Thinking back on all the disasters in recent history, both natural and man-made; what else more readily sends people scurrying like little mice ( or lemmings, maybe? ) into the cold comfort of some church-building or cathedral, offering up prayers full of smoke before a God who may or may not be listening? When our lives, or at least the lives of average Americans, are going along swimmingly, we may darken the doorsteps of said church-building or cathedral once or maybe twice a week, or just on major holidays. Let the wind blow her fury though, knocking down a few houses, taking a few lives, uprooting trees, changing other lives completely, etc. we tend to make a run for the nearest House of God, falling on our knees before the only One who can save us!
Many of today's Christians, those who bow the knee before the idols of convenience and contentment, seem to be more in fear of their government or its associates ( IRS, ACLU, etc ) than they are of their God! In many cases too, they seem to be more concerned with maintaining a good relationship with this false god as well!! 'If we do this or that', they might say, 'the ACLU will come down on us hard with a very costly lawsuit'! On the other hand, an institutional 'church' organization ( corporation ) might cry, 'if we preach on this or that subject, the big bad wolf ( IRS ) might huff and puff and blow our house down'!
If I remember correctly, doesn't Scripture say something like, 'If God is for us, who can be against us?' ( Romans 8:31 ), and 'He who is in us is greater than he who is in the world' ( I John 4:4 ) ? I may have opened up a can of worms here, but as my purpose here is not to explore the under- ( or is that 'over-' ) lying aspects of the eschatological reasons for such idolatry, we may just suffice to say that these 'Christians' serve a different king ( one can almost hear echoes of 'we have no king but Caesar', here )!
Well, since the subject was brought up; 'why do many Christians seem to fear man more than God?'
It's certainly not because men are more worthy or command more respect! It's not because man has done more for the salvation and betterment of mankind! After all, God created man in the first place! Is the reason that many Christians seem to fear the machinations of men more than the providence and beneficience of God, because He does not seem real or close to them? Is it because they think He only dwells with them in Spirit, and has not yet returned to take the reins of His Kingdom on Earth?
When Christians fear to mention God or religion in a political context ( government schools, for instance ). what is that saying about their 'Christianity'? Who are they putting their trust in? Did God not deliver Daniel from the lion's den? Is He not able and willing to deliver His people from the hands of bullies like the IRS or ACLU?
Is our almighty, omnipotent God only at our 'beck and call', or is He an ever-present help in trouble? Is He only there when we need ( or want ) Him, or is He always there, as a Good and Heavenly Father, working all things together for our good?
As we explore these questions, let us first ask them of ourselves, in our own lives. Do WE fear man and what he might do, more than God and what He promised to do? We have all of history to show us how man exerts his might, and throughout this history men of might have risen, yes, but they always fall, never to rise again! As we can read in God's History book, though, He has never failed in His promises, and though He did take fall at the crux of History, He did rise again!
Is it better to put our trust in the ( failing ) strength of man, or in the ( never-failing ) Promises of our Almighty God? May we ever say with Joshua, 'As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord', and Him alone will we Fear!
Charles Haddon Shank