September 12, 2003

Scared of doubt?

This disturbing little anvil fell from my inbox onto my spiritual consciousness this morning via the Christian Quote of the Day mailing list:
Doubt, rather than faith, is high among the causes of the religious boom. And the church's response to this current situation will reveal, better than anything else, our faith in God -- or our faithlessness. If we churchmen interpret such pervasive doubt as a threat, then we will do as the church has done so often in the past: we will substitute the church for God, and make our church-centered activities into an ersatz kingdom of God. Our faithlessness will be evident in the easy paraphrase of the hard truth of the gospel, and in the lapse from the critical loyalty that God requires of us, into the vague and corrupting sentimentalism that has so marred American Protestantism. Or the church can interpret the present religious situation as a promise, as God's recall of His people to a new reformation. Our faithfulness to God-in-Christ will be manifest in the willingness to be honest with ourselves and with the gospel. Then we may view the church, not as an end in itself, but as the point of departure into the world for which the Son of God died. Which will it be?
.....Carl R. Smith & Robert W. Lynn, "Experiment in Suburbia"

Master, please help me today to be as comfortable with doubters as you were, and to keep my pat answers and empty platitudes to myself. Let me point them to the true manifestations of Your kingdom, like Jesus did when John and his disciples doubted. And give me the courage to admit my own doubts to you, to myself, and to others.

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