Doubting Christianity
Lifestyle

Doubting Christianity

The Value of Questioning

5
Skeptiker

I wish I’d grown up asking the “why” questions. Instead they all came flooding to my conscience over the period of one summer before my senior year of high school.

Most of these questions were in regard to my Christian faith. Why does God let bad things happen to good people? Why is God hidden? What about suffering and evil? The more I asked these questions, the more intense my anxiety became. Everything I’d known—everything I’d trusted—was being torn to the ground brick by brick. Questions were cutting holes in my worldview and were seemingly irreparable.

Or so I thought.

My dad is in many ways the person I want to be. He relies on solid, trustworthy evidence for anything he believes. If he catches an error in his argumentation, he’ll backtrack and make a better argument and admit his mistake. I’d call him an intellectual. He also happens to be a theology buff. With my accusations and anxieties in mind, I wondered how the two sides to him—the intellectual and the theologian—could possibly coexist.

So when I broke down in front of my (thankfully, highly supportive) parents and admitted to my increasing doubts, I looked for answers. I asked to meet with Dad. Once a week for weeks on end, we would meet up for a Wendy’s frosty and deep theological and philosophical arguments.

A lot of questions were answered in those few months. A lot of them weren’t. When Dad would satisfy an answer to a question that had me worried, I’d move on and find something else to stress about: there was always room for doubt. I would be forced to confront the non-existence of absolute certainty, and it would haunt me.

This cycle of seeking out “holes” in Christian theology led Dad to address a more pertinent question.

It was just another typical Wendy’s day with me jumping from unanswerable hypothetical to hypothetical. Maybe it was the time I was stuck on why God lets bad things happen to good people. Finally, after fretful and emotionally-charged argumentation on my part, my Dad finally stopped me and went to the core of the issue. “Let’s just assume the worst is true. Let’s assume we can’t know why God lets bad things happen to good people. What’s the consequence?”

I blinked at the table for a moment. “God doesn’t care.”

“If God’s saving people from suffering is our only evidence for His love, then yes. But it’s not.” He leaned forward and rested his arms on the table. “But you and I have already established the truth of the resurrection.”

Any assertion during a conversation sent me into a silent spiral of self-questioning. Truth of resurrection? Death verified. Testimony of more than core disciples. Usage of women testimony unlikely but promoted. Early attestation from Luke and Paul. Paul’s conversion detrimental to him yet still took place. Disciples faced torturous death for their witness yet continued in it. Resurrection verified.

I swallowed and slowly nodded. “Right, but…”

“So all of these questions you’re asking—you think they have the potential to tear apart your worldview, but they don’t. The questions are valid, they’re just in a different category. The issue is the reliability of the Christian claim; and the Christian claim is that God provided a rescue for man through His Son.

“Suffering then, for example, is a complication of that view, but not a defeater of it. As long as you can trust in the truth of Jesus’ death and resurrection as true and verified, all of these other questions aren’t a threat to your faith. Because the resurrection is the core of your belief; all other aspects of your faith rely upon it. The rest are in-house concerns that are important, but don’t threaten the validity of the Gospel at all in the end.”

I considered his assertion. Could it be true? I sloshed my plastic spoon around in my melted frosty. “So…because we know God has dedicated all His timely existence to our benefit—as evidenced by His death and resurrection--we can trust that He’ll use bad things for good, even when we don’t know how…We can trust Him with the answers because of what He did for us.”

Dad’s eyes glinted with satisfaction. “Exactly.”

While I’d been worrying over a few missing bricks, I’d forgotten entirely about the foundation of my argument: Christ’s death and resurrection.

From then on I took every question about my faith and related it back to what we know about God from what He did through Jesus. I won’t pretend that my faith is profoundly secure and that I trust God with every unanswered question I encounter. But I rest in the core conviction I have regarding Christianity: “that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures” (1 Corinthians 15:3-4). Other questions are important. They’re substantial. But even as I consider them, I know my hope can rest in the only true reason for my faith.

