Are we supposed to fear God?

Is God a being to be “feared”?

The idea that it is good and wonderful and something to be admired to be “God fearing” has been put back into the public arena by a young television star who has taken to the Internet to urge his fans go stop watching the program that made them his fans to begin with.

Angus T. Jones has been playing the role of Jake Harper on the CBS sitcom Two and a Half Men for ten years, and a few years ago (2010) became the highest paid child star in television, earning, at age 17, nearly $8 million in just two seasons. But earlier this year he acknowledged that he is these days experiencing some discomfort playing some of the story lines that were being written for his now older character on the show.

That discomfort apparently erupted full blown last week when Mr. Jones posted a video on YouTube saying that he no longer wanted to appear on the program, on which he has been a continuing character for a decade, declaring that the show conflicted with his religious views. Mr. Jones said he had just been baptized as a member of the Forerunner Christian Church.

In the video Mr. Jones went further. He asked his fans to stop watching Two and a Half Men and “filling your head with filth.” I have nothing to say about that. If Mr. Jones feels his own television program is “filth,” so be it.

(Mr. Jones has since released a statement in which he essentially says that he did not wish to personally insult or dishonor the show’s producer, director, cast, or crew with his remarks, all of whom he thanked for the opportunity and the help each have given him in show business — but he did not withdraw or disavow his assessment that show’s content was “filth.”)

What I would like to discuss here, however, is not the show’s content, but the content of Mr. Jones’ remarks about God. Mr. Jones has been quoted by news sources as saying on the YouTube video: “If I am doing any harm, I don’t want to be here. I don’t want to be contributing to the enemy’s plan…You cannot be a true God-fearing person and be on a television show like that. I know I can’t. I’m not OK with what I’m learning, what the bible says, and being on that television show.”

So since this now world-famous young actor (the show is syndicated in several countries) has placed before a planetary audience his idea of what it means to be “a true God-fearing person,” I would like to place for the planet my idea of whether God means for each of us to be a God-fearing person. I would like to explore this in the days ahead here, and take a really close look at exactly what God wants in this regard.

But first, let me ask you. People from all over the world read this online newspaper, and this column. I’d be curious to know: What is your truth, what is your awareness, what is your own personal experience and understanding around the question: Does God want us, need us, request us, command us, to fear God? What is your knowing around this? What would be God’s reason for it?

Please leave your Comment here, below. Then, in the days ahead, I’ll get into what I think about what God wants.

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  • raydrienne

    Fear is Old Testament and Old Cultural Story.

    Fearing anything in life–be it God, death, divorce, unemployment, grief, unhealth–is counterproductive. Actually, it is productive, but it creates ideas, emotions, and realities/perceptions that most people would find undesirable.

    God should be loved, not feared. God is love, not fear.

  • Stephen Hyde

    I know what you know, God loves us, he created us to have free will, so what can we do to incur his wrath. Besides I am God. There is only ONE, God

  • A. Carvajal

    On the topic of whether or not we should fear God my unequivocal answer is, “NO WAY!” I’ve always been astonished when I hear people praise he idea of being God fearing. Fear God? God, aka all that is, is an awesome, amazing, all-accepting being that is loving beyond imagination. And I say this from first hand experience due to several NDE type experiences. I’ve been to the other side and back and there is nothing to fear. Never was.

    On the topic of Mr. Jones speaking up for what he believes in, I commend him. It has to be incredibly difficult to stand up in front of millions of fans & possibly harm his career in order to publicly speak his truth. It’s just a shame he’s mistaken. If there was one thing I could say to God fearing people, it would be to suggest they ask God for a direct experience of his/hers/it’s love and true self rather then gather their certainty from books, traditions or authority figures.

  • diana

    thanks to Conversation with God and then my own experience i come to undestand that we can,t fear something that is inside us . I truly bealive that God is one with us and we are one with God. One truth that is only half told is worst than a lie, as Kabala says . If we can just love us as we are with god and bad and accept that is within us the problem and let love conguer us, then we can vole others just like God love us. if we are ok with us we,ll stop bleaming God for all the bad thinks and accept each others …. THIS IS WHAT GOD WANTS this is what all wants. we are one –remember!

