"Fear is man's chief enslaver and pride his great weakness; will you betray yourself into bondage to both of these destroyers of joy and liberty?" ~ Jesus, The Urantia Book, (142:0.2)
And throughout every trial and in the presence of every hardship, spirit-born souls are sustained by that hope which transcends all fear because the love of God is shed abroad in all hearts by the presence of the divine Spirit. ~ The Urantia Book, (34:6.13)
Too often, all too often, you mar your minds by insincerity and sear them with unrighteousness; you subject them to animal fear and distort them by useless anxiety. Therefore, though the source of mind is divine, mind as you know it on your world of ascension can hardly become the object of great admiration, much less of adoration or worship. The contemplation of the immature and inactive human intellect should lead only to reactions of humility. ~ The Urantia Book, (9:5.7)
Having started out on the way of life everlasting, having accepted the assignment and received your orders to advance, do not fear the dangers of human forgetfulness and mortal inconstancy, do not be troubled with doubts of failure or by perplexing confusion, do not falter and question your status and standing, for in every dark hour, at every crossroad in the forward struggle, the Spirit of Truth will always speak, saying, "This is the way." ~ The Urantia Book, (34:7.8)
The Angels Do Not Share Our Fears
The angels develop an abiding affection for their human associates; and you would, if you could only visualize the seraphim, develop a warm affection for them. Divested of material bodies, given spirit forms, you would be very near the angels in many attributes of personality. They share most of your emotions and experience some additional ones. The only emotion actuating you which is somewhat difficult for them to comprehend is the legacy of animal fear that bulks so large in the mental life of the average inhabitant of Urantia. The angels really find it hard to understand why you will so persistently allow your higher intellectual powers, even your religious faith, to be so dominated by fear, so thoroughly demoralized by the thoughtless panic of dread and anxiety. ~ The Urantia Book, (113:2.5)
From them you will learn to let pressure develop stability and certainty; to be faithful and earnest and, withal, cheerful; to accept challenges without complaint and to face difficulties and uncertainties without fear. They will ask: If you fail, will you rise indomitably to try anew? If you succeed, will you maintain a well-balanced poise—a stabilized and spiritualized attitude—throughout every effort in the long struggle to break the fetters of material inertia, to attain the freedom of spirit existence? ~ The Urantia Book, (48:6.24)
Children and Fear
Religious meanings progress in self-consciousness when the child transfers his ideas of omnipotence from his parents to God. And the entire religious experience of such a child is largely dependent on whether fear or love has dominated the parent-child relationship. Slaves have always experienced great difficulty in transferring their master-fear into concepts of God-love. ~ The Urantia Book, (92:7.11)
Faith Is Triumphant
Belief may not be able to resist doubt and withstand fear, but faith is always triumphant over doubting, for faith is both positive and living. ~ The Urantia Book, (102:6.7)
When you experience such a transformation of faith, you are no longer a slavish part of the mathematical cosmos but rather a liberated volitional son of the Universal Father. No longer is such a liberated son fighting alone against the inexorable doom of the termination of temporal existence; no longer does he combat all nature, with the odds hopelessly against him; no longer is he staggered by the paralyzing fear that, perchance, he has put his trust in a hopeless phantasm or pinned his faith to a fanciful error. ~ The Urantia Book, (101:10.19)
Fear is a Mental Poison
But how unkind knowingly to defile or otherwise deliberately to pollute the physical body, which must serve as the earthly tabernacle of this marvelous gift from God. All physical poisons greatly retard the efforts of the Adjuster to exalt the material mind, while the mental poisons of fear, anger, envy, jealousy, suspicion, and intolerance likewise tremendously interfere with the spiritual progress of the evolving soul. ~ The Urantia Book, (110:1.5)
There is never conflict between true knowledge and truth. There may be conflict between knowledge and human beliefs, beliefs colored with prejudice, distorted by fear, and dominated by the dread of facing new facts of material discovery or spiritual progress. ~ The Urantia Book, (132:3.4)
Fear is a Poor Motivation
Strong characters are not derived from not doing wrong but rather from actually doing right. Unselfishness is the badge of human greatness. The highest levels of self-realization are attained by worship and service. The happy and effective person is motivated, not by fear of wrongdoing, but by love of right doing.
