Is doubt the enemy of faith?
By Stephen J. Bedard
When it comes to the twelve apostles, who are at the top of the list for those that we do not want to imitate? Of course, Judas holds the number one position as the one who betrayed Jesus. The second place would probably go to Peter who publicly denied knowing Jesus, not once but three times. It is likely that the top three would be rounded out by the one we call “Doubting” Thomas.
Should we really be placing doubt in the same category as betrayal and denial? Is doubt a sin and should we see doubt as the enemy of faith?
I am someone who is a skeptic by nature. It is just the way God made me. It was skepticism that led me to leave the church I grew up in and to abandon Christianity as being no more than my family tradition. But it was also skepticism that caused me to give up on atheism when I realized that I did not have enough faith to believe that the Big Bang happened by itself or that life emerged on Earth by an accidental mixing of chemicals.
Is doubt always wrong?
In Luke 7:18-35, we read the story of John the Baptist sending messengers to Jesus. The content of John’s message was pretty simple, “Are you the one?”
How could John ask such a question? The purpose of John’s ministry was to prepare the way for the Lord, to preach a message of repentance and to baptize God’s Messiah who was bringing the kingdom of God. John the Baptist was one of the most important people in the entire Bible.
By asking, “Are you the one?”, John was doing much more than initiating a theological discussion, John was expressing doubt. John had an idea of what things would look like when the Messiah appeared and what he was seeing did not fit the vision. Theology and reality were in conflict and this created doubt…
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