Why Don’t We Believe? Doubt? Or Something Else?

Motivations are very difficult to evaluate in another person.  It is difficult enough to understand our own motivations.  But because we should try to understand why it is people believe differently than us, possible motivations can be looked at.

Why is it that someone would not believe in God?  There may be many real and good reasons but often it is because people encounter doubts.  Doubts as to the reality of God, the reliability of Scripture, or whether the identity of Jesus can ever really be established.  I encounter peoples purported doubts all the time, and don’t dismiss them either.  But what if there is something else lurking behind our doubts.

"No, you're mistaken", said the influential 18th century philosopher, "I didn't used to drum for The Police."

“No, you’re mistaken”, said the influential 18th century philosopher, “I didn’t used to drum for The Police.”

These days, “doubting” has been lionized and is often seen as the means to becoming more “authentic”.  This evens happens among the faithful.  I am not one to knock doubts (I’ve had them) and working through them is part of normal spiritual maturing.  But perhaps we should be open to being challenged on them.  Is it really doubting?  Or is it a resistance to obey?

“People try to persuade us that the objections against Christianity spring from doubt. That is a complete misunderstanding. The objections against Christianity spring from insubordination, the dislike of obedience, rebellion against all authority. As a result, people have hitherto been beating the air in their struggle against objections, because they have fought intellectually with doubt instead of fighting morally with rebellion.”  Soren Kierkegaard, Works of Love

If God is real…  If the Bible is authoritatively true…  If Jesus is who he claims, and who the Church has held him to be…  Then our lives must be turned upside-down by obedience to God and his Word.  Everyone who wrestles with the big questions must in some sense realize this.  And so…  are our doubts really doubts?  Or are they something else?


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