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    Your Experiences With Doubt

    Paeter
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    Your Experiences With Doubt Empty Your Experiences With Doubt

    Post  Paeter on June 4th 2019, 12:56 pm

    At the end of the month I have an opportunity to be a guest on a prominent secular geek's podcast to talk about my faith. (Keeping details under wraps until the recording is finished, but I'll spill the beans publicly soon after we record! Stay tuned in July!) The topic I've chosen, and that he has accepted, is "What It's Like To Be A Life-long Doubting Christian".

    That may sound more controversial than it actually is. As you hopefully understand, I'm not living some double-life of secret doubts, teaching from the Bible every week while secretly not believing in it. Instead, I'll be talking about the seasons of doubt throughout my life that have led to questioning and studying and searching for answers. I'll also share about my continuing tendency toward worry in general, which causes numerous irrational "what ifs" to pop in and out of my mind all the time, some of which are still related to my faith.

    I know that for many Christians, nagging doubts are not a problem. My wife is one of those who just doesn't "get" my fear of eternity, and is also content to dismiss any doubts about God's existence without researching answers to the associated intellectual questions. If you're one of those folks who just doesn't seem wired to wonder or think or worry about any of your beliefs, then... well, I was going to say "congratulations", but not ever having any doubts or questions about your beliefs comes with its own set of problems.

    If, however, you have experienced either seasons of doubt, or an ongoing status quo of feeling doubt, I'd love to hear about your experience. I know that I'm not alone in the doubts I sometimes feel, and I thought it might be nice to share (without mentioning your name) examples of doubts that are experienced by other Christians I know.

    My hope is that the conversation in the interview will convey the truth that a person does not need to resolve all doubts about Christianity before making the choice to at least trust in Jesus.

    I'd also be interested in hearing from you if you remember not being a Christian, and specifically about the role that genuine intellectual doubts did or didn't play in keeping you from belief.

    Again, any anecdotes I share from here in the upcoming interview will omit your name. I'd love for you guys to be a part of this great opportunity I have to share grace and truth with a guy I really care about and a large audience of non-Christians!


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    Changer4
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    Your Experiences With Doubt Empty Re: Your Experiences With Doubt

    Post  Changer4 on June 5th 2019, 4:38 pm

    I've only once sincerely doubted God's existence, and that was years ago. It was a terrible time in my life and I count myself blessed that the self-same doubt has not resurfaced.

    General doubts and anxiety do still afflict me erratically, and in the weeks following Easter this year were very profound. Sometimes these can come from a new attack on a particular doctrine or argument that I had once found sound. Many times this happened during my Philosophy of Religion class this year, where I had to face objections to the Teleological, Kalam, and Historical Arguments that I had yet to face. Thankfully, careful study of the Blackwell Companion to Natural Theology was able to re convince me of the strength of these arguments, and even give me a new respect for the Leibnizian Cosmological Argument which I had previously ignored.

    My recent anxiety last month, though mostly resolved by now, was by contrast due to a doubt that I had failed to produce adequate fruits and that my faith my not be saving. I had been neglecting the duty of charity to the poor despite have the finances to do so, and had been struggling with a masturbation addiction, both of which I believe aggravated my sense of shame. Looking back with a clear head, I think that these sins were distorting my perception of God's work in my life and causing me to doubt his saving grace more than necessary. I have thankfully not been lax in resuming charitable giving and am close to two months masturbation free (thank God), but I do hope to be able to avoid the temptation to arrogance which is no doubt the Enemy's plan b if his carnal methods don't pan out.


    Feel free to use any of this Paeter, assuming I actually gave you what you were looking for.
    Paeter
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    Your Experiences With Doubt Empty Re: Your Experiences With Doubt

    Post  Paeter on June 7th 2019, 9:48 am

    Changer4 wrote:

    Feel free to use any of this Paeter, assuming I actually gave you what you were looking for.

    Thank you so much for your openness.


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    AGoodReed
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    Your Experiences With Doubt Empty Re: Your Experiences With Doubt

    Post  AGoodReed on June 8th 2019, 4:25 am

    Changer4 wrote:My recent anxiety last month, though mostly resolved by now, was by contrast due to a doubt that I had failed to produce adequate fruits and that my faith my not be saving.

    From my time in youth group to this very day, I've constantly been in doubt about if my faith is the saving kind. I don't see a lot of fruit in my life. I recognize a lot of sins I've committed, but I don't feel like I'm able to take them as seriously as I should. I rarely feel like I'm praying the right way. I never hear an audible voice from God, nor do I regularly see things happening that I can unequivocally say are God's providence.

    I rarely, if ever, doubt the existence of God anymore, but I often doubt if Christ's righteousness has been imparted to me. The thing is, I don't know if there's some unforgiven sin on my part that I'm just not letting go of (or don't know about), or if God is intentionally staying silent with me to see if I'll stay faithful, or if I need to pray and fast more to open up my spiritual eyes, or what. Part of the reason I even came to this country was to put myself in a vulnerable position, thinking that trials would finally remove the scale from my eyes, but I still feel about the same.

    Personally, I think I need a spiritual coach or mentor of some sort, but I've just been too shy to ask anybody.

    Let me end with a more positive story of dealing with doubt: I remember a day during my college years (or after?) where I was sitting in my room, thinking. I had a whim to just abandon Christianity and belief in God altogether and was pondering what that would look like for my life. But then I started thinking about all my Christian friends who showed so much fruit, and the only conclusion I could come to was, "How could these people be wrong?" Since then, I don't know if I've ever been able to seriously consider the case for atheism.
    Paeter
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    Your Experiences With Doubt Empty Re: Your Experiences With Doubt

    Post  Paeter on June 10th 2019, 11:11 am

    AGoodReed wrote:
    Changer4 wrote:My recent anxiety last month, though mostly resolved by now, was by contrast due to a doubt that I had failed to produce adequate fruits and that my faith my not be saving.

    From my time in youth group to this very day, I've constantly been in doubt about if my faith is the saving kind.

    I don't want to derail this thread, because I'd rather it stay on the topic of people sharing their experiences with doubt. But regarding this specific doubt, I'd invite both of you to consider the "Free Grace" position, which is very relevant to what you're both feeling about your salvation. For more info you can check out FaithAlone.org


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