'Popularity gospel' is today's 'prosperity gospel': former Christian music star on how to fear God

by Samuel Smith, Christian Post Contributor |
Frontman Mattie Montgomery (middle) and the other members of the popular American Christian metalcore band For Today pose for a band photo. The band's last studio album "Wake" was released in October 2015. | PHOTO: WIKIMEDIA COMMONS/JOSH ROSE

Many Christians today are more concerned about their popularity and how many followers they have on social media rather than following God's direction for their life, the former lead vocalist of a renowned Christian metalcore band has said.

Mattie Montgomery, who for 10 years served as the frontman of "For Today" before the band stopped touring in 2016, says in his new book, Scary God: Introducing the Fear of the Lord to the Postmodern Church, that too many churches today are doing a "great disservice" by teaching believers that they don't need to fear God.

Although "fear of the Lord" is an instrumental part of the Christians faith, Montgomery says that many believers are being taught that they only need to respect and honor God.

Such teaching, he says, is causing believers to avoid seeking God's help when tackling life's biggest challenges and is leading many to seek protection, safety and help from worldly sources.

The Christian Post spoke with Montgomery last week to talk about his new book. Below is an edited and condensed transcript of the interview.

CP: What inspired you to write this book?

Mattie Montgomery: I think that one of the most misunderstood concepts in the modern church is the fear of the Lord. If we hear teaching on it all, we hear teaching on it that goes out of its way to try to communicate to us that God is not to be feared, not in the way that we use the word commonly but only to be respected or revered.

In my own experiences with God — and I talk about a number of them in the book — I've had terrifying encounters with Him. There are times when it feels like I'm so close to God that every little action or movement matters, where I'm so deep into God's presence there's no room for anything casual. I have to make sure that every step, every word, every thought, every action has to be with the nearness of God in mind.

I think we have done a great disservice to try to teach that you don't have to be afraid of God and that the fear of God doesn't mean fear, it means honor or respect. Scripture is really clear.

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