Questions and doubts about faith, about God, or about what we’re doing every week are a normal part of working out our faith. Unfortunately, there seems to be a stigma regarding doubt and questioning, and the church has inherited a poor reputation for being heavy handed with people who want to ask difficult questions.
Where the church has been inflexible with people who are having doubts or asking hard questions, it has failed to provide an environment where its people can grow in faith through that doubt and with those questions.
There is a story in the Gospels where one of the disciples, Thomas, doubts that Jesus has indeed been raised from the dead. When his fellow disciples told him of Jesus’ resurrection, Thomas had asked to see proof that Jesus had been raised; he wanted to see Jesus’ scars before he would believe it was really him. Rather than rebuke him or exclude him for his doubt, Jesus joins the disciples, including Thomas, for a meal in their usual spot. Jesus approached Thomas, showed him the scars in his hands, feet, and side – the exact thing Thomas needed to see in order to believe.
When the church has not allowed space for doubt and questions, it has not followed the lead of Jesus, who meets those questions and doubts, not with judgment or a demand for immediate compliance, but rather with the very thing needed.
We hope to be a community where these questions and doubts are met with respect, deep, honest conversation, and a community that bears witness to the presence of Christ among us.