Monday Meme's: No Fear
Do you still see the slogan "No Fear" around anywhere? I do, occasionally.
According to Wikipedia the slogan "No Fear," is a lifestyle brand created in 1971 by Mark and Brian Simo, and Marty Moates of No Fear Inc. It's associated with extreme sports, mixed martial arts, and a general contempt for social norms.
I used to see these window decals all over the place in the 1990's. The slogan was very popular then. And like every other trendy thing, it inspired a Christian clone in the Evangelical Subculture.
Now I'm not really a big believer in T-shirt or bumper sticker evangelism - but that doesn't stop me from identifying what's wrong with this message. Actually, I'd recommend scraping the slogan "know fear" and just adopting the original slogan - which is just fine.
Why reject "Know Fear"?
Because it sounds like a threat. What the Bible actually means by the word "Fear" here, is reverence, not terror - but your average person on the street doesn't know that. To them, it makes God sound like the villain preparing to inflict pain on his captive "You will know the meaning of Fear."
"No Fear" is already perfect
There really is nothing about the slogan "No Fear" that prevents Christians from adopting it as their own and subverting the meaning. 1 John 4:18 says "There is no fear in love. But perfect love casts out fear." Is there any message better than that?
I think the slogan "No Fear" subverted by the text 1 John 4:18 is a much more powerful message than the "clever" bit of wordplay based on Proverbs 1:7. Its not repulsive, and it gets to the heart of the Gospel. But I guess that means you can't sell your own decals - what with the Trade Mark and all. Shoot.
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