There are days when I don’t believe in God. It’s not that I’m not troubled by the BIG questions (where was God during the Holocaust? Where is God when little babies die of preventable diseases? Why do the wicked prosper?), but, every so often, I get this stone in my shoe called doubt, doubt which isn’t a personal reaction to real life and far too real death. But doubt, nonetheless. And today, I have it.
I doubt because my rational mind can’t comprehend God. God seems too big. Too easy to construct. Too convenient to my needs.
Eternal life seems too much like a comfortable fantasy. Too much like a handy story.
Christians can be too hurtful. Too self- righteous.
I would like to see more people living resurrected lives.
Not a good thing when one’s pay cheques assumes a certain - shall we say - outlook on life, death, and eternity.
I think, maybe, I’m just tired. I always get existential when my vitamin C levels drop. Or do I have too much invested to really look honestly at my faith?
Yes, the mortgage company demands that I pay them each month, existential crisis or not.
No. I have a kick ass resume and could easily get a job doing something else for awhile.
So, I’ll stay. For now.
Luther said that when a preacher feels doubt, he (or she) should preach the gospel until faith returns. I’m not sure he’s right. Faith and doubt are not opposites, but kissing cousins. The opposite of faith is certainty, not doubt. Jesus doesn’t call us to certainty, but faith. I think I might be a little more freaked out if – from time to time – I DIDN’T feel doubt.
But I preach because I need to believe the promises of resurrection, of New Creation, of new and abundant life. I preach because so many good people still believe and pray for me, and give their hearts and souls to the well-being of Christ’s church. And that sayin’ something.
That’s why I love the Nicene Creed over the Apostles’ Creed. The Apostles’ Creed begins “I believe…”
But the Nicene Creed begins “We believe…” We. Us. Together. When one of us is too weak to stand up on our own two feet, the strong ones pick up the slack. When one of us has more doubt than faith, the strong believers speak these words for us.
So, no matter what, I stay. And will allow others to speak for me when I have no words.