The Opposite of Faith


I stumbled upon this blog post yesterday.  I have been chewing on it since then, and thinking of my own version of “What Doesn’t Kill You”.

I certainly don’t feel stronger for all the trials we have experienced.  In fact, in many ways I feel broken.  As I’ve let my mind wander on this topic, it settled on a video that I watched as a group devotional once upon a time, and long since forgotten. I dug it up on the internet, and am plopping it here for your reference.

Now I am going to attempt to write out how my mind is weaving this all together.

Much of my life I have confused faith and certainty. I’ve convinced myself that in order to follow Christ that I had to embrace a certain set of beliefs that align with the brand of Christianity I grew up with.  It fit comfortably for a long time, so I saw no need to question it, until suddenly I couldn’t not question it.

While I don’t remember all of the details, one of the things that ignited my metamorphosis was a Bible study in which we were discussing the book of Job.  I pointed out that Job is, in fact, an epic poem, and that most scholars believe that a human being who lived the actual story of Job never actually existed.  When questioned, I pointed the other participants to the introduction of the book in their personal Bibles.  Even when reading in black and white the history and description of the book, several of the women were loath to believe it, declaring that they would cling to their belief in an actual human Job rather than wrapping their minds around something different than their unquestioned assumption.  They made a deliberate choice to disregard evidence that opposed their belief and embraced the belief that had been disproved.

I couldn’t shake the experience, and it became a catalyst for a paradigm shift.  I didn’t want to avoid changing my beliefs just because they fit like my favorite pair of slippers.

I kept my quest well hidden for some time, but as it burgeoned it became impossible to disguise.  I was so bought in to my faith that it’s evolution was quite noticeable.

I’d like to think of it as an epic saga.  Just as when Bilbo picked up the ring of power he had no idea what he was getting into, so my own admission that my certainty wasn’t actually faith has taken me on an adventure I never intended, one which I am still in the midst of.

I am allowing myself to be real, uncomfortably real. To say that even though this road was thrust upon me, I am unable to turn back, to unthink the thoughts, to unquestion the questions.  Even so the poignancy of living into the life that Christ taught, of bringing shalom to chaos is as much a part of me as it ever was.

I will embrace doubt as it cohabits with faith, knowing that doubt doesn’t oppose my faith, only certainty does that.

I am confident that the death of the tomato, in Rob’s words, is a lifegiving death.


One thought on “The Opposite of Faith

  1. I understand your statement that you will”embrace doubt as it cohabits with faith.”
    I have gone through some changes during my life, that have made me realize that I could not be certain about every thing I was taught. There is so much that we assume has been interpreted properly, but also so much that human minds can only try to understand. However, I do think there are things that I am certain about, that makes my faith strong. I am certain about Jesus diety, sacrificial death, and resurrection. These certain truths make it possible for me to have hope after losing my entire birth family, and to trust God during the difficulties I experience with my loved ones now.

    I would like to hear your thoughts about this. Did I misinterpret what you were saying?


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