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Ever heard those words? Ever said them? You go through a season of intense suffering and you assume that God must be disciplining you. You’ve really got no idea what He is punishing you for, but you know it must be something. As you search through your life and nothing comes to mind you start to get a bit angry with God for punishing you without reason.
So, when it comes to internal squabbles over Catholic teaching and practice, conservative evangelicals are in an awkward position. Because we disagree with the papacy and with Catholic doctrine in a number of places, our differences with Catholicism are usually more profound and foundational than the disagreements between conservative and progressive Catholics. On some contested issues, we disagree with the most conservative of Catholics, and yet strangely enough, don’t want the Church to change its teaching because we hold precious many of the other truths that Catholic teaching on marriage protects. We worry that change in one area might eventually jeopardize other, more foundational doctrines.
Matt Perman shares a brief, but challenging, reminder from William Wilberforce.
Fear is [a] powerful thing. Depending upon its severity it can preoccupy our minds and deeply affect our bodies. When fear grips you there is scarcely anything you can do except try to deal with it. Even when you think you have it out of your mind you are still dealing with it through patterns of manipulation and control.
The highest level of fear is fear of God. By this I do not mean a healthy, reverent fear of God but a cowering, uncertain, insecure, paranoid fear of judgment. How do you deal with this? How can anyone deal with the reality of an angry God and a place like hell designed to showcase God’s wrath by eternally tormenting rebels?
From my seat there are three common ways to deal with this kind of fear.
In a world of comparisons, ten months of marriage has nothing on 34 years of singleness, so consider me a toddler in the ways of I Dos. I know very little, but here are four things I do know and I thought I’d share them with you today.