Monthly Archives: April 2013

Faith and Doubt

A reader asked me some time ago to talk about doubt. I have thought about this for a time, since my faith is pretty limited and weak, but I still think some faith- and honest doubt, where there is doubt- is better than nothing.

I used to have this quote, clipped from a newspaper editorial page, on my bulletin board- “There is more faith in honest doubt than in all the unexamined creeds of past and present.” I can’t find the exact quote, but the original seems to come from Alfred, Lord Tennyson. Having grown up with a rigorously unexamined creed, it made a lot of sense to me. People criticize this as appearing to elevate doubt above faith, and maybe it does But as Dr. Ken Baker says here “Doubt is not disbelief. It is an honest exploration of issues.”

Bruce Charlton quotes this Mormon on faith and doubt. I think this responds to the question ideally. Faith may not be strong, it may be partial, it may be very weak but whatever faith there is takes precedence over any doubt. Doubt is an opportunity to learn more, to come to a better understanding of things, and hopefully have more faith.

Churches seem to discourage people who doubt. They want you to believe a lot, or not come. And they generally like to say how simple and easy it all is, to people of pure hearts who really love God. I am, according to at least one, most definitely not a Christian of any kind, but I will keep trying to know God and Jesus to the best of my ability.

Furthermore, doubt and cynicism seem to me to be tools of Satan. Satan- the enemy, or the accuser- points out to God the shortcomings of the people has created, in the hope God will condemn them. But God stays with his people even when they fall short.

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Hope? Warning, Graphic, Don’t Continue If You Are Sensitive…..

This is really bad. People like to ignore or forget about things like this, but I feel I have to say something. You are warned.
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You may want to see this, or you may not.
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Are you sure?
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Ok last chance.
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Here it is.
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grand%20jury%20report%20image

Conor Freidersdorf talks about this case of late term abortion and murder at the Atlantic. As much as guys like he and David Frum try to shill, every once in a while their conservative’s Tourette’s Syndrome takes over and they say something true and embarrassing.

So, we have a dead baby. But we also have this-

572px-Michelangelo's_Pieta_5450_cropncleaned_edit

A contrast? One is a crime scene photo entered into a grand jury report, the other a world-famous sculpture by one of history’s most renowned artists. And yet they are really the same thing- images of the dead bodies of people murdered under particularly gruesome and tawdry circumstances.

For some reason I thought of the picture of the baby, “It’s a little pietà” A pietà is a sculpture of Mary holding the body of Jesus, Michelangelo’s version is only the most famous, the theme wasn’t original to him. Versions of this are commonly found in Catholic cemeteries.

If this is the world we live in, we’re all fucked, and nobody is really innocent. But the sculpture is supposed to represent that this is not the end, this is not all there is, that Jesus died but then rose from the dead and has overcome sin and death.

We can hope. It’s not much but it’s all we’ve got.

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