Moral worth cannot be derived from mere repression—obeying the injunction "Thou shalt not." Fear and shame are unworthy motivations for religious living. Religion is valid only when it reveals the fatherhood of God and enhances the brotherhood of men.
The faith and the love of these beatitudes strengthen moral character and create happiness. Fear and anger weaken character and destroy happiness. This momentous sermon started out upon the note of happiness. ~ The Urantia Book, (140:4.6)
Peace and Meekness
"Happy are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth." Genuine meekness has no relation to fear. It is rather an attitude of man co-operating with God—"Your will be done." ~ The Urantia Book, (140:5.11)
"Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid." This is the peace that prevents ruinous conflicts. Personal peace integrates personality. Social peace prevents fear, greed, and anger. ~ The Urantia Book, (140:5.18)
The "Fear of God"
In the physical universe we may see the divine beauty, in the intellectual world we may discern eternal truth, but the goodness of God is found only in the spiritual world of personal religious experience. In its true essence, religion is a faith-trust in the goodness of God. God could be great and absolute, somehow even intelligent and personal, in philosophy, but in religion God must also be moral; he must be good. Man might fear a great God, but he trusts and loves only a good God. This goodness of God is a part of the personality of God, and its full revelation appears only in the personal religious experience of the believing sons of God. ~ The Urantia Book, (2:6.1)
The morality of the religions of evolution drives men forward in the God quest by the motive power of fear. The religions of revelation allure men to seek for a God of love because they crave to become like him. But religion is not merely a passive feeling of "absolute dependence" and "surety of survival"; it is a living and dynamic experience of divinity attainment predicated on humanity service. ~ The Urantia Book, (5:4.1)
"Your forebears feared God because he was mighty and mysterious. You shall adore him because he is magnificent in love, plenteous in mercy, and glorious in truth. The power of God engenders fear in the heart of man, but the nobility and righteousness of his personality beget reverence, love, and willing worship. A dutiful and affectionate son does not fear or dread even a mighty and noble father. I have come into the world to put love in the place of fear, joy in the place of sorrow, confidence in the place of dread, loving service and appreciative worship in the place of slavish bondage and meaningless ceremonies."
"You have been taught that you should `fear God and keep his commandments, for that is the whole duty of man.' But I have come to give you a new and higher commandment. I would teach you to `love God and learn to do his will, for that is the highest privilege of the liberated sons of God.' Your fathers were taught to `fear God—the Almighty King.' I teach you, `Love God—the all-merciful Father.'"
"In the kingdom of heaven, which I have come to declare, there is no high and mighty king; this kingdom is a divine family. The universally recognized and unreservedly worshiped center and head of this far-flung brotherhood of intelligent beings is my Father and your Father. I am his Son, and you are also his sons. Therefore it is eternally true that you and I are brethren in the heavenly estate, and all the more so since we have become brethren in the flesh of the earthly life. Cease, then, to fear God as a king or serve him as a master; learn to reverence him as the Creator; honor him as the Father of your spirit youth; love him as a merciful defender; and ultimately worship him as the loving and all-wise Father of your more mature spiritual realization and appreciation." ~ Jesus, The Urantia Book, (149:6.5)
Fear in Human Religious Evolution
Evolutionary religion is born of a simple and all-powerful fear, the fear which surges through the human mind when confronted with the unknown, the inexplicable, and the incomprehensible. ~ The Urantia Book, (90:0.3)
Urantia civilization was literally forged out between the anvil of necessity and the hammers of fear. ~ The Urantia Book, (66:5.13)
But co-operation is not a natural trait of man; he learns to co-operate first through fear and then later because he discovers it is most beneficial in meeting the difficulties of time and guarding against the supposed perils of eternity. ~ The Urantia Book, (68:1.4)
Two great influences which contributed to the early association of human beings were food hunger and sex love; these instinctive urges man shares with the animal world. Two other emotions which drove human beings together and held them together were vanity and fear, more particularly ghost fear. ~ The Urantia Book, (68:2.4)
Primitive desires produced the original society, but ghost fear held it together and imparted an extrahuman aspect to its existence. Common fear was physiological in origin: fear of physical pain, unsatisfied hunger, or some earthly calamity; but ghost fear was a new and sublime sort of terror. ~ The Urantia Book, (68:3.1)
