Friday, January 20, 2012

Doubt and Rage

From what I can tell, from myself and from others, Christians give lip service to being okay with doubts and questions but they really aren’t. Not most of them. I surely wasn't. Doubting God when something terrible has happened to you is okay because you’re grieving. Questioning things in a philosophical way is okay because it doesn’t really impact your day to day Christian club membership. But real, firm, steady, heavy questions and doubts that aren’t a result of trauma and musing aren’t really acceptable. It’s a sign of not having enough faith.

I can’t decide why Christians, myself included, react so violently to people questioning and doubting. My first thought is that it must be fear. Those doubts and fears intrude on their safe world and that scares them. Also, someone they love might not be “saved” and that scares them. At least, those are the things I was afraid of when people I love expressed doubts and anger at God. I kept feeling like saying, “SH! HE’LL HEAR YOU!” I kept thinking, how can I possibly spend eternity without them? And deep inside I wondered again, are they right? After all, why doesn’t God show himself? How is it fair if unchurched people go straight to hell? And those thoughts fill me with fear.

So I get that. And I know that in this situation I have made a real ass of myself a lot of times and probably said some pretty terrible things ranging from asinine to hateful. I make a really strong effort to not do that anymore though it's bound to happen sometime. But, let me encourage you, dear reader, to think twice before you come barreling in to save the soul of a doubting friend. Let them speak. Try to listen. Try not to let your own fear get the best of you.  Remember it is your job to love someone. Then check 1 Cor. 13 and see if any of those descriptions of love include, "tell them they are very wrong and deceived by Satan."

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