Thursday, June 02, 2005

Doubt as Proof of God

A pondering that is a little bit off my normal topic and which was inspired by a reaction I had while reading during lunch today.

Have you ever been reading something or just thinking in general about the profound aspects of Christianity and have a very brief wave of doubt sweep over you? For example, your thinking about the magnitude of God, God before time, omniscient God, omnipresent God--really letting the complete infinity of God sink in, while at the same time realizing that you truly believe these things and believe in God's existence. And, when all these considerations start coming together, when you almost grasp it and your heart is saying yes, yes, a wave of doubt washes over you. Your brain blurts out, "this is just too fantastic. Does this really make sense? I cannot comprehend this, can it be true?"

Or, your reading scripture or someone's writing about Christ, considering what His sacrifice really meant, what it did, how it worked, and you are becoming emotional about grace while the deep realities of Christ are beginning to gel in your brain--and all of sudden questioning and doubt sweep in. Have you ever experienced this?

There are two unique aspects about these questions and doubts that are important to the consideration I am going to raise. One, they are a sudden, 180 degree shift from the thoughts and feelings you were having at the moment they occurred. Second, they are not lingering nor lasting. They may be the exact same questions and doubts that one has during a crisis of faith, but they are not manifested as such at the moment. You can quickly push them aside with a, "yes I do believe, I don't necessarily comprehend it, but I believe and I am not getting bogged down with any of those issues right now."

Well, I had one of those moments today. The episode was slightly different than other times in the fact that I immediately thought, "Where in the world did not those thoughts come from? Man, right out of left field. My heart and mind weren't anywhere near those issues." Once I asked myself where they came from an answer in the form of a question occurred. Could they have come from Satan? Was I under attack? Was he trying to influence me at that moment? A definite Screwtape Letters consideration.

I then proceeded to the next logical thought. If I assume, for the sake of argument of course, that is the case then it indicates that I was going down a path the enemy did not like. That means my understanding and the belief I was professing is correct or least in the right direction. Also, if Satan is real, so is God. All this is real (surreal if you like) proof that God exists.

Wow! All of a sudden I am taking comfort from doubts. If they are inflicted by Satan, then they are proof of God and Christ. I found the whole process somewhat exhilarating. Am I off my rocker?



Amanda said...

I don't think you're off your rocker. I think you're probably right on.

Thanks for sharing.

Tony Arnold said...

I really appreciate you Amanda. I think you are the only one that reads this blog--sign of a warped mind.


JMG said...

Just found your blog from your comment at Preston's.

Boy, I'm glad I'm not the only one having little nagging doubts. For me the doubts are a good thing, though, because they make me want to really examine why I believe what I believe, and that examination helps to solidify it for me, if that makes sense.

I like your blog. I'll come back and read more.

Clarissa said...

I have doubts sometimes ... but not so much of God's existence as for his reason for creating this world. Sometimes I feel like we're all just part of a vast SimCity type game that God is playing for fun. My limited mind just can't come up with a logical reason why else he made this world, other than for his own amusement. He didn't NEED the world, or anything in it.

Don't think that way all the time ... but I think it's okay to admit that sometimes I do.

Tony Arnold said...

JMG, thanks so much. I look forward to the visits.


I think it is very important to admit things that trouble us or confuse, it is even more important to have dialogue about them among the Christian community. How else can we deal with them. So many come to a crisis of faith at some point in their life. Open dialogue prior to a crisis might prevent such an ordeal. We are all in this together.

Thanks for the discussion. Maybe some others will post concerning why God created the world.