This new religion of fear led to attempts to placate the invisible forces behind these natural elements and culminated, later on, in the sacrificing of humans to appease these invisible and unknown physical forces. ~ The Urantia Book, (64:4.12)
The dread of the departed spirits of the dead brought to light a new and amazing form of fear, an appalling and powerful terror, which contributed to whipping the loose social orders of early ages into the more thoroughly disciplined and better controlled primitive groups of ancient times. ~ The Urantia Book, (68:3.3)
Death was the supreme shock to evolving man, the most perplexing combination of chance and mystery. Not the sanctity of life but the shock of death inspired fear and thus effectively fostered religion. ~ The Urantia Book, (86:3.1)
But this early fear religion serves a very valuable purpose in subduing the fiery tempers of these primitive creatures. It is the forerunner of civilization and the soil for the subsequent planting of the seeds of revealed religion by the Planetary Prince and his ministers. ~ The Urantia Book, (52:1.7)
With the emergence of these concepts, there was initiated the long and wasteful struggle to appease the ever-displeased spirits, the slavish bondage to evolutionary religious fear, that long waste of human effort upon tombs, temples, sacrifices, and priesthoods. It was a terrible and frightful price to pay, but it was worth all it cost, for man therein achieved a natural consciousness of relative right and wrong; human ethics was born!
The savage felt the need of insurance, and he therefore willingly paid his burdensome premiums of fear, superstition, dread, and priest gifts toward his policy of magic insurance against ill luck. Primitive religion was simply the payment of premiums on insurance against the perils of the forests; civilized man pays material premiums against the accidents of industry and the exigencies of modern modes of living.
But these ancient ideas of religion prevented men from becoming fatalistic and hopelessly pessimistic; they believed they could at least do something to influence fate. The religion of ghost fear impressed upon men that they must regulate their conduct, that there was a supermaterial world which was in control of human destiny. ~ The Urantia Book, (86:6.7)
Ghost fear was the fountainhead of all world religion; and for ages many tribes clung to the old belief in one class of ghosts. They taught that man had good luck when the ghost was pleased, bad luck when he was angered. ~ The Urantia Book, (87:4.1)
In olden times the fetish word of authority was a fear-inspiring doctrine, the most terrible of all tyrants which enslave men. A doctrinal fetish will lead mortal man to betray himself into the clutches of bigotry, fanaticism, superstition, intolerance, and the most atrocious of barbarous cruelties. Modern respect for wisdom and truth is but the recent escape from the fetish-making tendency up to the higher levels of thinking and reasoning. ~ The Urantia Book, (88:2.7)
The fear of chance and the dread of bad luck literally drove man into the invention of primitive religion as supposed insurance against these calamities. ~ The Urantia Book, (89:2.1)
Prayer may become an established custom; many pray because others do. Still others pray because they fear something direful may happen if they do not offer their regular supplications. ~ The Urantia Book, (91:8.3)
Fear has always been the basic religious stimulus. Fear fashions the gods of evolutionary religion and motivates the religious ritual of the primitive believers. As civilization advances, fear becomes modified by reverence, admiration, respect, and sympathy and is then further conditioned by remorse and repentance. ~ The Urantia Book, (92:1.4)
The cardinal religious ideas of incantation, inspiration, revelation, propitiation, repentance, atonement, intercession, sacrifice, prayer, confession, worship, survival after death, sacrament, ritual, ransom, salvation, redemption, covenant, uncleanness, purification, prophecy, original sin—they all go back to the early times of primordial ghost fear. ~ The Urantia Book, (92:3.2)
Man's greatest spiritual jeopardy consists in partial progress, the predicament of unfinished growth: forsaking the evolutionary religions of fear without immediately grasping the revelatory religion of love. ~ The Urantia Book, (99:4.8)
Religion, as a human experience, ranges from the primitive fear slavery of the evolving savage up to the sublime and magnificent faith liberty of those civilized mortals who are superbly conscious of sonship with the eternal God. ~ The Urantia Book, (101:0.1)
Old And New Religion
The philosophic elimination of religious fear and the steady progress of science add greatly to the mortality of false gods; and even though these casualties of man-made deities may momentarily befog the spiritual vision, they eventually destroy that ignorance and superstition which so long obscured the living God of eternal love. ~ The Urantia Book, (102:6.1)
