I had a god friend contact me tonight who was struggling with something. He was saying that he wonders about how he got into his faith at times and that he was just struggling with some issues about that. Taking a cue from Gary Habermas, I asked him the main questions. Does he believe in the deity of Christ first off? I got a very affirmative answer on that. Does he believe Christ died for him? I got an affirmative. What about the resurrection? Sometimes doubts, but generally yeah.
My conclusion: I have no doubts this guy is a Christian.
Yet he told me he was concerned about those doubts. Despite all the reasons he has to believe in his faith, and he’s a great apologist from what I’ve seen, there are still times of doubt. It was at that time that I realized that I had come to a dread conclusion about him.
It sounded to me like…
He might be….
I kind of hate to say it…
It sounds so bad…
He might be a….
Where did we get this idea that Christianity meant living your life in absolute 100% certainty every minute of the day? I say, thank God for uncertainty. In many ways, since Descartes, certainty has become a curse of our age. Can I, for instance, be absolutely certain that Bishop Berkeley was wrong in his philosophy and maybe the material world is really an idea put in my mind? Well, no. I sure don’t think it is though! I have some objections to his theory, but I can’t say I have certainty.
If the skeptic wants to say “Well I just don’t have certainty that the material world exists,” my thought now is “That’s your problem.” (I’m also tempted to launch a kick towards his face and see if he acts like the material world exists.) I have good reason to believe and I’m quite satisfied if I’m not absolutely certain on every issue.
Of course, I’m not pushing anything fideistic either. I think I have more than enough reason to believe in Christianity. If my emotions are strong one day while in a negative mood, then they are. I just have to wait through it often. If I have a real difficulty, I simply go and do some research. Every single time I’ve had doubt and worked through it, my faith has always been stronger in the end.
Let’s be honest also. Most of this is emotional. In our world today, we are much more emotional than we are rational. When someone wants to know your stance on a subject, they will ask how you feel about it. They will not normally ask what you think about it. My feelings can be quite different from my thoughts at times. With a lady for instance, my feelings might tell me pre-marital sex is a-okay. (For those wondering, I haven’t given into that temptation.) My rationality though which believes in the truth of Scripture says that it doesn’t. Naturally, when the lady is present, I have to be sure that feeling isn’t running ahead of the rationality.
That is a way to show feelings and rationality can definitely differ. We all have done things that we knew were the right thing to do when we certainly felt like doing otherwise. There are times I’ve felt like going to bed, but I knew I needed to stay up and help a friend. There have been times I’ve felt like telling some people off, but I knew I should refrain.
Friends. What you feel is not necessarily what you think. Sometimes the two can coincide, but it’s not a guarantee. The best thing to do with doubt is simply learn to get your emotions under control. I mentioned Gary Habermas at the start. Go to his website and read “Dealing With Doubt” and listen to his MP3s on dealing with emotional doubt.
And remember, you are not alone. Everyone in the body goes through this from time to time. When it comes, put your emotions aside and listen to just the facts.