I wouldn’t be true to the name I have chosen for the site if I didn’t address this topic. I think all believer’s, if they really believe, has some form of doubt at times about the veracity of what they say they believe. Not that they become atheists momentarily, but that questions come they haven’t addressed and they wonder what implications seeking an answer would have on their faith. The scary thing about staring doubt in the face is the fear that as we do, we will actually see ourselves staring back at us.
There are two main ways to respond to these questions, although only one really deals with the questions properly. Some see these questions and just ignore them as invalid. Claiming it is vain questioning, they shut their eyes to anything that poses itself as a challenge to their system of beliefs. This forces them to found their faith on blind-nothingness. Some even make this response to be the admirable one. They teach that to try to reason something, or find evidence to support your belief system, is to travel the road to apostasy. Unwilling to see if their system of belief is actually credible they bury their head in the sand and pretend that none of these questions are even remotely relevant. To have this response is to completely divorce Christianity for the very setting God placed it in – history. It is to place the truth of Jesus Christ on par with the unverifiable claims of Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, etc. relegates all ground on which to defend the Christian faith. Sure there are things about Christianity that varies from other world religions, but apart from the fact that the very foundational beliefs of Christianity are rooted in real historical events, it become nothing more than another system that one can ascribe to and hope its right. To defend a “Christianity” founded on nothing but “blind faith” against any other belief system is to engage in nothing more than an empty shouting match. Those who can commit intellectual suicide and hold to something that they are afraid to prove, may see this duck and run mentality as a viable option to avoiding the nagging questions. Most, however will struggle with the doubts they are avoiding, all the while the doubts grow stronger because avoiding the questions only causes the questions to grow stronger and appear to be substantially ore challenging than they really are. We are all tempted at some point to take this road, but remember a faith (or system of beliefs) that can’t be tested can’t be trusted.
The other response, and I believe the proper one, is the stare doubt in the face. This is the approach I have to take, I’ve tried the suppression method and it just doesn’t work. The foundations of Christianity were being eaten away by the questioning termites until I knew I had to either face these questions (not without fear mind you) or let the foundations crumble beneath me. The fear of seeing myself in the doubts – meeting them head on and finding that they were substantially grounded – did scare me, but I had to honestly look at the facts. To continue to avoid them was to continue to build on crumbling sand, if I examined it and found it to truly be crumbling sand then the end result would be no different. But, and I can’t emphasize that contrasting conjunction enough, if upon examination I found answers to the questions then I knew I would be stronger in my faith in Christ! Besides, if what I said I believed was true, Jesus Christ was asking me to examine Him and His teachings.
Having taken the second option in dealing with doubt, I want to encourage my doubting brother/sister. The world, the flesh, and the devil (all VERY, VERY real enemies) try to choke your faith. I’m not saying it is easy by any means, but as I began to examine the evidence, my faith was strengthened. I found that God is not afraid for us to honestly examine the facts. The fact that He has acted in history, and recorded it for following generations to examine is tremendous. Jesus Christ said, “I am the way, the TRUTH, and the life…” there is no reason to shy away from examining the facts (whether that be textual documents of the New Testament, or the historical data surrounding the life and times of Jesus). If God really came to earth as man, lived among men, died, was buried, and rose from the grave all in a time space reality, then He would most definitely have left clues to His having been here. I have found that in examining the evidence, I am pointed (time and again) to the undeniable conclusion that Christianity is true – Jesus is God incarnate, the Savior of the world.
And just a word to anyone who may be reading this as an unbeliever: those who wish to dismiss Christianity as if it’s just another religion will take the close minded approach described previously, for the same reasons believers take it – fear of having their comfortable beliefs challenged. Refusing to subject their own preconceived beliefs to the scrutiny they intend to place on Christianity, they try to find a seeming contradiction or difficult doctrine and examine it no further. They accept it as fallacious without attempting to understand or think through the entirety of it. If this is you, remember, faith and reason are not at odds with each other. Jesus Christ presents us with a reasonable faith, and accuses all other belief systems as being fundamentally flawed and out of touch with reality.
So whether you’re a believer struggling with doubtful questions, or an unbeliever wondering how people could actually believe in Jesus – honestly examine the evidence. God invites us to seek after Him, He’s actually arranged things to spur us to search and find Him.
“The God who made the world and all things in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands; nor is He served by human hands, as though He needed anything, since He Himself gives to all people life and breath and all things; and He made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined their appointed times and the boundaries of their habitation, that they would seek God, if perhaps they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us; for in Him we live and move and exist, as even some of your own poets have said, ‘For we also are His children.’ ” (Acts 17:24-28)
Stare doubt in the face.