The title of the post comes from something A Mom said here.
davidbrainerd2, Should we fearlessly cross the street without looking? It’s all in God’s hands? We are BUBBLE-wrapped in the love of God?
Sounds like faith in determinism/fate teaching to me.
This is precisely, however, the doctrine taught by Satan in the Wilderness Temptation.
9 And [the devil] brought [Jesus] to Jerusalem, and set him on a pinnacle of the temple, and said unto him, ‘If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down from hence: 10 For it is written, He shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee: 11 And in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone.’
12 And Jesus answering said unto him, ‘It is said, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.’
Satan wants to convince Jesus to jump off the Temple! And in order to convince him that it is safe, he cites Psalm 91:11-12.
In similar manner, many often cite 1 John 4:17-18 as if it means that if you love God, you have absolutely nothing to fear — ever.
1 John 4:17-18, 19-21
17 Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world. 18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.
19 We love him, because he first loved us. 20 If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen? 21 And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God love his brother also.
In reality, 1 John 4:17-18 is saying that we know God loves us perfectly, and if we love God perfectly in return and know our actions are in accord with such love, then we have no reason to fear being condemned on the day of judgement. It doesn’t mean we have nothing at all to fear in this world.
Yet, many, particularly Calvinists, of course, and particularly those who want to excuse pastoral abuse, will cite this passage in a diabolical way to suggest that if you fear anything (especially, if you fear that a pastor who has committed abusive things in the past will do so again) that it means you are deficient in love. Hogwash! This is nothing less than Satan’s own hermeneutics being used against you.
To follow Satan’s hermeneutics and purposefully put yourself in harm’s way is tempting God, according to Jesus’ response to Satan. Remember that.
[See also this post responding to a commenter who used the devil’s hermeneutics to suggest the spiritually abused are in sin for being in fear.]