“But test everything that is said. Hold onto what is good.” (1 Thessalonians 5:21 NLT)

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

For a long time, Goya has been a staple in some Latino households. People carry around jars of Adobo when they eat at friend's houses and packets of Sazón Goya can be found in almost everyone's pantry. Many BuzzFeed lists, videos, and memes aimed at Latinos reference Goya somewhere.

But in a year that just keeps hitting us with bad news, Goya Foods CEO Robert Unanue said that Trump was an "incredible builder" and that the US was "blessed" to have him as president at a White House event on Thursday.

Keep Reading... Show less
Lifestyle

Raven Baxter Was Our Favorite Teen Fashion Icon And We're Still Recreating Her Best Looks, Here

We take a look at Disney's most fashion-forward show to recreate some iconic looks.

Disney Plus

I grew up in the early 2000s. And, like any child at the time, I was hooked on Disney Channel shows. My favorite was and is "That's So Raven."

Raven is a teenage psychic navigating life in hopes of not revealing her powers. Only her family and close friends know she has them. Her powers oftentimes get her in trouble, which is where the comedy comes in. But, they also teach her and her friends sentimental life lessons.

Keep Reading... Show less

Sobriety is so underrated, even when it comes to healthcare. The instant gratification of a substance or drink isn't exactly as gratifying as some people may think. For those of you who've never been hungover, consider yourself lucky — a hangover is biologically horrifying. A hangover is not instant gratification, so who are we kidding when people say "it just feels good." Being healthy actually feels good and won't hurt you or your bank account in the morning. The best way to be healthy is to choose sobriety.

Keep Reading... Show less

Ah, yes. The juice cleanse. Yet another popular diet trend that promises to magically solve all of your health, nutrition, and weight issues.

When you take a close look, juice cleanses aren't as magical as they are made out to be, and in fact, they might do more harm than good.

Keep Reading... Show less
Lifestyle

Unauthorized Plastic Surgery Is Totally Unethical, And Happening WAY More Often Than We Know ‬

Plastic surgery for cosmetic enhancements has you looking more botched than beautiful and it’s painful to see.

Coming from someone who could afford numerous cosmetic enhancing procedures I would never in a million years cut up my face or my body. I'm pretty emphatic and when I watch these brainwashed victims with bandages and chronic inflammation (swollen lips) I literally feel their pain.

Keep Reading... Show less

I've never been big on casual wear or athleisure. Most people who know me have never seen me in sweats. But, I do have those two or three pairs of sweats I can't resist climbing into the second I get home, the newest addition of which is the extra cozy Odyssey crewneck sweatshirt I got in an XL size to feel as close to being wrapped in a blanket at all times as possible.

In the past several months, I've started to expand my horizons, considering the ways in which I can bring my small wardrobe of comfortable bedroom clothing into the public. I've experimented with topping leggings and a sports bra with a denim jacket to the park, and an oversized sweatshirt worn as a dress, cinched at the waist with a belt when I'm out wearing leggings.

Keep Reading... Show less
Lifestyle

How To Dress Like Your Favorite 'Insecure' Characters — Without Spending $2,000

We take a look at the fashion of Insecure season 4, and how you can create these looks yourself.

HBO

Insecure is one of my favorite shows ever. It really encapsulates what it's like being a Black 20-something, trying to navigate the many ups and downs of life. Issa, Molly, Kelli, and Tiffany are living their best lives in California while dealing with the twists and turns that come with that.

From life to relationships to careers, this show truly captures everything that runs through my mind on a daily basis. The show has a sense of realness and a strong frankness that makes you gravitate toward the characters and root for their success.

Keep Reading... Show less
Lifestyle

Making A Food Instagram Was The Greatest Silver Lining To Come Out Of My COVID-19 Experience

With the crazy and scary times that 2020 has brought, find comfort in the one thing everyone loves: food.

The waiter briskly moves towards us and stops just a foot away table, balancing the black serving tray stacked high with the ceramic plates that make-up our dinner. From memorization, he beings gently, but purposely, sliding everyone's orders in front of them and within seconds I'm am starring my meal.

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments