Faith and Doubt (part 1)


“…if ever a monk could get to heaven through monastic discipline, I was that monk….And yet my conscience would not give me certainty, but I always doubted and said, ‘You didn’t do that right. You weren’t contrite enough. You left that out of your confession.’ The more I tried to remedy an uncertain, weak, and troubled conscience with human traditions, the more I daily found it more uncertain, weaker, and more troubled.” Martin Luther

“Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?” Jesus Christ

Is the opposite of faith doubt?

One of the most quoted (or miss quoted) verses in the Bible has to be: “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God” Romans 8:28a. It is often wielded like a club by well meaning Christians when someone they know is struggling…

Lost your job? “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God”

Car accident? “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God”

Terminal illness? “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God”

Unfaithful spouse? “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God”

The problem is (aside from being taken out of context) to the person in the tempest that is racked with doubt and fear this can be quite offensive. And rather than drawing them closer to God it often has the opposite effect and drives them away.

It can be worse during times of self-flagellation where Believers beat themselves up with the same scripture searching for relief, groping in the dark for God. Only to find doubt.

I don’t believe that the opposite of faith is doubt but inaction.

Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead. James 2:17

In the storm we all ask why. Even Jesus on the cross cried out, “my God, my God why?” Mark 15:34

If we didn’t doubt or question God we are not being honest and ultimately any relationship that does not have honesty at its core is doomed.

My God is big enough to not be offended by my doubts.

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~ by pakeener on February 14, 2012.

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