a feeling of uncertainty or lack of conviction.
Christianity is not merely a religion – it is a worldview. It is the philosophical framework that enables us make sense of all reality – all things that (are) matter and exist. Our faith should permeate every aspect of our lives. It ought to dictate how we view life and provide answers to questions such as:
- What is the essence of existence?
- Who am I?
- Why am I here?
- Why does evil and suffering exist?
- How should I live my life?
- What happens when I die?
However, we are often guilty of compartmentalising our faith which leads to evaluating Christianity through other worldviews. We encounter philosophies that challenge our faith and we don’t explore further. Not because we are convinced of the Christian stance but because there is this insidious fear that if we delve deeper, Christianity may not hold up. We bubble wrap our faith and act like it is something to be gazed at from a distance, to be handled with kid’s gloves for fear of breaking it. We treat Christianity like Porcelain crockery.
Christianity should be like that favourite mug you drink coffee, tea, garri and wine from! (Yes, we own wine glasses but there’s a certain je ne sais quoi that accompanies drinking from your favourite mug). It should be that lip balm / hair brush you carry everywhere. You see your favourite pair of grey jeans, you swear go with everything that were originally black? That’s the level of consistency required with our faith.
Allow your Christianity to shoot with you in the gym!
Word to Aubrey.
Yes, these are flawed analogies but you get the drift.
In Christian circles, doubt / questioning – much like sex – receives a Voldemort-esque reception; it mustn’t be named, explicitly discussed or alluded to. It appears that such uncouth dialogue is reserved for heathens, ‘searchers’, agnostics – or worse, baby Christians.
This is because Christians tend identify doubt and questioning with total unbelief – this isn’t always the case. Mark 9:24 presents us with a good example:
“Immediately the boy’s father exclaimed, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!”
Although expressed differently, doubt is a common experience for believers and heathens alike.
Some people wear their unwavering doubt as a badge of honour. Notable quotes include “Doubt everything. Find your own light” and “If you would be a real seeker after truth, it is necessary that at least once in our life you doubt, as far as possible, all things”. By their own admission, we must doubt their advice – which isn’t particularly helpful. Others, repress their doubts – discrediting these genuine concerns – building caricatured faith that cannot withstand hardship or interrogation.
Christianity is not a house of cards, do not be afraid to ask yourself:
- What do I believe?
- Why do I believe?
- What are the daily implications of my beliefs?
Doubt and questioning, especially in Christianity, is not synonymous with a complete absence of faith; Peter and Thomas’ lives demonstrate this perfectly – Peter believed in Jesus enough to start walking towards him on the lake but began to sink as soon fear set in (Matthew 14:25-31). Thomas, a disciple, did not believe Christ had appeared to the other disciples (after his death) until he experienced it himself (John 20:24-29).
There is the avenue for unbelief to grow stronger and resonate deeper, if we do not acknowledge them! We must unburden ourselves and take them to God with a contrite heart.
This may sound like a cop out, and oftentimes it is used as such, but read the bible and truly engage its content – this strengthens our faith. Ask God to enlightened the eyes of your heart to understand.
Also, seek out and speak to friends and people [insert discourse on discernment here] who can teach, encourage and pray for you. Seek out trusted materials that address tough and existential questions. Christian Apologetics are wonderfully useful! Get involved in it! As humans, we are head and heart; this applies in Christianity too. Apologetics doesn’t make our faith less authentic / organic – it makes it more robust!
Keep asking and I pray that as you seek out the truth, you will be satisfied by it.
“…that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”
Trust and believe that.
One thought on “Help My Unbelief”
Thanks Lola, for this beautiful “myth-buster”. Doubt and questioning can (and do) yield good fruits, more so with a God who is willing and able to help our unbelief.