In a way, I’m surprised at how popular (more blog views) my posts about doubt get, like my previous post. And in many other posts on what I find are really interesting topics that I think I’ll get some good discussion end up getting very few views and zero comments/discussion. It’s been very consistent like that.
I also get some people who respond personally to me who make it seem like what I’m going through is really concerning and uncommon. I’d like to think that there are plenty of people out there who share the same feelings and thoughts that I’ve shared, or if they were actually honest with themselves and stopped wearing their masks and believing that everything is just dandy, they could perhaps relate. I don’t think that what I expressed should be shocking at all. Consider Paul, who’s writings in the New Testament are so crucial to our understanding of the faith. Romans 7, especially 14-25, is Paul writing about his own experience of the conflict within, which shares similarities to what I have written about.
I haven’t done any research on this, but I’m willing to bet that there is a severe lack of honesty and introspection in the church today. I’m well aware from personal experience, and talking with many others, that the church is full of hurting and doubting people that never express any of that from behind the “everything is perfect and great” masks that they wear and display to cover up the junk. At the church I went to years ago, I felt like a total alien when I started expressing my doubt and difficulties with the faith. I found virtually nobody that seemed to be able to relate or give me something other than the deer-in-the-headlights look or a quick awkward answer of “well, you just need to read your Bible and pray.” With nobody expressing doubt and having helpful conversations about it, the church is losing it’s ability to know how to handle these issues.
To any of you out there that are not completely honest about how you feel, honest about your doubts, honest about things that are tough for you, honest about your sin, etc., I encourage you to throw away the masks and the lies. It was the best thing I’ve ever done. Yes, it can be extremely awkward at first, and your Christian friends and family may have no idea what to do with you. But don’t let that stop you. It is so freeing to just be honest and put it all out there. It’s really the only way you’ll grow in the ways you need most, and it’s the only way that it will allow anyone else to properly help you. It’s a tough road to travel, but worth it.
As I have clearly stated in my previous post, it certainly hasn’t made my faith in God easy. It is in fact much more difficult than it ever was, but I trust it’s for good reason. It feels real this time. I’m real with God, and I expect him to be real with me. I’m brutally honest with him. And while it seems more difficult, it’s far more realistic and intimate. I have the knowledge that God knows absolutely everything there is to know about me, but it’s another thing to actually feel it, knowing I’ve got nothing to hide from him.
Adam and Eve tried to hide, pointlessly, in the garden, but God knew exactly where they were and what they were thinking. They tried to play it off with him, and Adam even blamed Eve over it. Instead of beating around the bush or engaging in small talk, he got right to the truth and gave them the consequences for their actions. God only works in truth, so it only makes sense that we should deal with him and others in truth as well.