Sep 20

Where do the doubters belong?

In church with all the other doubters of course !

Sometimes I am amazed by people who have no use for church because they have doubts about their beliefs. They express fear about going into a church where all those “church people” have it all figured out. I would laugh at that idea if it were not for the sincerity of the person I am talking with.

I have been going to churches almost all of my life and never once in any one of them did I run into anyone, including the pastors, who had it all figured out. I have gone to Baptist Churches, Reformed Churches, Presbyterian Churches, Missionary Alliance Churches, Methodist Churches and even Catholic Churches, some of the Priests think the Pope has it all figured out but I doubt he does either. I do not go to church because I have it all figured out, I go because I need to figure things out.

Pastors preach sermons, I have learned, sometimes just to address the issues that cause them the most doubt. What a better way to work through a question than spending time praying about it, reading scripture about it, and researching what others have had to say about it. All the while knowing that come the next Sunday morning you will have to stand up in front of a bunch of people, with doubts of their own, and talk about it for twelve to twenty minutes.

So once you realize that the “church people” have doubts and the Pastors have doubts next I need to tell you about all those big Bible Heroes and their doubts. Heroic guys like Moses and Abraham. When Moses was called to the Burning Bush and told by God to lead the Israelites out of Egypt his first response was self-doubt (Exodus 3:11) Moses said to God, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?” In response, God spends a little time building up Moses’ self-esteem and giving him instructions that are more specific on how to be a leader to the Israelites. Moses however is still filled with doubt (Exodus 4:1) Moses answered, “What if they do not believe me or listen to me and say, ‘The Lord did not appear to you’?” Again, God gives reassurances but yet Moses is still doubtful and says that he is not eloquent at making speeches he is just the wrong guy for the job. Moses says to God “Please send someone else.” Finally God even in his anger gives Moses something and he tells Moses go and talk to your brother who is a Priest , he is good at this and will give you the words to say.

Or just look for one moment at Abraham and Sarah who, when God told them they were going to have a child at the ripe old age of 100 for him and 90 for her, Abraham fell on his face in laughter and Sarah was found laughing behind the wall. They followed all of God’s instructions always doubting the promise of the coming child , as if to say ‘OK God, we will follow you but we will believe the having a baby thing when we see it.’

 

Remember however, that with God doubt is always met with assurance and listen to the words of the Prophet Isaiah in chapter 40 verses 28-31;
Do you not know?
Have you not heard?
The Lord is the everlasting God,
the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He will not grow tired or weary,
and his understanding no one can fathom.
He gives strength to the weary
and increases the power of the weak.
Even youths grow tired and weary,
and young men stumble and fall;
but those who hope in the Lord
will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint.
So if you have doubts about God or even if you doubt the existence of God. Come and join the rest of us on this journey of faith that we are all on, and begin at the beginning, where we all began, with doubt !

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14 comments

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    • Terre Foreman on September 20, 2012 at 9:07 pm
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    Christine-If we knew everything we wouldn’t need to go to a religious institution or have a religious leader. One of the greatest things about Moses and Abraham was that they were real and had doubts like us. They are our role models. They did God’s work and so can we. We are not perfect and neither were they. Abraham had to leave his father’s home to be who he was.Look at how he told Hagar to leave with his son, Ishmael, because Sarah was unhappy. And yet, when God tells him to sacrifice his son, he questions which son, and Isaac and Ishmael bury Abraham together when he dies. Moses left and became the adopted son of Pharoah before he became who he was supposed to be. In the desert Jethro, his Midianite father-in-law has to teach him how to lead. I am comforted by this. There’s hope for me, yet! Thank you for a wonderful posting. Kol ha kavod-May you have all the strenth to continue this wonderful work!

    1. Thank you Terre for your faithful reading of my writing and your encouragement and faith in me. Coming from you whom I admire and respect it means so much. Shalom

    • Terre Foreman on September 20, 2012 at 9:07 pm
    • Reply

    Christine-If we knew everything we wouldn’t need to go to a religious institution or have a religious leader. One of the greatest things about Moses and Abraham was that they were real and had doubts like us. They are our role models. They did God’s work and so can we. We are not perfect and neither were they. Abraham had to leave his father’s home to be who he was.Look at how he told Hagar to leave with his son, Ishmael, because Sarah was unhappy. And yet, when God tells him to sacrifice his son, he questions which son, and Isaac and Ishmael bury Abraham together when he dies. Moses left and became the adopted son of Pharoah before he became who he was supposed to be. In the desert Jethro, his Midianite father-in-law has to teach him how to lead. I am comforted by this. There’s hope for me, yet! Thank you for a wonderful posting. Kol ha kavod-May you have all the strenth to continue this wonderful work!

    1. Thank you Terre for your faithful reading of my writing and your encouragement and faith in me. Coming from you whom I admire and respect it means so much. Shalom

  1. Excellent post, Christine, and the choice of music to go with is awesome!

  2. Excellent post, Christine, and the choice of music to go with is awesome!

    • Steve Butler on September 21, 2012 at 12:43 pm
    • Reply

    Amen, Christine! Well said!

    • Steve Butler on September 21, 2012 at 12:43 pm
    • Reply

    Amen, Christine! Well said!

    • Frank M. D'Ambrosio on September 23, 2012 at 10:06 pm
    • Reply

    The greatest example of doubt vs obedience was Jesus Himself! In the Garden of Gethsemane, He prayed to His Father to “let this cup pass from Me.” Even in His grief/pain/doubt, He said “Yet not My will, but Thine, be done!” Doubt is what drives us to seek truth-to the fullest extent humans are capable of understanding truth anyway! Needless to say, we will learn much more truth “on the other side,” as that incredible song expressed it!

    Anyway, loved your post! You have a gift for speaking the truth clearly and in terms everyone can understand! That is so important in any preaching or teaching ministry!

    • Frank M. D'Ambrosio on September 23, 2012 at 10:06 pm
    • Reply

    The greatest example of doubt vs obedience was Jesus Himself! In the Garden of Gethsemane, He prayed to His Father to “let this cup pass from Me.” Even in His grief/pain/doubt, He said “Yet not My will, but Thine, be done!” Doubt is what drives us to seek truth-to the fullest extent humans are capable of understanding truth anyway! Needless to say, we will learn much more truth “on the other side,” as that incredible song expressed it!

    Anyway, loved your post! You have a gift for speaking the truth clearly and in terms everyone can understand! That is so important in any preaching or teaching ministry!

  3. Christine, the UCC is called the Church of the Questions, because we never stop answering them. The “God is Still Speaking,” campaign (emphasis on the question mark – it’s our big, honkin’ symbol!) speaks to this. I have questioned all my life, doubted the existence of God for many years, and finally got “slapped upside the head” when I was ready at 35. Every day since has been lived in gratitude. But I never end a session with the Creator without asking, “you know, I was just wondering…”! Love, Amy

    1. Amy,
      Thanks for your comment and thank you for your wonderful blog as well. Putting you on my blog-roll tonight. Have a wonderful World Communion Sunday !
      Christine

  4. Christine, the UCC is called the Church of the Questions, because we never stop answering them. The “God is Still Speaking,” campaign (emphasis on the question mark – it’s our big, honkin’ symbol!) speaks to this. I have questioned all my life, doubted the existence of God for many years, and finally got “slapped upside the head” when I was ready at 35. Every day since has been lived in gratitude. But I never end a session with the Creator without asking, “you know, I was just wondering…”! Love, Amy

    1. Amy,
      Thanks for your comment and thank you for your wonderful blog as well. Putting you on my blog-roll tonight. Have a wonderful World Communion Sunday !
      Christine

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