The old religion taught self-sacrifice; the new religion teaches only self-forgetfulness, enhanced self-realization in conjoined social service and universe comprehension. The old religion was motivated by fear-consciousness; the new gospel of the kingdom is dominated by truth-conviction, the spirit of eternal and universal truth. And no amount of piety or creedal loyalty can compensate for the absence in the life experience of kingdom believers of that spontaneous, generous, and sincere friendliness which characterizes the spirit-born sons of the living God. Neither tradition nor a ceremonial system of formal worship can atone for the lack of genuine compassion for one's fellows. ~ The Urantia Book, (180:5.12)
Your religion is becoming real because it is emerging from the slavery of fear and the bondage of superstition. ~ The Urantia Book, (12:9.5)
Jesus Disowned Fear
Jesus' originality was unstifled. He was not bound by tradition or handicapped by enslavement to narrow conventionality. He spoke with undoubted confidence and taught with absolute authority. But his superb originality did not cause him to overlook the gems of truth in the teachings of his predecessors and contemporaries. And the most original of his teachings was the emphasis of love and mercy in the place of fear and sacrifice. ~ The Urantia Book, (100:7.5)
His courage was magnificent, but he was never foolhardy. His watchword was, "Fear not." His bravery was lofty and his courage often heroic. But his courage was linked with discretion and controlled by reason. It was courage born of faith, not the recklessness of blind presumption. He was truly brave but never audacious. ~ The Urantia Book, (100:7.15)
"This day, my son, you are to be reborn, re-established as a man of faith, courage, and devoted service to man, for God's sake. And when you become so readjusted to life within yourself, you become likewise readjusted to the universe; you have been born again—born of the spirit— and henceforth will your whole life become one of victorious accomplishment. Trouble will invigorate you; disappointment will spur you on; difficulties will challenge you; and obstacles will stimulate you. Arise, young man! Say farewell to the life of cringing fear and fleeing cowardice. Hasten back to duty and live your life in the flesh as a son of God, a mortal dedicated to the ennobling service of man on earth and destined to the superb and eternal service of God in eternity." ~ Jesus, The Urantia Book, (130:6.4)
"You know, Ganid, most human beings are like the lost child. They spend much of their time crying in fear and suffering in sorrow when, in very truth, they are but a short distance from safety and security, even as this child was only a little way from home. And all those who know the way of truth and enjoy the assurance of knowing God should esteem it a privilege, not a duty, to offer guidance to their fellows in their efforts to find the satisfactions of living." ~ Jesus, The Urantia Book, (132:6.1)
"Ganid, I have absolute confidence in my heavenly Father's overcare; I am consecrated to doing the will of my Father in heaven. I do not believe that real harm can befall me; I do not believe that my lifework can really be jeopardized by anything my enemies might wish to visit upon me, and surely we have no violence to fear from our friends. I am absolutely assured that the entire universe is friendly to me—this all-powerful truth I insist on believing with a wholehearted trust in spite of all appearances to the contrary." ~ Jesus, The Urantia Book, (133:1.4)
"You need not fear to meet the judgment of God if your repentance is genuine and your faith sincere." ~ Jesus, The Urantia Book, (133:4.12)
"I send you forth to proclaim liberty to the spiritual captives, joy to those in the bondage of fear, and to heal the sick in accordance with the will of my Father in heaven. When you find my children in distress, speak encouragingly to them..." ~ Jesus, The Urantia Book, (140:3.2)
"But who told you that my gospel was intended only for slaves and weaklings? Do you, my chosen apostles, resemble weaklings? Did John look like a weakling? Do you observe that I am enslaved by fear? True, the poor and oppressed of this generation have the gospel preached to them. The religions of this world have neglected the poor, but my Father is no respecter of persons." ~ Jesus, The Urantia Book, (143:1.5)
"If, then, the spirit dwells within you, you are no longer bondslaves of the flesh but free and liberated sons of the spirit. The new law of the spirit endows you with the liberty of self-mastery in place of the old law of the fear of self-bondage and the slavery of self-denial." ~ Jesus, The Urantia Book, (143:2.4)
"Salvation is by the regeneration of the spirit and not by the self-righteous deeds of the flesh. You are justified by faith and fellowshipped by grace, not by fear and the self-denial of the flesh, albeit the Father's children who have been born of the spirit are ever and always masters of the self and all that pertains to the desires of the flesh."
