On April 11, 1986 I arrived at Fort Benning’s “Welcome Center” for Army Basic Training. I was immediately briefed on what I was allowed to bring with me to my company (and it wasn’t much). There would be dire consequences for being caught with anything prohibited. We were then given the opportunity to enter a room and anonymously dispose of anything we wanted to. We were all very thankful for the fact that we had that chance.
In many things, there is safety in anonymity. Whether it’s a call-in show on talk radio, recovery from addiction, or the safe disposal of toxic substances, anonymity offers protection – of one’s reputation or one’s freedom.
The church is often called a “community of faith.” This very title presupposes that everyone who participates is a person of faith. As Christians, we have faith in many different things: That God exists, that God hears and answers prayer, that there is a reason for evil and suffering, that the Bible is true and trustworthy, and that life has purpose and meaning.
However, to be human means to have doubts. Faith can be shaken. In fact, doubt often coexists alongside faith. That is, we have reasons to believe and reasons to doubt the very same thing.
In his book, Reaching for the Invisible God, Philip Yancey writes: “The church at its best prepares a safe and secure space that belief may one day fill; we need not bring fully formed belief to the door, as a ticket for admission.” Jesus himself honored the faith of everyone who asked, from the bold centurion to doubting Thomas, healing a man who brought his son to him and said, “I do believe! Help my unbelief” (Mark 9:24).
For the month of January extending into early February, we’re going to be tackling some of the topics that produce doubt. How can I know God exists? Why is there evil and suffering? How can I know the Bible is true? What is the purpose of life?
Come and join us as we as a community of faith seek greater understanding. All are welcome – and safe to ask all your questions!
Seeking Jesus, Serving Others