F. E. A. R.

This is another in an ongoing series of posts that look at contradictions in Christian Science–it’s teachings, practice, or both. Look for others under the category ‘Contradictions‘.

Fear is a word that I remember from an early age being turned on its side as an acronym for ‘False Evidence Appearing Real’. Until I left Christian Science, I thought this was an action unique to Christian Scientists, as I had never heard this acronym used anywhere else. However, among my friends who are in 12-step recovery programs, I have heard it often. For the most part, I think it is a good explanation of what fear largely is. We always fear what we don’t know or understand, and what we don’t understand can appear different and sometimes scarier to us than it really is. Many of us also have completely irrational fears–for me, it is clowns (thank you Stephen King and your novel It), and being in a large building alone. On the other side of the coin, I also believe that to some degree, fear is not always a bad thing. Fear (usually) keeps us from doing stupid things that might otherwise harm or kill us (like putting our hand on a hot stove or walking across a rickety bridge or structure), or motivates one to seek help or remedy when something serious (and truly scary) crops up. Continue reading

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