Great Faith or Now I Feel Good

Posted: September 21, 2010 by Dorien in Dorien's Mind
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Karlskirche, Vienna. Fresco by Johann Michael ...

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Have you been living genuine faith?  Or have you been properly schooled in how to make yourself feel better about situations you cannot understand.  What if all of the miracles and good happenings that you believed would bless your life never happened because you ignored the possibility that they might not?

Most of us know that great acts of courage follow feelings of almost paralyzing fear.  This makes sense right?  One can’t show courage without first experiencing fear and then choosing to act anyway.  Without having to overcome fear, the act may still look courageous to those in observance, but the actor knows that his actions required less of him than the act itself.  Can we apply the same logic to other areas, namely faith?

Religious leaders teach that to believe in God is an exercise of faith (that makes sense), and that doubt is the enemy of faith.  Again, that seemingly makes sense.  They tell us that one can’t have faith in God if one has any doubt that God actually exists.  But if an act of courage requires the actor to experience and overcome fear, can faith be fully expressed without experiencing doubt and making a similar choice to “believe” anyway?  Can you exercise faith if you haven’t first come to the neutral place of doubt before choosing to either believe (have faith) or reject (show disbelief)?

Doubt is no more the opposite of faith than fear is the opposite of courage.  We cheer a hero’s bravery because we all know what it is to experience fear and the great fortitude required to act anyway.  This is why we are all so enamored with heroes.  Why then do we continue to teach people to ignore the doubt that is inherent in believing in something that we have not seen and that therefore requires faith in order to accept?  Having doubt that either God exists or that something miraculous is possible doesn’t weaken or threaten your faith.  These doubts are the normal result of a human mind that measures reality by what his five senses report back to him.  Recognizing that reality and choosing to live on hope ‘s substance and to find evidence in that which you cannot see is perhaps the single missing ingredient to our expressions of faith.  Perhaps the reason why we don’t see miracles anymore is because no one doubts that they are really possible.

  1. Ashley says:

    Very true. I’ve often thought that my doubting was somehow interfering with my faith in Jesus. I’ve come to realize that when you doubt you find answers an those answers strengthen my faith in Jesus. With the things that have happened to me in Jesus name most would think I wouldn’t have the faith I do in Jesus but, I questioned and found answers and it resulted in me understanding that there is no condemnation for those who love the Lord.

    • Dorien says:

      I love questions! I question everything and have found that God is much bigger than I ever believed. Consequently, my faith has become bigger than it ever was before. People of faith shouldn’t be afraid of doubt. Doubt is natural not antithetical to faith. By acknowledging your doubts you are required to make decisions about what you believe and to “own” your faith. When you consciously make a decision to believe, you are exercising faith.
      Keep asking questions Ashley. I invite you to keep reading this blog, my sister and I will continue to share our questions with you. Thanks for reading and replying!

  2. Amy says:

    I agree, but there is a major caveat. This process is not a safe one. It does not inherently lead you back to where you started from. So much of this process is a refining one, a casting off of the unnecessary trappings of an overly formulated practice. This process of doubt and response, when fully engaged, can strip you down to only the bare necessities of faith. Doing that is almost guaranteed to ostracize you from other people afraid to doubt. All the other options involve hiding from yourself and from God. I have learned the hard way that doubt, for those who are afraid to engage it, is something to be squashed, suppressed, and rejected. So fair warning: by engaging in this, your faith will forever be changed. This will terrify some people. And as we know, scared people are not known for their kindness.

    • Dorien says:

      The reason we started this blog is because our faith has changed in dramatic ways already. We began questioning and re-evaluating religion, faith, and all that was taught to us and what is still taught to many long ago. In this blog, you will be able to engage us in our thoughts, questions, and theories on how God has been made (by all religions) into a small, predictable, and often times hateful version of Himself. How man has chosen to define, with absolute certainty, the very nature and mind of God and how that has led to untold suffering, fear, and ultimately a great misunderstanding of God and a terrible attitude towards God’s creation. While we may have answers of our own to a lot of the questions we have, we want this blog to be a forum to jump start a conversation that is forbidden in many religious circles. We are not afraid of questions or other peoples fear of them. This will be fun and I’m glad you are engaging with us. Spread the word. One of us will have a very interesting post for tomorrow!

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