Ok! Ok! Maybe I never believed…
According to Webster’s Dictionary, faith is a “firm belief in something for which there is no proof.” I’ve always had issues with this definition of faith. How can one be “firm” in their beliefs when there is no proof? Isn’t this a bit naive? This definition encourages Christians to turn their brains off when it comes to what they believe and to simply accept it. There came a point in my journey when I could no longer “firmly” accept things I could not prove. As long as there was reasonable doubt, I may have still chosen to believe it, but it was not with a “firm belief.” According to James this made me a “double-minded man” and as a result I was “unstable in all my ways.”
But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways ( James 1:6-8 )
Lately I’ve been reflecting on some of the beliefs which consumed my doubts, and I wonder if I ever really believed them. If you want to solicit a passionate response from an ex-Christian, tell them that if they walked away from God, they never believed in the first place. I’ve seen this comment set off the meekest of individuals. However for me, it’s a question I continually ask myself. I have to admit that from my current world-view, I am many times astounded that I could actually hold to certain beliefs. I now search for clues to support the conclusion that maybe I never really believed.
For example, there are certain concepts that I never recall preaching such as the rapture, hell, the Garden of Eden & curse of the woman, Noah’s flood & the origin of the rainbow, the Tower of Babel & the origin of languages, the Exodus, the sin of homosexuality & the bigotry against gays, and a variety of other “truths.” Did I ever really believe these concepts? I am not so sure right now.
The line between doubt, faith, and beliefs is getting blurry, but I’m discovering that James was wrong – I am more stable now than I’ve ever been.
– The de-Convert