“Doubt is not the absence of faith,
it’s the absence of certainty.”
I sat in church between my brothers, staring at the altar—at the bread and wine under the pure white veils—Christ’s body and blood. A restless teen, one part of me was scared He was real, while another part of me thought, “How do we know this God-Jesus stuff isn’t just a giant pile of crap? How do we know it’s not wishful thinking gone awry over the centuries—a crafted blend of fact and fiction?”
I wanted proof—I wanted certainty.
My faith seemed to increase as I grew as a child and then it collapsed once all the world’s sticky questions began to fill my high school brain. The church didn’t seem to have solid answers good enough to field the countless questions, so the scales of reason tipped towards the “I-don’t-really-know” side of the equation.
When I initially left for college, I stopped going to church altogether because I wanted to leave my childhood behind and discover the world on my own. You may have had a similar experience or are in the midst of one.
I couldn’t honestly accept God the way He was portrayed in church. Things didn’t make sense. They didn’t add up. And to any thinking person, they must add up.
Why a riot in one part of the world and harmony in another? Chaos and war in that country, peace in this one? A man living a hundred years, a baby dying in its crib, not even living a hundred hours.
Good and evil oddly mixed together deep inside people. A person doing good one moment and bad the next.
Believing in God didn’t fit. Sunday’s faith seemed apart from weekday life, in its own world: part history, part a childish belief in goodness and part make-believe.
The God of the Bible seemed to be hidden from me—not acting in my life the way He was supposed to, and this caused me to question everything. I also went through a dark period of time when I felt so hurt and frustrated that I even hated God. He seemed so distant and neutral. Hidden…aloof. If he did exist, I wanted nothing to do with Him.
The central issue kept surfacing over and over: Is God’s existence reasonable? Is it realistic? If He does exist, does He care? Does believing in the God of the Bible make sense at all levels? Is it logical and scientific? Historic? Is it philosophically sound? All aspects of life must add-up and mesh together as one, cohesive understanding of the world. If they don’t, then life really has no true and deep meaning—and if God doesn’t fit into all aspects of life, then His very being is unreasonable.
I sought to find answers and hunted for years reading a plethora of books on religion, mysticism, history and philosophy.
I found that answers do exist.
Since I come at things as a questioner and a doubter, most people will—I hope—be able to relate and follow my line of reason. Why should a skeptic read these essays? Because I’m a skeptic, too—always searching for answers—wrestling with the same troubling issues for years on end. Because all my life I’ve had the same doubts and asked the same questions as you do about God and life’s meaning.
Counter to a lot of Christian thinking, it’s evident God dearly wants us to question. He created us to use our minds and critically question the entire world around us. He delights when we hunt, seek and dig deep—because He’s there at every level. Let’s carefully look at logic, science, history, as well as morality and meaning, and arrive at answers to the most crucial questions about life.
What is the reason, behind the reason, behind the reason?
I dedicate this blog to those who struggle and question . . .to the skeptic.
Why do you let bad things happen? Why all the suffering?
Sometimes evil, greed and apathy appear to rule our world,
and you don’t seem to care!
Why do you let people spout foolishness and make money in your name?
Why don’t you stop them?
While you’re at it, why don’t you stop all the bad, feed all the hungry and heal every disease?
If you made me, don’t I deserve an answer?