1/11/15 Ramon about 40
“…the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind” James1:6 Often in my outreach conversations I meet such doubters – people who seem to be on the fence between their identity as Christians and their secular doubts. As a result they are lukewarm in their faith – thinking they should be on fire for the Lord but held back from stepping out on faith by their doubts. Ramon, whom I reached out to while grocery shopping, would fall in this category. Initially when I asked about his beliefs about eternal life, he shrugged his shoulders, saying “who knows?” So I was surprised to find out later in our conversation that he has been a regular attender at another of my own church’s locations for seven years. “But I’ve been attending less and less” he said, “I just have all these doubts, like why are there so many bad things happening in the world, and what about what all the scientists are saying, like about evolution?” We talked about some of these issues for a while, but Ramon’s doubts seemed to keep him from hearing what I was telling him. In the end I think the best advice I could give him was my own approach to these questions. “I’ve had to work through all these questions myself, and the answers weren’t easy and didn’t come right away. But God isn’t afraid of our honest questions, if we are willing to be patient and diligent in seeking the truth on God’s time frame rather than our own. In the end, we have to work with the small amount of faith we do have, and trust that the answers will come if we are willing to give God and the Bible the benefit of the doubt in the meantime.” I gave Ramon a book on apologetics, and he was excited to read it. So why doesn’t Ramon’s church fill this need in his life? I do believe churches need to make more resources available in the different areas of apologetics, especially in our increasingly secular culture. But I’m not so sure apologetics has a place in our regular Sunday morning worship. It doesn’t help to answer questions people aren’t asking, and everyone is at different places in dealing with their doubts. Better to focus on the truths of the Bible, while providing apologetics resources and encouraging people to wrestle with their doubts rather than just trying to ignore them.