C. Timidity or cowardice (2 Timothy 1:7, Joshua 1:9)
D. Uncontrollable fear like panic or some dread (Psalm 48:4-6)
E. Intimidation (Proverbs 29:25)


4. There is only one fear for which there is no discernable cause. It is a fear for which man is responsible, because it results from the sin in his heart. It is the fear of God’s judgment in man’s conscience ever before God begins to move in judgment. It is the apparently uncaused fear seen consistently in the lives of the mentally unsound. This type fear is an indicator that there is a lack of love in our lives that we are not dealing with accordingly. (Genesis 3:10, Proverbs 28:1, 1John 4:18, Leviticus 26:17, 36-37) When one is fraught with excessive fears, he is actually fearing God’s Judgment due to the sin which he is presently entertaining in his heart. Human wisdom claims that when apparently uncaused fear exist is a source of the past. They believe it is a result of unresolved anxiety in childhood or it is past fear which has arisen in response to some present day stress. Human wisdom would claim that it is dormant fear somewhere in the brain and it can mysteriously be activated. However, the scripture makes it clear that apparently uncaused fear is an expression of one’s fear of God’s anticipated judgment due to present, chosen sin which one is personally entertaining in his life. When one experiences apparently uncaused fear it is a sign for them to come to Christ confess and repent to receive forgiveness of present sin.

Information taken from The Heart of Man and The Mental Disorders by Rich Thomson

9 Comments:

At 9:54 AM, Blogger JustByFaith said...

I agree with you that there are fears which are good and right, and there there are fears which are sinful, but I would disagree with your statement that there are fears for which man is not responsible (in your first point). You reference Ruth 3:8 and Luke 24:37, but neither of these would support such an assertion. Neither indicate that man is absolved of any responsibility.

 
At 1:03 PM, Blogger God Driven (Damion) said...

A person is instantly shocked by a friend who is hiding behind a corner and this person displays fright and anxiety. This is known as a knee jerk reaction. Man would not be responsible because he is not displaying any unloving reactions toward God or to man. My question would be is all fear and anxiety from the fact we don't put our entire trust in God? Ruth and Luke was not put out to prove a point, but rather show what we are talking about. I think this matter is going to be based on opinion from any one. Please know that I do believe that some people carry around so much anxiety from not trusting God that it comes out in every area of their lives. I am "anxious" to hear back from you. :)

 
At 10:23 PM, Blogger JustByFaith said...

My point is just this: in saying that man is not responsible for [you could fill in the blank] you are making a very subtle but I think dangerous assertion. I know this is kinda picky, but I think it is a point worth making. As a biblical counselor you will certainly come across plenty of folks who will rage against the biblical concept of the responsibility of man. The question is this: Is a man responsible for his knee jerk reaction if it kills someone? In order for us to say that a man is not responsible for an action (or reaction) we must have biblical grounds for such a statement. This becomes extremely important when you are counseling.

 
At 9:24 AM, Blogger God Driven (Damion) said...

You make good points and I thank you for sharing on this matter. You make some points that make me want to go back and evaluate what I have been taught. Thanks

 
At 3:11 PM, Blogger JustByFaith said...

You are welcome! I've had to do some re-examination lately too - and that's a healthy thing for us both!
Regarding biblical counseling... Have you ever heard of NANC (National Association of Nouthetic Counselors)?

 
At 4:00 PM, Blogger God Driven (Damion) said...

Yes, my professor is NANC certified and has a MABC from The Master's college. The guy that wrote our curriculum that we study, Rich Thompson, is not nanc cert. I have found a few things in what we have studied so far that makes me wonder how far he has studied in to what he has shown forth in his text book.

the program I am in is very similar to Nouthetic, but different. I have a link on the main page that shows the Biblical Counseling Framework that shows what we have studied. Probably the main thing is how we use Proverbs 28:1, “The wicked flee when no one is pursuing but the righteous are bold as a lion.” If you view the framework it shows that man has two reactions to everything that floods his conscience. Love or unloving (sin). If one has allowed sin in to his heart then guilt follows, directly following that is fear that comes from no apparent reason. This apparently caused fear is shown in a lot of psychotic disorders that doctors have no clue what to do except give medication to cover this guilt that has flood there heart. The last step is apparently uncaused fleeing as the scripture shows above is trying to run away to escape the guilt and anxiety that has over come their conscience. The cure for this is repentance and replying on God for control. I am concerned about what we have been taught because the entire counseling philosophy hangs on Proverbs 28:1.

Studying this has challenged every part of my being. One month before I started the counseling part of my degree I stopped taken Paxil due to financial reasons and they stopped making it for a season. I got a crash course in why I was so filled with anxiety and anger. A lot of it I did not believe at first and told the professor he was crazy. What do you think?

 
At 10:26 PM, Blogger JustByFaith said...

I would personally be very cautious with a counseling paradigm which seems to rely so heavily upon a single verse. Being a biblical counselor demands that the counselor have a firm grasp of the whole counsel of God as revealed in the Bible and that in systematic way. To be a truely biblical counselor you must be a systematic theologian that is an expert in day-to-day, situation-by-situation application of doctrine. The solution to peoples problems is usually pretty straightforward and simple and usually doesn't require much more than a counselor "opening the Scriptures" to people as Jesus did to the two on the road to Emmaus. I'm not sure that the "love or unloving (sin)" paradigm is really that helpful at the end of the day. I would say from my experience in biblically counseling others that a much more appropriate paradigm would be "repent and believe or perish". The gospel is what the counselee needs whether they are saved or unsaved. The true biblical counselor, in the truest sense, is a minister of the gospel of Jesus Christ and one that has wisdom and discernment.
I certainly don't say this to discourage you in any of your studies. Keep at it!

 
At 10:31 PM, Blogger JustByFaith said...

P.S. You mentioned anger...
I had the privilege of sitting under Lou Priolo's teaching for about a year. He's a biblical counselor who wrote a great book on anger in case you want to check it out.
"Heart of Anger" by Lou Priolo. Good stuff.

 
At 7:46 AM, Blogger God Driven (Damion) said...

thanks for the advice. You can get my email address from my profile if you want to email me. I almost moved to Birmingham about 3 years ago to attend Southeastern ... ended up staying in Houston and going to school here. I am hoping to attend seminary, Lord willing, out of the state of Texas. :)

 

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