Sunday, April 24, 2011

On Doubts and Questions

Do you have doubts about God?  Or about the message(s) of Christianity?  Do you sometimes wonder where God is, or why you can't seem to find him?  Do you have questions about any of these things?  Do you question your own faith sometimes?

If I look back over my life - or look at it even right now! - I would have to say that certainly I have had doubts and questions.  Many of them.  To what degree, about what, or for how long is a different matter.  Yet doubts and questions have existed.  I think if any of us are honest, we would probably say the same thing.  I am of the opinion that doubts and questions about our own religious faith are normal to some extent.  But what I want to do here is look at how doubts and questions are dealt with by categories of people.

There seems to be a group of people, let's say from the post-modern/emergent type of view, that have many doubts and questions.  Doubts and questions about God, Christianity, and even the major doctrines of historical Christianity.  Then there are the people, let's say from a more fundamentalist or conservative type of view, that have no doubts or questions about anything.  They have rock solid certitude about what they believe in, and doubts and questions are considered the enemy of faith.  Then there are those in the middle who have a certain amount of solid belief, yet have doubts and questions.

To categorize in a general sense, the first group I mentioned seem to err on the side of glorying in their doubting and questioning.  It's hip or cool to doubt God or to question Christianity.  Questions are asked and doubts are raised, but there seems to be no answers to the questions or assurances that solve the doubts.  The next group are so certain about themselves that they view anybody who has any doubts or questions with contempt.  The middle group aren't afraid to ask questions, but seek to have those questions and doubts answered.

Reflecting on these groups using statements about belief, the middle group could be represented by, "Lord, I believe; help thou my unbelief."  The first group could be represented by, "Lord, I doubt and question.  Look how genuine I am!"  The second group could be represented by, "Lord, I believe.  Judge those who have unbelief."

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