A god that could frighten is not a god — but an insidious idol and weapon in the hands of the insane. A god who talks of sin is worshipped by the infirm. — Meister Eckhart.
Pretty harsh words from our gentle Dominican priest don’t you think, and during his day the only church we know much about was his own. Eckhart lived in the fourteenth century but his words still ring true. We still know many who “put the fear of God” into everything they do and preach.
Many leaders still lead with fear, especially fear of differences. I worry a great deal when a leader tries to make me afraid. I find few things as destructive as being told to be afraid for we are not worthy.
What draws me to my faith has always been its message of love. Fear of eternal damnation never has had much pull on me, but unconditional love touches something deep inside.
Maybe that’s why Eckhart finishes his poem by saying:
I was once spiritually ill — we all pass through that — but one day the intelligence in my soul cured me.
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