Unpublished: Doubts Aren't That Important

A lot of people come to me when they experience faith problems.

There's not a ton that I can do to help. There's no magic bullet that I have. No great answer I'm sitting on that I haven't shared.

But I'm not speechless. I can share my own story. I can express solidarity. I can suggest things to read if there's a particular theological perspective that I think might be helpful. And sometimes I offer this response:

Have you given Christianity a try?

A lot of "faith struggles" are purely mental events. Wheels turning in the mind. Which is fine, but much of that mental drama has little to do with being or not being a Christian. I'm not saying that our questions aren't important. I'm saying that getting mentally okay with Christianity still doesn't make you a Christian. There's more to it than that. Like actually being a Christian.

Let me say it this way. We routinely say that Christianity isn't about intellectual assent to propositions. Christianity isn't about believing all the right things, checking all the right theological boxes. But if that's the case we have to say the same thing about our doubts.

Being or not being a Christian isn't about all the mental drama, all the stuff floating around in your head.

If orthodoxy isn't all that important than neither are your doubts.

--an unpublished post about doubts and the need to move past them

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5 thoughts on “Unpublished: Doubts Aren't That Important”

  1. Yes, thank you. Still learning this. I find that doubts cannot simply be pushed out of mind; something must take their place, something deep and rich, and that would be focusing on the people around me, announcing to myself, "ANOTHER BEAUTIFUL CHILD OF GOD!!" Am I perfect at this? Heavens, no! But I find that when I try, the walls that surround my petty concerns are dismantled just a little bit more.

  2. "Have you given Christianity a try?" Thanks for the reminder. Inviting someone to explore our Christian claim something wonderful happened two thousand years ago is the great act of love we are called to do. It is easy to forget that, and not see this first step in taming the turmoil and doubts of life.

  3. I agree with everyone else here. That was beautiful. Thanks for this post!

  4. It's posts like this that make you my favorite blogger, Richard. You have a wonderful way of cutting through buzz-words and hip-steria (hehe) to ask poignant questions that challenge and form us.

    I for one have lost sleep doing the whole "doubtsturbation" thing in my late 20s and early 30s, while previous to that I lost sleep worrying about whether I'd gotten salient points of doctrine right. Nowadays I lose sleep because I drank coffee after 5, but that's a different story.

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