Fear of Death


Someone in the blog world recently observed that acceptance of Christianity later in life is more about one’s emotional feelings related to death than anything else.

I agree.

It has often been demonstrated that when parents follow the biblical instructions in Proverbs to “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it” — the child will nearly always stay “in the faith” as s/he grows into adulthood. The ongoing and constant indoctrination — from nighttime prayers to grace at dinner to children’s church to church camps to Sunday School and finally, to regular Sunday worship — will most certainly accomplish the prime directive. (This is not to say they will remain in the faith, but that’s a discussion for another time.)

But what about those individuals who were not exposed to this indoctrination? Why do they turn to Christianity as an adult? I think it goes back to the introductory sentence of this blog post … “emotional feelings related to death.”

Or to put it bluntly … Fear of Death.

Naturally, any Christian reading this post who “found Christ” as an adult will disagree and offer a myriad of reasons why they disagree. But speaking from personal experience, I feel I can authoritatively say that FEAR is the underlying motive. Although the fear I felt (as described in the referenced post) was more about the pain and horrors described in the Book of Revelation, it was ultimately about the fear of death.

Believers like to talk a lot about the “love of Christ,” but this is nothing more than a feel-good aphorism used and repeated by church leaders to help people forget … deny … overcome the fear that rests at the core of every human being:  the certainty of our demise.

I’m sure many have noticed that church congregations are often made up of senior citizens. The ever-present realization that death is fast approaching is a strong incentive to believe the oft-repeated (and thus must be true!) promise of everlasting life.

Folks, the cessation of Life is inevitable. And while it may offer comfort to think/believe there is “something more,” until someone reports back … it is nothing more than solace for the soul.

That’s why my personal philosophy lies with the motto coined more than 2,000 years ago by the Roman poet Horace — Carpe Diem!

(Besides, way back in 1965, Doris Day explicitly told us … 🎵”Whatever will be will be.”)

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

Denying Death

“We cannot rationally deny that we will die, but we think of it more as something that happens to other people.”

So said Yair Dor-Ziderman, a researcher at Bar Ilan University in Israel.

From the moment we recognize we have the ability to look into our own future, we come to the realization that, at some point, we’re going to die.

And there’s nothing we can do about it.

Yet while we inherently recognize it’s an event we cannot avoid, we nevertheless put up numerous defenses to stave off thoughts of our inevitable demise.

In fact, Mr. Dor-Ziderman postulates that the reason we confine sick people to hospitals and elderly people to care homes is because we are “death-phobic.” In other words, we try to hide death from view — even though this may very well result in an even deeper fear of death.

Many people in today’s world avoid thoughts of death by getting on the “escape treadmill.” That is, they focus on hard work, spend more time at the local pub, constantly use their mobile phones, and buy more “stuff.” All in an effort to keep from thinking/worrying about death.

So while we may do our best to avoid thoughts of our life’s end, the unfortunate truth is … there’s really nothing we can do about it.

Source article

Image by OpenClipart-Vectors from Pixabay

God Is Not A Christian

I just came across a post that included a quote from Bishop John Shelby Spong where he says:

God is not a Christian. God is not a Jew or a Muslim or a Hindi or Buddhist. All of those are human systems, which human beings have created …

I love it! 

Only problem is … in my opinion, he didn’t take it far enough.

Humans didn’t just create the systems, they also created GOD

I’m pretty sure Bishop Spong would disagree with me (see his bio below), but hey … Truth is Truth.

As an added note, Bishop Spong has also stated that HELL doesn’t exist … that it’s an invention of the church to control people with fear. Wow! This man definitely has his head on straight. (No doubt this is why he’s been described as a “liberal Christian.”)

Oh, and he also said that religion is primarily a search for security — a way to stave off anxiety over the unknown.

Who woulda’ thought?

Someone else felt similarly. Paul Tillich, a Christian existentialist philosopher, put forth the idea that humans need something to overcome their fear of death … to help them subdue the terrible dread of their demise.

And for thousands … guess who fills the bill?

Nonetheless, it’s important to remember Spong’s words that “God is not a Christian.” Thus, what happens at “the end” may not be what some are expecting.

(I must confess. Bishop Spong actually said a bit more in the above quote. I just cherry-picked the most relevant part.) 😈

John Shelby “Jack” Spong is a retired American bishop of the Episcopal Church. From 1979 to 2000 he was Bishop of Newark. He is a liberal Christian theologian, religion commentator and author. He calls for a fundamental rethinking of Christian belief away from theism and traditional doctrines.


The Eternal Question: Is There a God?

A blogger that I follow titled one of his recent posts, “Is There a God? Any God?” I started to write a comment but then changed my mind and decided to write my own post.

Actually, I’ve started several posts on this topic, but for one reason or another decided against publishing any of them. This time? Well, you’re looking at it. 🙂

The thing for me is I simply cannot even imagine there is a god … or even that there “might” be one. To believe a supernatural entity exists somewhere “out there” in some unknown reality? To my way of thinking, it’s simply beyond normal comprehension. Not only that, plain old common sense dictates the inconceivability of such a being.

Many who do believe in this invisible entity often ask non-believers this question: “Why is there something rather than nothing?” My response is, “Why is this important?”

As individuals, we are here on this planet for only a brief nanosecond. In fact, our existence is scarcely measured in the space-time continuum. With such a finite presence, it seems we would be far better served by directing our attention to our own existence rather than that of some unknown and unseen entity.

In other words, instead of using up our time trying to please and/or ask favors of some mute and invisible deity, why not enjoy the beauty of this world and stop obsessing about whether or not it was created by a higher power?

Of course, there’s little doubt the core reason many humans seek the favor of a causal agency is their innate fear of death. None of us want this life to end so we (humans) devise God/gods and give them the power to extend our lives beyond the grave.

Sorry, folks. It’s a pipe dream.

A far better outlook would be to accept our finitude and use the time we do have to touch the lives of others in positive and uplifting ways. But sadly, too many prefer to turn this responsibility over to a “power” that exists only in their minds.

P.S. While I do not believe in any sort of supernatural entity, I do sense a Universal Presence, which I describe in more detail in my book.