Where do the doubters belong?
In church with all the other doubters of course !
Sometimes I am amazed by people who have no use for church because they have doubts about their beliefs. They express fear about going into a church where all those “church people” have it all figured out. I would laugh at that idea if it were not for the sincerity of the person I am talking with.
I have been going to churches almost all of my life and never once in any one of them did I run into anyone, including the pastors, who had it all figured out. I have gone to Baptist Churches, Reformed Churches, Presbyterian Churches, Missionary Alliance Churches, Methodist Churches and even Catholic Churches, some of the Priests think the Pope has it all figured out but I doubt he does either. I do not go to church because I have it all figured out, I go because I need to figure things out.
Pastors preach sermons, I have learned, sometimes just to address the issues that cause them the most doubt. What a better way to work through a question than spending time praying about it, reading scripture about it, and researching what others have had to say about it. All the while knowing that come the next Sunday morning you will have to stand up in front of a bunch of people, with doubts of their own, and talk about it for twelve to twenty minutes.
So once you realize that the “church people” have doubts and the Pastors have doubts next I need to tell you about all those big Bible Heroes and their doubts. Heroic guys like Moses and Abraham. When Moses was called to the Burning Bush and told by God to lead the Israelites out of Egypt his first response was self-doubt (Exodus 3:11) Moses said to God, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?” In response, God spends a little time building up Moses’ self-esteem and giving him instructions that are more specific on how to be a leader to the Israelites. Moses however is still filled with doubt (Exodus 4:1) Moses answered, “What if they do not believe me or listen to me and say, ‘The Lord did not appear to you’?” Again, God gives reassurances but yet Moses is still doubtful and says that he is not eloquent at making speeches he is just the wrong guy for the job. Moses says to God “Please send someone else.” Finally God even in his anger gives Moses something and he tells Moses go and talk to your brother who is a Priest , he is good at this and will give you the words to say.
Or just look for one moment at Abraham and Sarah who, when God told them they were going to have a child at the ripe old age of 100 for him and 90 for her, Abraham fell on his face in laughter and Sarah was found laughing behind the wall. They followed all of God’s instructions always doubting the promise of the coming child , as if to say ‘OK God, we will follow you but we will believe the having a baby thing when we see it.’
Remember however, that with God doubt is always met with assurance and listen to the words of the Prophet Isaiah in chapter 40 verses 28-31;
Do you not know?
Have you not heard?
The Lord is the everlasting God,
the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He will not grow tired or weary,
and his understanding no one can fathom.
He gives strength to the weary
and increases the power of the weak.
Even youths grow tired and weary,
and young men stumble and fall;
but those who hope in the Lord
will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint.
So if you have doubts about God or even if you doubt the existence of God. Come and join the rest of us on this journey of faith that we are all on, and begin at the beginning, where we all began, with doubt !