"Your sonship is grounded in faith, and you are to remain unmoved by fear. Your joy is born of trust in the divine word, and you shall not therefore be led to doubt the reality of the Father's love and mercy."
"No more should you fear that God will punish a nation for the sin of an individual; neither will the Father in heaven punish one of his believing children for the sins of a nation, albeit the individual member of any family must often suffer the material consequences of family mistakes and group transgressions. Do you not realize that the hope of a better nation—or a better world—is bound up in the progress and enlightenment of the individual?" ~ Jesus, The Urantia Book, (143:2.6)
"Hate is the shadow of fear; revenge the mask of cowardice." Neither could his hearers forget his blessed words, declaring, "Man is the son of God, not a child of the devil." ~ Jesus, The Urantia Book, (145:3.4)
"Courage is the confidence of thoroughgoing honesty about those things which one professes to believe. Sincere men are unafraid of the critical examination of their true convictions and noble ideals." ~ Jesus, The Urantia Book, (146:3.2)
"Intelligent children do not fear their father in order that they may receive good gifts from his hand; but having already received the abundance of good things bestowed by the dictates of the father's affection for his sons and daughters, these much loved children are led to love their father in responsive recognition and appreciation of such munificent beneficence. The goodness of God leads to repentance; the beneficence of God leads to service; the mercy of God leads to salvation; while the love of God leads to intelligent and freehearted worship." ~ Jesus, The Urantia Book, (149:6.4)
"The Psalmist exhorted you to `serve the Lord with fear'—I bid you enter into the exalted privileges of divine sonship by faith; he commands you to rejoice with trembling; I bid you rejoice with assurance. He says, `Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and you perish when his wrath is kindled.' But you who have lived with me well know that anger and wrath are not a part of the establishment of the kingdom of heaven in the hearts of men." ~ Jesus, The Urantia Book, (155:1.2)
"You are my apostles, and to you religion shall not become a theologic shelter to which you may flee in fear of facing the rugged realities of spiritual progress and idealistic adventure; but rather shall your religion become the fact of real experience which testifies that God has found you, idealized, ennobled, and spiritualized you, and that you have enlisted in the eternal adventure of finding the God who has thus found and sonshipped you." ~ Jesus, The Urantia Book, (155:6.18)
"Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? And yet, when these birds flit about in quest of their sustenance, not one of them exists without the knowledge of the Father, the source of all life. To the seraphic guardians the very hairs of your head are numbered. And if all of this is true, why should you live in fear of the many trifles which come up in your daily lives? I say to you: Fear not; you are of much more value than many sparrows." ~ Jesus, The Urantia Book, (165:3.4)
"You are only a small group, but if you have faith, if you will not stumble in fear, I declare that it is my Father's good pleasure to give you this kingdom. You have laid up your treasures where the purse waxes not old, where no thief can despoil, and where no moth can destroy. And as I told the people, where your treasure is, there will your heart be also." ~ Jesus, The Urantia Book, (165:5.4)
"Go, then, into all the world proclaiming this gospel of the fatherhood of God and the brotherhood of men to all nations and races and ever be wise in your choice of methods for presenting the good news to the different races and tribes of mankind. Freely you have received this gospel of the kingdom, and you will freely give the good news to all nations. Fear not the resistance of evil, for I am with you always, even to the end of the ages. And my peace I leave with you." ~ Jesus, The Urantia Book, (191:4.4)