  • Kiranbhat

    No God does not want us to fear him. He is not at all what we think He is. He is a loving, accepting god who has given us free will to explore, understand ,participate in the world around us. To live joyfully and embrace life

  • Felicia B. Cook

    I was brought up/taught to be a “God Fearing” person, however that beleif has never felt right to me. I mean why do we need to fear a loving God. You hear this all the time..dont watch that show or listen to that music etc. (even if it makes you smile, or gives you some kind of joy) because it is “filth” or “devil music” etc. I ask you how can something God made be ” filth” or ” of the devil”? Well it cannot be and that is why you can laugh at the ” filth” or dance to the” devils music” because the only way something can be ” filth” or ” of the devil” is when we place Judgment upon it. And God says ” Judge not… “

  • William Yeoh

    After review your CWG series, i have come to this conclusion. God doesnt give a damm on what we do or think. You can kill, murder, maim, cheat lie and steal and you still wound up to heaven.

    The thing is, you can lie to the whole world, you can’t lie to yousself. You can hide all those horrendeus act you did, but you cannot hide away yourself. You can never ever run away from youself.

    We all know Truth, the real Truth, but do we acknowledge it? We know killing another is wrong but we do it anyway, we know lying to each other is wrong, we do it anyway. Why? It the easier choice, but is it better? It is easier to kill a man when he has done you wrong rather than forgive him. It is easier to harbour resentment rather try to understand him.

    To be God fearing is easier than accepting our light, that we are responsible for all the evil in this world and also the good in our life. Right now i believe is the right time to accept our role and responsibility and now blame god for ourself faults.

  • Judith Devlin

    When I first heard we were suppose to fear god after learning God is Love and loves all things in my first catholic catechism class (first grade, I think) that’s when I immediately shut organized religion off. I immediately KNEW that could not be the truth. I was 5. 🙂

  • carol

    if God is defined as unconditional love and acceptance regardless of anything that is going on or not going on in our lives, then maybe fearing the absence of love is to fear God.?? looking fw to your next post.

  • Marko

    Actually fearing God in the old testament was more about awe & respect.
    Remember “I’m fearfully & wonderfully made” is about awe not fear.


  • Sinclair

    Neale: You were raised Catholic, as I recall. You should know that fearing God is not like fearing disease, scorpions or murderers.

    Marko hits the mark.

    NOTE FROM NEALE: Tell that to Mr. Jones — and to the billions of people around the world who do not equate “fear” with some form of “respect.” And if “fear” in this context does not really mean “fear” as we commonly understand it, why do fundamentalist Christian ministers not stand up and say so, loudly? Or would that take the sting out of “Vengeance is Mine, sayeth the Lord”?

  • Carolyn

    I am saddened that Mr Jones feels the need to fear God. I grew up with a family that feared God and it has been a long road to find the God that I now know- a loving God.

    At Mr Jones’ young age, I would like to see him devote some time to develop a freindship with God and then there would be no need to fear.

  • Lynn Iovino

    I would like to read this at a more convenient time for me. Is it possible for you to email this to me. I would appreciate it.

  • Buzz

    Anyone who fears God fears themself, and creates unresolvable inner conflict.

    This blog is almost exclusively txt, so you could easily copy it and paste it into a text document. Having said that, it would be easier to use your browser settings to save this page as a html file for offline reading, which every internet browser is capable of doing, even on a smartphone.

  • mewabe

    There i nothing to fear about God, but there is plenty to fear about those who fear God.

  • Brigitte

    I believe God is merciful, loving, giving and non judgmental. God created us to be happy, to realize our dreams and goals, he did not create us to suffer, we do that all on our own and then blame him for our misfortunes. When you allow another group, or person to control you every thought, every behavior, you are giving up your free will that God gave you as your birth right.
    Some of the religion groups emerging these days, want to control you thoughts, strip you of your free will by planting fear in your hearts and making you believe that you need to fear God. There is no love in fear, out of fear darkness emerges and love disappears.

  • Janet

    Not at all, God saved me from the bottom and brought me back to live… and she showed me, through the books of CwG, that there is absolutely no reason to fear her. THANK YOU, GOD AND THANK YOU, NEALE, THANKS SO MUCH!

  • Janet

    and by the way (to mr. jones’ way of fearing god): to become aware of who we are we sometimes have to make the experience of who we are not…

  • Vashti

    God requires nothing of us, not even our ‘love’. Fear especially is in direct contrast with the concept of God, since God is absolute energy, pure love. There is no need to fear God; no matter what, we cannot not be in God’s consciousness, and as absolute love, God cannot NOT love us since creator, and creation are the same.

  • mewabe

    One question to ask of the God-fearing is, what does it do for you? Where do you think you would be if you did not fear God, on death row for having committed the most horrible crimes?

    Are you as a mad dog who needs to be trained to fear punishment in order to stop biting? Is that the best you can do?

