Maybe you’ve noticed that some people like to complain, question others, be skeptics, play devil’s advocate, or just be a know-it-all.
I of course never do any of these things. I’m Mr. Nice Guy.
But hey, doing those things can be a great way to fill the time at work, at home, family reunions, just about any place. Just quietly questions someone’s job skills, qualifications, parenting habits, clothing, hygiene, alcoholism, or anything else, and someone is bound to join you. And if you have two or three others who agree, you suddenly have a self-sustaining chemical fusion of whining that will fuel itself for hours. Really, what’s better than everyone agreeing that a chimp in a necktie could do a better job than your boss?
But I’ve noticed something. Somehow, even though complaining, debating, doubting, and questioning is such a popular activity, Christians suddenly get pretty uncomfortable when it turns to issues of faith or the church.
So a coworker can be politely questioning the company strategy, and I’m cool, but as soon as he starts harping on the church, I get all tense. Like it’s a personal attack on me.
Or some friend makes a snide remark about his doubts that a man really got swallowed by a big fish, and I feel like I have to raise the war cry and defend the Bible with my life.
Yes, I’m a Christian, and I’m usually right. So it feels like a personal attack on my honor when someone doesn’t quite see things the way I do. It’s almost like they attacked my political party! It’s even worse when the complainer is another Christian. Suddenly, I’m praying for her very soul because I’m not so sure she’s as strong a Christian as I once thought.
Sure, I’ve got lots of different things about the church I question, doubt, or complain about. But it’s okay coming from me. I know I’m a Christian.
I’m going to start 2010 off with a bang. I’ll be scattering a few posts over the next couple of weeks on “Doubt.” It’ll be all about my skeptical side, the things I’m supposed to believe if I just had strong enough faith. You can participate too. Then by the end, we’ll all be wondering if anyone else is going to heaven but ourselves. But we’ll all come back in for a group hug, and it’ll all be good.
Let’s air the dirty laundry – the doubts, the questions. The things that, if you asked in church, you would be kindly escorted out.
I’ll start. But before I do, I need to clarify.
Because already, some of you are preparing your comment, chastising me for placing stumbling blocks in front of “weaker” Christians. Well that’s not what this is for. In fact, you can help us out with that! When you comment, just tell us if you consider yourself a “strong” Christian, a “doubting” Christian, or a non-Christian. Or, you can address someone’s doubts if you have a good answer.
Okay, here we go.
I have serious doubts about faith healing.
I say this knowing that some of you believe strongly in faith healing. Well I’ve never been in a church that emphasized it. I’m not a conduit of faith healing. I’ve never seen it in person. I’m a cynic and a skeptic when it comes to such things. I visited a church where a woman gave a testimony that she was healed of cancer. Well, hallelujah, but I still thought that perhaps some chemo might’ve had something to do with it.
Another woman testified that she had a leg shortened three inches by surgery, and God healed that. Like, He made her leg grow three inches…overnight.
That one was too much for me. I scowled and said, “Yeah right,” under my breath. I did that right in church; doubted a woman, a sister in Christ, who was standing right in front of me.
Sure, I believe God could do that, healed through Christ, and probably does it on the rarest of occasions in our time. I just don’t believe He’s doing it as much as people say He is. It’s one of those things I’ve been soured on. It’s been so abused by televangelists, that I can’t even believe an ordinary Christian who testifies to my face that she was healed divinely.
I still love Jesus. I just wonder if God is really putting a premium on giving us medical miracles as signs to prove Himself these days. Or maybe I’m a weak-spirited, cynically scientific modern American who just needs to pray more.
Okay, I did it. What about you? What’s your doubt? What’s a doubt that you had, but was resolved? Or, do you have an answer to my doubt on medical miracles? Maybe I’ll be buried in testimonials of healed people. If you’ve been healed, bring it on!