A person of true faith should never be afraid to doubt for it can dispel the babel that cripples the effectiveness of the church. The presence of skepticism in the church reveals the vitality and dignity of discernment and the search for truth. Doubt in our institutions brought about the Renaissance, the Reformation and the Age of Reason. A mature Christian will not doubt in spite of his or her faith but because of it.

There are of course times that we should not doubt. We should not doubt Jesus and have faith in our salvaton but that only works if we are truly saved. Many people think that they are saved but are not, that's why Peter would have us make our calling and election sure. Jesus called Himself the door and suggested that there are ones that come not through the door. They think themselves saved and mislead others who also think they are saved. We should exercise doubt in these situations.

Facing issues and not running away from them describes a courageous person. Will a person of true faith straddle the fence on a controversial subject? Of course, but only long enough to be detached from the subject, deny each side and through the attitude of prayer, meditation, intelligence and dialogue, follow through with a reasonable conclusion. This is the kind of open-minded liberality and humility that distinguishes the true worshipper from the narrow-mindedness of those who think that their particular faith is the only certain truth. True religion is crucified by doubt and resurrected by faith. Without the presence of doubt, faith becomes bigoted, idolatrous, prejudiced, intolerant, self-seeking, biased, opinionated, reactionary, fanatical and in a word, illiberal. What takes the place of true faith is merely arrogant self-righteous religious activity posing as Christian life.

Doubt is not disbelief. The healthy aspect of doubt is nothing more than being in a state of mind that hesitates between incompatible convictions. Divided Christians believe with all their heart that whatever their particular church is, it is the right one. Jesus has prayed that we should all be one. Paul tells us that we should not be children and carried about by winds of doctrine. All the churches can't all be right, and we are admonished to speak as one. Is anybody listening?

It takes courage to doubt, especially if you have been taught wrong. Most Americans have been spoon-fed puritan ignorance for so long that they are indoctrinated against progressive thought. It becomes a matter of pride to hold on to their conservative ways and they become closed minded against anything open-minded. If the darkness that many people have makes them think that they are truly in the light, faith will not make them see the light, but doubt will. The truth will set you free.
[297, BD, II Peter 1:10, John 10:1]

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