For some of us, we have been taught that faith is something psychological, that it is about an intellectual assent. Therefore, we tend to assume the more certain you are, the more stronger faith is.
If we are part of the world that makes certainty a virtue, then it's only natural that doubt becomes a vice. And that, unfortunately, fans into flame a desire for people to strive for certainty – to pursue the virtue and run from the vice.
Yet, here's the crux: certainty is a form of idolatry. Instead of worshiping God, we worship our certainty about particular beliefs. The things we are certain about become the focus of our faith instead of God.
For some, when our faiths are threatened, our brains’ hardwiring for fight or flight kicks in; in its simplest form, narrow-mindedness actually protects ourselves from negative feelings. When we receive input that supports our beliefs, it creates pleasure. When we receive input that challenges our beliefs, it creates tension. In other words, we love it and it feels good or we hate it when we are challenged. Perhaps, we have a propensity towards narrow-mindedness, toward being around people who say things that we like to hear. To not being challenged. To not rocking our internal boats. However, faith was never supposed to be about what's going on between your ears. Faith is supposed to be about what we're willing to commit to.
A good book to read prior to our gathering is Peter Enns' book The Sin of Certainty!
ABOUT OUR CURRENT SERIES ON DOUBT:
The Webster's definition of doubt is: "to be uncertain about something; be undecided in opinion or belief."1 Some synonyms for "doubt" include: apprehension, confusion, disbelief, lack of confidence, misgiving, mistrust, quandary, skepticism, suspicion, uncertainty, and reluctance. Do you recognize any of these in your life right now? If you do, you are in the right place as you begin this video series.
At Aerator, we aren't afraid to doubt and are convinced that questions and uncertainty are a central element of a vibrant and transforming faith. We believe that mystery is one of the most central ingredients of faith. We respect that our questions don't lead us down a slippery slope where we lose our faith completely but rather to a deeper and more meaningful relationship with God that is built not on certainty and blind obedience but on honesty, vulnerability, and trust.