#8. Fear the Lord.
Let me be clear. When I say “atheist,” I mean “anti-theist,” someone against the tenets which strike the fear of God into men. A true atheist is more like an agnostic, who doesn’t know if God exists or not, but still lives according to rules, weak though they may be. A true atheist also has fears: (1) that God may exist after all, (2) that science doesn’t have all the answers, and (3) that the invisible things we take for granted, like personality and emotions, which have no quantification, spell doom for the pure materialist.
An anti-theist, on the other hand, has an agenda, which is to refute God in order to install some other rule of law. Since the rule of law always depends on fear, whether the jail cell, or the avenger of grievances, the anti-theist is not against fear, but wishes to be feared. The anti-theist rails against the punishments found in Torah, the Law of God, but then offers similar punishments against those who are for Torah. It is more than hypocrisy here. It is a struggle between God and man. Logically, we should always choose God. For though God’s Law cannot be changed, the tyrant may change the rules as his fears or desires sway him. The anti-theist “atheist” therefore does not offer freedom from fear, only a different fear, in fact, more fear.
The Christian also preaches against fearing God. Though the Bible he carries says explicitly, and commands, to fear God, the Christian thinks only in terms of “love.” The Law of God is transmuted into the “law of love” for the sake of calming nerves, angers, and fears. Those afraid of commandments are assured that Jesus is not seeking obedience but rather a form of loyalty. But loyalty without obedience is false loyalty. There is not loyalty if the leader is not obeyed. The leader of Christianity is ostensibly Christ. But Christians disobey Christ every minute of every day. In Matthew 5:19, Christ says that whoever breaks and teaches against the least commandment shall be called least, and whoever keeps the least commandment and teaches it shall be called greatest. If you say Christ taught to disregard any commandment, you say that Christ is least. Is Christ least? I should think not! Does the death of Christ remove the necessity to keep many commandments? No! To say it does teaches against keeping “least” commandments.
Franklin Delano Roosevelt famously said, “We have nothing to fear but fear itself.” Roosevelt meant that we should not be lax to act due to complete paralysis. He did not mean we should ignore Pearl Harbor and not fear the Japanese. He meant we should not fear to do our duty and fight for good. Christians fear their duty. They are literally paralyzed when it comes to acting in accordance with the very Torah they carry to church every Sunday. They don't fear God, they fear men. They fear the tutting of their peers, and the angry shouts of their enemies. If they feared God, they would do the commandments, their duty, as the very last verse of Ecclesiastes teaches. If the Christians feared God, they would be Torah. But Christians are arrogant. They believe God will forgive all, including dereliction of duty, if they say the magic words.
The reluctance to keep kosher is perhaps the most obvious rebellion here. They eat shrimp and crab and ham and bacon, and say, “Why did God make it if not to eat?” To which the answer is clear, he made it so you would not eat it. If God made the shrimp for the believer to eat, did he make the mouse also for the believer to eat? Can you eat human flesh and drink human blood? Why not? Is it only disgust which keeps you from it? If it is forbidden, it is forbidden. Not all things are created for you to ingest, and not all things are forbidden to protect you from disease or death.
Many Jews also do not fear God, and, in like manner to the Christian, dismissively, even arrogantly, do not keep commandments. Like everyone else, Jews desire to fit in. They seek to fit into a society which historically rejects them. They believe they will be liked, accepted, respected if they can hide or minimize their Jewish heritage. The Jew is often more afraid of looking Jewish than of looking non-Jewish. In other words, the Jew fears men more than God. To be sure, Jewish life can be complicated and challenging, even without the commandments, but to avoid the challenges out of fear is not fearing God, it is fearing men.
And the Muslim? He fears God, but he believes his passion is paramount. This is a temperament issue, which creates a climate of fearing these Muslim men rather than fearing God, which ostensibly Muslims desire. It is an old problem which many cultures pass through. It is barbarism mixed with theology. This barbarism is not in Torah but in the Muslim administration of it, which rightly belongs to the Jews, which ownership neither the Christians nor the Muslims can claim through any deficit of the Jews.
Who is to blame for these many ways that men say they fear God yet act not to please God, or these many ways that men say they do not fear God yet act as if they are God? It is not the fault of Torah that men cannot simply follow and obey. It is not the fault of God for fashioning man with these behaviors. God has made no error in either the Law or in His creation. We are given free will, and are free to disobey, but not without repercussions and acquisition of sin. It is, after all, the fault of arrogant.
It is the fault of the arrogant for deciding they are beyond the Law of God. It is the fault of the arrogant for deciding they are beyond the reach of punishment for transgression of the Law. It is the fault of the arrogant for believing society and civilization will continue unabated even without the fear of God in their midst. There is on one hand too much tolerance for sin and rebellion against Torah, and on the other hand too much bloodiness in savagery which is not Torah.
Perhaps I've made this too complicated. If so, hear this simple thing: We keep the commandments because God said so, because we fear Him.
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