Thursday, November 18, 2010

Doubt your Doubt. The halfway argument.

"I'm having doubts"

"About what?"

"About my faith . . . I mean, is it real?  How would I know if it was real or if I just want to believe the stuff that I say I believe in?"

"Why would the fact that you want to believe in it mean that it can't be true?"

"Because maybe I am just engaging in wishful thinking . . . perhaps my desire to believe in something is causing me to see things that really aren't there?"

A lot of us have had similar conversations about faith with people who aren't sure what they believe.  Maybe you have had an internal conversation like that with yourself. 

These are truly deep thoughts - the kind of reflection that we should have on a regular basis to make sure that we are not treating our beliefs like an intellectual candy store.  We should not let our desires dictate what we believe or don't believe.  There needs to be a healthy dose of skepticism that we subject our faith to in order to have depth as believers.

It is fascinating, though how incomplete it is.

I have met many people who almost seem to want a pat on the back for being skeptics.  Like having doubt is some kind of accomplishment.  

"I'm not sure what I believe . . . I have lots of doubts about what Christianity offers."

Well good, as you should . . . but don't stop there mister.  Skepticism, the healthiest kind is a 360 degree endeavor.  So many people who have doubts stop with the acquisition of doubt.  Skepticism is not a point we reach, it is the manner in which we arrive at the truth.  

To successfully arrive at the truth means that we have to have a healthy doubt about everything - including our doubts.  True skepticism is reflexive.

Unhealthy skepticism is when we stop doubting.  There are many 'skeptics' of the faith who are merely dogmatists.  They have doubted certain ideas, conveniently neglecting to subject their own assumptions to the same doubt.  In order to be a real skeptic, we should doubt our doubts.

1 comment:

  1. (9) And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, (10) so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, (11) filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ—to the glory and praise of God. Phillipians (1:9-11)NIV

    Man, to me Paul is saying that we can start with Love...and get the knowledge and depth of insight. Faith and I even suspect a faith that is riddled with doubts, will accomplish great things.

    Faith is strange thing calling us to act. Doubt is an anchor. Although it can ground us in one place, and it has for me. Doubt can keep us on course.

    I do not reflect enough. So many times some little doubt is like a bone in the throat. My problems start when I get caught up in details that amount to nothing in the day to day world.

    Big Bang or no Big Bang, should that keep me from giving, or prevent me from overspending.

    I like the Rolling Stones, but didn't they sing
    "Sympathy for the Devil"?

    If I pay my taxes am I supporting torture, war, and the possible end of the world?

    Is it right to commute over an hour each way to support a family I seem to be seeing less and less?

    Faith needs a starting point. I have Faith that God loves me, and...

    (13) I can do all this through him who gives me strength.
    Phillipians NIV

    Still, I believe in order for faith to survive, it needs to be robust. It needs to be durable.