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Dr. David Jeremiah, a significant voice in, to, and for the Body of Christ, has recently written a book entitled “Where Do We Go From Here?”

The promotional line for the advertising piece I received reads—“In my new book and fall teaching series, you’ll discover ten prophecies coming alive in our world today.”

As I looked through the promotional material, I became intrigued with the concept of selling fear. Fear is a powerful motivator, and marketers have learned to harness that motivation to get us to buy just about anything and everything they want to sell.

It is especially interesting to consider the level of fear individuals possess within the Christian community. More than once in the Bible, which we hold to be our guide for faith and practice, we are told to avoid fear, to not let it have place in our life.

Wise people recognize the debilitating aspects of fear. “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” (F.D. Roosevelt) Simply put, fear cripples us. It takes away our reason.

UCLA neurobiologist Michael Fanselow says that fear is “far, far more powerful than reason.” There is simply too much happening within our bodies and minds when we are frightened for us to access any kind of logical thinking.

Fear that hinders rationality is one of things Jesus came to destroy. Speaking of Jesus, the writer of Hebrews says, “…and deliver all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong slavery.” (Heb 2:15)

Fear is a slave master, and those under its care find themselves in bondage in many areas.

One of those areas is the inability to resist most sales tactics promoted by fear. For the Christian, this translates into huge book sales for the authors of fear.

Most will probably not recognize it, but our desire to know about the future stems from fear. We don’t want to be caught off-guard.

So the writers write books to help us to “understand the times and the seasons.”

I ask one simple question for your consideration—which generation prior to ours has not had these troubles? Has there ever been a time when there was not war going on? Has there ever been a time when there was not a famine somewhere on the planet? Or a plague?

The only difference for our generation is that we are aware of it happening in the moment—not in the past from our history books.

Spend the money. Buy the books. Read them and put them alongside the other books you have from years back saying the same thing.

If your fear is not eliminated, you may want to ask a different question about the end times.

Identity Theft

There is much concern, worry, and downright fear about someone being able to steal our identity.

For those of us who do most our financial transactions on-line–from purchasing of consumer goods to managing our assets–identity theft seemingly lurks behind every mouse click. Great measures are taken to make it more difficult for the identity predator to capture his prey.

Long and convoluted passwords are used within firewall protections wrapped within secret encryption devices and codes. In order to make it even more challenging, a different password is used for each account that requires one. Then the passwords are changed every few weeks or even days for each account. This includes not only the financial information accounts, but the social networking accounts and e-mail accounts.

Maybe it works. Maybe it serves. But I haven’t the time for it.

Once again, I find this to be unreasonable and pathetic for the Body of Christ to be involved in this.

My faith is not in the hackers’ ability to crack my encryption attempts. My faith is in the One who keeps me. Therefore my efforts at protection are minimal at best. I do only that which is required by the account that I am using. I’ve had the same password for all my accounts for years. I’ve had the same PIN for accounts that require them for years. In states where it has been possible, my driver’s license number has been my social security number. Simplicity is what works for me. Maybe it doesn’t for you.

My reasoning, though probably not well thought out, goes something like this:

  1. My identity is not how much money I have in my wallet. Neither my money nor my assets define who I am. Therefore, no one can steal my money and take my identity away from me.
  2. My life is hid with Christ in God (Col. 3:3). Therefore, no one can steal my identity–they can only join in with it!
  3. I dwell in the secret place of the Most High (Ps. 91). Therefore, God is my protector, which makes stealing my money even more difficult.
  4. Since God is my protector, I will not fear what man can do to me (Ps. 56:11).
  5. Since I do not fear what man can do to me, I am not concerned about this so-called identity theft.

Identity Theft is a misnomer, and something the devil is using to deceive the people of God.

Every time a child of God uses the term “identity theft,” he/she is giving credence to the lie that our identity is tied up in what we own. We need to pay attention to the words we speak.

The fact that fear is at the root of this whole thing should be enough to persuade the people of God to avoid it. Avoid the discussions, except to interject your statement of faith. Avoid reading about how to protect yourself from identity theft, except for reading the Bible.  Avoid reading about the latest victim’s story, because it only ministers fear.

Some will say that we need to be concerned. I am as concerned as I need to be. But, I am not constantly on the lookout for it.

I recall when we had the news about the “DC Sniper” that people in Missouri were hiding behind their cars while pumping gas. That is not concern. That is FEAR.

The point of all this?

I’m not exactly sure. I just know that I am still bothered by Christians who claim that faith is their message, while fear is their motivation.