Thursday, 07 October 2010
I was talking to an Alpha guest last year, and he was troubled by the fact that so many Christians said they "knew" Jesus was God and that the Gospel was true because they had experienced it and just felt that it was true - that it made them happy. His problem wasn't in whether or not they felt it, but that other religious persons, regardless of their religion, feel that their religion is right as well.
He said that when approached the idea of other religions from an intellectual standpoint, there was much that he could find to validate many religions and that there was much that he just didn't think made sense.
When I asked him what he thought when he tried to integrate his emotions together with what he knew, he just looked at me with a "?!" expression on his face. I explained that if you assume that some higher being created us, then said being would have given us our emotional and intellectual capabilities, and that if said being was to be discovered, it made sense for them to have give us the ability to do so. Maybe, we're supposed to use everything we have when trying to discover them.
The guest looked at me and went "ok....." and we quickly moved on to another topic of conversation.
Later on in the year, I had a similar conversation, but with a Christian who was doubting their faith. They said much the same thing, but of course added the spiritual aspect to it.They said that spiritually, Christianity just "felt" right, that it filled what they were missing, but they wondered if that was only because they had only seriously been involved in Christianity anyway.
Again, I suggested that maybe they should integrate everything together, and see what they ended up with.
In both cases the guest and my friend were doubting the information they had been given. One religion in general, and the other their specific faith. I'm not sure if what I said was the right thing to say, but I do believe that doubting is good. It means that you're thinking, and as long as you're going to be asking questions and seeking out answers I think doubt can be a great motivating factor. But I also think that doubting as a state isn't so great. I think that there has to be a line...but when does one draw that line? and is it different from one person to another?
How do you usually approach doubts that you have concerning your faith? When do you think doubting goes from being a great motivating factor to a hindrance?