Sunday, October 08, 2006

Should doubts be silenced?

Eclectic Itchings: Should doubts be silenced?

Found this today, liked what he had to say, interesting blog to check out from time to time too.


It saddens me that some churches encourage the silencing of doubts.

Every now and again I come across people who express anger at the ‘blind faith’ of churched Christians. I had one of those conversations today. At issue was the ‘hissing’ responses this guy had received in the face of his questions and dissenting opinions, and his conclusions about churches in general that he’d come to as a consequence of that. I had this to say on the issue of blind faith:

“…the fear reactions you have encountered in conversations with others speak to me of shaky faith. Deep faith is incompatible with fear. Deep faith can handle tough questions. Deep faith can weather doubt, and indeed come out stronger on the other side. How? Because it has faced many such crises before and seen God’s faithfulness! How can you know how deep your faith is until you have faced your doubts? Hiding from your own doubts and suppressing them is a recipe for eventual disaster. Doubt is the necessary state you must come to if you want to grow beyond your current limitations.

I came to faith when I began to doubt my doubts, having given doubt full reign. I don’t know all the answers. I cannot. But I’ve seen enough and learnt enough and experienced enough to take the risk of taking this path. I cannot give you ‘evidence that demands a verdict’. All I can offer is evidence that invites further exploration, to be open to being tested as you test things out. I identify most with churches (read: communities) that respect that.”

7 comments:

Mase said...

Yeah, good stuff. I remember hanging with you in the olden days Digs, and doing Veta and stuff, and it was a whole new world was opening up before me, because we were SO encouraged to ask questions. It was sooo revolutionary to me, seeing that, because often at home, in the past, there would always be short, crisp answers to tough questions. It's totally not like that anymore, God's working heaps, but it was so liberating at the time to learn that asking questions was ok!!

I think there are different types of doubts though. What the post said was applicable to many kinds of doubt. But this year i've found that sometimes, as a Christian, when i start to doubt stuff that God has said explicitly (like the fact that He loves me immensely), i have to say 'well, i don't feel like it's true, i'm doubting that it is, but God's Word says it's true so I'm gonna hold onto that' - But i guess that's still acknowleding the doubt, isn't it? It's just using God's Word and the 'shield of faith' to strengthen myself, to stand my ground despite the doubt.

BTW, so looking forward to your sermon tonight!!!
Also, if ya feel like it, we've got a youth group blog going, its www.insanocafonkey.blogspot.com feel free to visit and/or comment any time :)
Mase.

Esky said...

Hey Digs,
Reminds of this cool cat whose going through the bible and stating what he finds "wrong" with it (you know the loose ends that don't always meet) and just amazing how many people have just turned to calling him a "christian-hater" or hethan instead of stepping up to the plate and saying hey here's where you can find the answer to this obvious cry to find some truth in it all.

Anywho, I would have to say that in my experience a lot of things are clouded from you when you're a church bred christian. And finding where you stand in it all is most definately important!

Great stuff champ,
Much peace.

Esky said...

*Heathen* ( i looked it up on word, microsoft word)

Ali said...

Hi Digs,

I think doubts can be great, if we embrace them as learning opportunities. As we discussed last night, I think that asking questions about our faith is really important, as it gives us the opportunity to examine what we believe. We have nothing to lose by asking questions, we can only learn more, and strengthen our faith.

Afterall, we can't lose something we never had, and if our faith, or 'Christianity' doesn't stand up to questioning and doubting, perhaps it didn't exist, or wasn't true, in the first place.

In my experiences, my faith has only been strengthened by working through doubts, so I hope that I am able to question my faith until the cows come home!

Digger said...

Hey Stone-Mason! Good to see questions have invigorated you, at first for me, when I started College stuff-I hated it, but knew the value in it.

You're right, there are different types of doubts, but i guess the thing for me is whether I acknowledge it as OK, or bury. Like in your example, its OK to acknowledge that doubt, but you deal with by looking in the Bible, or in oother examples, talking to people, praying etc.

What were your thoughts sermon-wise anyway? I actually wasn't that happy with how it came across, but such is life.

Yeah been meaning to check out the old insano blog, will get onto it.

Digger said...

Yeah unfortunately so true Esky. Tell me more about this cool cat you speak of?

Yeah i love that middle paragraph Ali-gold. If it can't stand up to questioning, then maybe its not a faith worth having. So true.

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