    Those who cannot be motivated by love, who need fear to motivate them, are in a poor state of consciousness, and of course one of the worst state of consciousness is created by teaching people that humanity if flawed.

    Once you teach people that they are essentially worthless, as does religion with sin, and that the devil is crawling behind the wallpaper waiting for the first opportunity to get them, then in the context of such madness fearing God looks like a rational option.

  • Jim Clark

    This is a young man who like all of us is on his own journey & is exploring his options. He is still very young & his life will take him in many different directions until he finds the truth. Thats what we at CWG are all about helping poeple find the truth about who they really are because of who God really is !!! I believe that he will discover CWG sooner or later & when he does he will be amazed just like the rest of us at how special he really is !! I don’t believe for one second that the CWG concept WILL NOT become the way of life all over the globe !! It is the answer to everything we are facing right now. He will find it because we will never stop promoting it !! It’s already taken on a life of it’s own because it’s truth can not be DENIDED.

  • Mon J Gamil

    Fear has been cultivated in us, from childhood, in school and most especially, in church. I lived in a church environment for almost 30 years, and “fear” is one of the most negative idea that is hard to eliminate in my mind. I know that God doesn’t want us to fear him. He wants us to love him. God is the source of Unconditional Love not of Unconditional Fear (if ever there is such a thing, anyway).

    Having read and listened to CWG, I learned the depth and meaning of Unconditional Love. I have this scenario in my mind, that when I messed up and go to God in prayer, “God, please forgive me, I sinned.” God answers, “What sin? No, you didn’t. I love you no matter what. I see as you as who you really are. Start seeing yourself as who you really are! This is my unconditional love for you.”

    Listening to the CWG audio, having the voice of Edward Asner and Ellen Burstyn made me pay attention to God and loved him more. Their voices were superb! I followed Ellen’s career and found out that she a multi-award recipient when it comes to acting. Such a lovely, caring motherly voice she has.

    God is to be loved not to be feared. I have stopped being a God-fearing man. I am a God-loving man!

  • Jacki

    Fear can be useful: fear of taking a hot casserole dish out of the oven with bare hands, fear of jumping off a cliff onto rocks 100 feet below you, etc. But Fear of God strikes me as counter-productive.

  • David

    Thanks for putting this out here for us to discuss Neale.

    I am a Christian and proud to be one. The idea of a ‘God-fearing’ Christian confuses me since it creates a cognitive dissonance in my knowing that there is no love as great as that of God in Christ Jesus.

    The word reverence in Hebrew is yare’ and shackah. The root idea that the Bible writers communicated is an ‘awe’ or ‘reverence’ towards God which was translated as ‘God-fearing’ in the Greek and English versions. This makes a huge significant shift in perspective especially coming from a psychological background. Awe and Reverence are not fear though they can be expressed or interpreted as fear. This is why every angel who appeared to men (even Christ in Spirit) immediately told them ‘Do not fear…’.

    I think it was a cute way of expressing the awe and majesty of God and how man should respond to Him. To me, its similar to how we tell someone we ‘can’t live or breathe without them’ if we are in love with them. To some extent its true because all relationships requires the other so as to express one’s desires but in essence it is inaccurate because, as many have experienced, we can live to see another day if our loved one leaves us.

  • Barry Stevens

    In ancient Aramaic, the language spoken by Jesus, the word “fear” meant “to worship, or to revere”. Nowadays, it’s got quite a different meaning. I stick with the ancient meaning.

  • Buzz

    David, if I tell you not to think of a pink elephant, what are you thinking about? QED.

    If God, or something spiritual, came to you, and their first 3 words were “Do not fear …”, how do you feel?

  • Sally Cornett

    I believe God wants us to take RESPONSIBILITY for our own actions. No need to give God all the good and the devil all the bad and that you never make a decision on your own. God wants me to stop the BLAME GAME and I have.

  • nkanyiso mncwbe

    firstly i would like to thank you mr Walsch for let us express our views. for a long time i have felt discomfort when i was told to fear God and i did not understand why must i fear a person said to be good caring and loving. i always had questions about this and the answers seem to have no back bone, they just did not penetrate. now that im old i have realised that God never said, wanted, required or expected me to love him. God wants us to love him and acknowlege that he exist.

  • Teresa

    I don’t believe we should fear God but rather respect him and each other… I respect the God in each of us. Even sitting in church as a child I would question why the Preacher was saying “to fear God”
    I’m happy to say that I believe in a God of peace and love, one whom I can have a friendship with, and rely on in time of need.