Growing up a fundamentalist, and then 25 years as an evangelical, I witnessed a lot of fear and experienced significant fear myself. These very conservative environments are filled with fear and, to a large extent, are based on fear—fear of God, fear of hell, fear of making a mistake, fear of being wrong, and fear of being rejected by God (and the church).
One must constantly toe the line on God’s many requirements, believe all the right doctrines, and never waver. One of the greatest dangers is doubt; doubt is castigated as being from the devil, and we are warned of the dire consequences of being led astray—punishment in eternal hell fire. Security is found only in accepting tradition passed down as God’s own certain truth from one generation to another to another.
In these circles, having doubt is considered a loss of faith, so…
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