6/01/2009                                                                                       View Comments

A Letter to Christians on the Matter of Doubt

By WizenedSage

to be a brilliant lightImage by rainsoaked via Flickr

Many Christians suffer anguishing, debilitating fear their whole lives over the doubts they just can’t beat down. They will have - they can’t help but have - serious doubts about some of the extraordinary stories and incredible claims of Christianity, but dare not entertain those thoughts. Often their pastors and parents drum it into them from the time they are knee-high to a grasshopper that to doubt God is to insult Him and invite His terrible wrath. They may teach that doubt is the favored strategy of Satan to undermine the faith of believers.

But, this fear really makes no sense. If there’s a God worth worshipping, one who can determine the course of future events, then that God must be sensible. It should be blindingly obvious that if there’s a God, then he gave you legs to walk with, ears to hear with, eyes to see with, and a brain to think with. No sensible God would give you a brain and then punish you for using it to the best of your ability. And what is there to fear? You can beat on the truth forever and it will still be the truth. You cannot change that.

To doubt is perfectly reasonable and no sensible God could fault you for it... All children are born with enormous curiosity. They are eager to learn how the world really works, and they ask questions constantly in their thirst to learn. Some of them grow up to discover wonderfully useful things about how the world works and make the world safer, healthier, and more enlightened for all of us. Doubt is the door they opened in order to achieve these advances. They doubted the current “wisdom” of things and we have all profited. For example, according to the Bible, disease is caused by demons. Modern medicine could never have gotten off the ground if someone had not doubted this. Without doubt there can be no learning and no progress.

Of course, the Bible says that you should believe whether it makes sense or not, that you must not trust your own reason. But, since the Muslim and Hindu “holy books” say the same thing, thus entrapping billions in false religions, this must be bad advice, at least some of the time. In fact, since no religion claims a majority of the world’s people, we have solid proof that this advice to never question a “holy book” fails most of the time for most of the people. And, clearly, your own sect would never have come to have its particular beliefs and rituals if its founders and other leaders had not doubted the beliefs they were taught. If their doubts led to a better way, how can it be a bad thing to doubt?

We humans, at least the sensible among us, do not ask that our children always do great things or that they be perfect. We ask only that they make a reasonable effort to figure out life and be good to others. How could a “Father in Heaven” reasonably ask for more? We humans are imperfect, after all, practically by definition.

My point here is simply that to doubt is perfectly reasonable and no sensible God could fault you for it since you are doing the best you can with what He gave you to work with. He cannot want you to suffer for your doubts. After all, He wants you to be sure you have found the right God, doesn’t He?

So, please, think about it. Do yourself and your God a favor and actually read your Bible on your own (not just the parts your pastor recommends) and think about it – especially Leviticus and Numbers. Does it make sense to you? If yes, then your faith will be stronger. And, if not, you really have nothing to fear. No sensible God can fault you for finding that you have this marvelous, wondrous gift, this brain, and then using it for the purpose it was designed. He might even applaud you for it!



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