Antidote to fear in the pews: the whole counsel of God

Antidote to fear in the pews: the whole counsel of God

Antidote to fear in the pews: the whole counsel of God

A Christian apologist and author says fear about the future – shown in a recent poll to be prevalent among American churchgoers – can be attributed, at least partly, to "milquetoast" preaching in today's pulpits.

Lifeway Research, the research arm of the Southern Baptist Convention, polled Protestant pastors and found that 69% of them believe there's a growing sense of fear among their congregations about the future of the nation and the world. The same poll revealed that 63% said their flock also fears the future of Christianity in the U.S.


Dr. Alex McFarland, co-host of a weekday program on American Family Radio, explains that the Word of God is supposed to bring peace.

"When we look at the present and likely future states of the world, it would be easy to be despondent and even fearful," he acknowledges. "But in the Bible, Titus 2:13 speaks of 'that blessed hope, the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ.'"

McFarland, Alex (Christian apologist) McFarland

But in many cases, he laments, the American Church isn't hearing the whole counsel of God – specifically, how to navigate the last days. "We've really had about a 20-year period of young pastors who don't – and in many cases won't – preach on eschatology," he states.

Merriam-Webster defines eschatology as "a branch of theology concerned with the final events in the history of the world or of humankind," which could include biblical doctrines such as Christ's return and the resurrection of the dead.

McFarland argues power is available to Christians that can help them overcome fear.

"We [believers] need to know what it is to pray with power," he tells AFN. "The American Church needs to rediscover the supernatural … tools that are always at our disposal to walk [and pray] in the power of the Holy Spirit …."

But that will only happen, McFarland says, when American pastors start preaching with power. "We do not need milquetoast, B-grade motivational speakers. We need prophets," he emphasizes.