I’ve been thinking a lot about doubt recently, this is primarily because a friend of mine recently taught a class at his congregation about doubt. In giving him feedback, solicited or unsolicited, I had a realization about my own issues with doubt.
My fallout wasn’t initially a doubt of faith, God, or my salvation…but doubting a tradition (non-instrumental worship). There’s something wrong with a system that encourages you to doubt God, but is scornful when doubting the religious sect. It sets deity on top of the church in the house of cards of religion….if the traditions fall, then so does the God. I honestly think that doubt was an open topic when it came to faith and deity in my church family and especially in my immediate family…but the tenets of the church of Christ were not to be tainted with. I think that most denominations could greatly benefit from openly doubting their traditions as well as the greater things in life.
One of the best statements on doubt, in my opinion, is in a fiction book dealing with the Holocaust, Beatrice and Virgil. This book, or even this quote isn’t necessarily about God or faith, but with my worldview, everything is about God or faith.
“To my mind, faith is like being in the sun. When you are in the sun, can you avoid creating a shadow? Can you shake that area of darkness that clings to you, always shaped like you, as if constantly to remind you of yourself? You can’t. This shadow is doubt.And it goes wherever you go as long as you stay in the sun.And who wouldn’t want to be in the sun?”
Doubt isn’t a hazard of faith, it’s a beautiful reminder that I’m taking the leap to believe in something bigger than myself. I’ve learned to accept this constant shadow of doubt. It never goes away, just merely changes as my faith changes. We’ve all got a shadow, we just have to learn how to embrace it.