We all face questions that are difficult to answer. Sometimes they’re simple questions like, “What should we eat for dinner?” Other times they’re more complex, like “What do I do if I’m questioning Christianity?” If you’re working through your beliefs, we think you’ll really like this excerpt from the Bible Plan, Permission to Doubt.
Let’s explore some reasons we might have really deep spiritual doubts. Most of us, because of the broken nature of our world, have some ideas about Christianity that aren’t consistent with who Jesus revealed Himself to be. Our mistaken ideas can sometimes be rooted in miscommunication from well-meaning Christian leaders. Confusion can arise when a leader’s teaching changes over time and we don’t catch up with helpful course corrections along the way.
Unfortunately, sometimes these inconsistent portrayals of who Jesus is and what He’s like can involve situations of spiritual abuse. People or systems can abuse their power and position to take advantage of others. This is not okay. God hurts with you when you experience this kind of pain and confusion.
Because of our complicated and imperfect world, it’s likely that we might find ourselves doing more than crying out to God as we’re drowning. Sometimes, we’ll need to take apart the bad ideas, false conceptions, and ugly beliefs that distort our understanding of God and what it means to be a Christian.
Jesus shows us that it’s okay to question the beliefs and ideas we have that don’t seem to add up to truth about Him. During His Sermon on the Mount, He reminded the people that He wasn’t trying to get rid of the laws of the Old Testament. Instead, He was bringing clarity to the laws that had been twisted or misunderstood.
One law that Jesus clarified was how we are to love those around us.
“You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you …” Matthew 5:43-44 NIV
And it wasn’t just love for our neighbors and enemies that Jesus explained. He also talked about marriage, handling anger, making promises, and much more. He took the time to break down false human traditions, erroneous teachings, and wrong ideas that didn’t reflect God’s loving intentions accurately.
When we acknowledge the tension between what we’ve believed or been taught about Jesus and what we actually find out about Jesus in the Bible, we’re able to learn more about God, and to see Him more clearly.
Don’t let this tension drive you away. Instead, let it draw you in as you evaluate your beliefs. Are the things you’re questioning true? Do they look like Jesus? Do they make you more like Jesus?
Take these questions to God and trust that He’ll begin to show you His answers.
Pray: God, thank You for showing me that it’s okay to ask big questions about my faith. Please show me anything that I’m believing that’s distorting my view of You and what it means to be a Christian. In Jesus’ name, amen.