Fear and Faith
British mathematician, philosopher and famous atheist, Bertrand Russell had this to say about fear and faith.
“Religion is based mainly on fear … fear of the mysterious, fear of defeat, fear of death. Fear is the basis of the whole thing.… Science can help us to get over this craven fear in which mankind has lived so long.”
– Bertrand Russell in Why I Am Not a Christian and Other Essays on Religion and Related Subjects
What do you think about that statement?
I totally agree with Russell on the first part about religion being based on fear. All of the world religions leave people in fear of death with no certainty only a hope that they are good enough.
Religion is man’s attempt to bind himself to God – to figure out what God or the gods want from me and then try to do that.
But Christianity is not a religion – that’s what makes it different from every other faith. It’s God reaching out to people and inviting them to a relationship with Himself through His Son Jesus Christ. And it is all based on what Jesus did for me – dying on the cross for my sins. It is all about God’s mercy and grace offered through salvation. It is not about me trying to be good enough to earn God’s favor. Sadly, Russell did not know the God who created him and loved him.
I definitely don’t agree with his last statement. “Science can help us get over fear.” Yes, observable science can help us predict what will happen the next time. But it really hasn’t helped people with the fear of COVID when scientist didn’t know what would happen next. Many people still haven’t returned to work, to church, to visit family, to go back to school, because they are still afraid. They are afraid of getting sick and they are afraid of dying. And they are afraid of what happens after they die. Science does not have all the answers. It does, however, have lots of unanswered questions.
Join us Sunday morning for Finding Peace from the Gospel of Mark series The Crown & The Cross: Overview.
– Pastor Mark Massaro