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I once was (pretty) blind, but now I see (better). Part 2

Tuesday, December 21, 2010 View Comments Comments (0)

It was with fear and trembling that I realized that I had questions about the teaching that had been presented to me as the “true Christian faith.”  It was even more troubling when I began to have doubts.  In the religious training of my childhood and youth, it was of absolute importance to believe exactly the right things.  Everything was true or false, black or white.  If you questioned or doubted any segment of belief, then your whole faith would crumble into a pile of rubble.  Questions or doubts were the devil’s way of destroying your chance of heaven and enlisting you in his legions of evildoers.  While some might call it blind belief, unquestioning belief was the only sure path that would lead to eternal bliss.  In its most extreme form, this can lead people to mistrust not only science, but history, and other branches of education and lead to an anti-intellectual and anti-education position.

Having questions and then doubts greatly troubled me.  I was, frankly, scared.  I was sure that my immortal soul and my eternal destination were at stake.  Only gradually did it begin to occur to me that dealing with my questions and my doubts could lead me deeper into faith, could broaden my understanding, and make my relationship with God stronger.  It isn’t a perfect comparison, but it was something like the difference between an arranged marriage determined by my parents and having a friendship that deepened into love and marriage.

I think I used to understand faith as digital – you either had it or you didn’t.  Some people saw baptism as a switch in life that flipped you from “damned” to “saved.”  Others would tell me that I had to have a discreet extra-sensory experience of the Holy Spirit to be “born-again” which would sort of flip me from “off” to “on” in some spiritual way.  But I have come to see my spiritual life as a journey, a continuing growth rather than a specific moment. 


How is your journey going?


Mike Lamm


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