Christianity is the easiest religion to doubt. In fact, I think I would go as far to say followers of Christ doubt their faith more than followers of any other God. I have spoken about this previously in a slightly different context, but I think this idea will help alleviate some of the problems associated with the vast number of people who believe that they can no longer maintain their faith with integrity. There is reason for your doubt, and in some ways it is very understandable.
The “easiness” of doubt concerning Christianity is not difficult to understand when you think about it. I mean . . . after all . . . there is just so much to doubt. Wait a moment. I don’t think I put that down well. You are most certianly hearing something different than what I am saying. Let’s go in this direction: the less you know, the easier it is to believe. Or, maybe you have heard it this way: ignorance is bliss. Now, let me unpack some of this.
My God expects so much. My God reveals so much. My God is so much. Faith is easy when it is one-dimentional. If my faith were simply a bunch of rules to be kept, it would be simple. If my faith were just a basic philosophy about truth, knowledge and wisdom, there would be no problem. If my faith were about some distant God who did not get his hands dirty with mankind, I think I would often be more at ease. If my God hadn’t loved me so much that he died for me, I would not raise an eyebrow. Had my God stayed silent and not written such an extensive book, I would have experienced much less intellectual anxiety. However, it is precisely because of these things that my faith suffers such challenges. When we suffer from over-exposure to the sun, we frequently get burned.
Let me put it another way . . .
Relationships are easy so long as we keep our distance. I know many of you, but I only know you well enough to continue to like and trust you. As long as our relationship stays distant, we are going to get along fine. But the moment I get to know you too well (and vice-versa) is the moment I begin to have problems. Add to this the expectations we anticipate in our relationship. Then things really begin to fall apart. I don’t want you to have any responsibilities toward me, nor me toward you. In that way, we cannot let each other down. I want us to have one of “those” kinds of relationships. You know: the kind that works! That’s what makes the relationship with your hair stylist so much easier than the one with your spouse—it stays one-dimensional.
Christianity does not offer to us a one-dimensional faith. God calls on us to love Him with our heart, mind, and strength (Luke 10:27; Matt. 22:37). We are to be emotionally engaged with Him, intellectually engaged with Him, and willfully engaged with Him. God does not want some distant hair-stylist relationship. He does not want you to be ignorant of Him and His ways. He does not want to make things easy through giving you a minimal number of expectations. Furthermore, He cares deeply about how you feel about Him. Add all of this up, and you have a recipe for disaster. You have assimilated the perfect ingredients for doubt.
If you were a Muslim, God keeps everything about Himself against his chest. He is a distant ruler. In deistic philosophy, God does not bother to engage with humanity and does not care about our love. In Mormonism, God just wants us to close our eyes and believe with the “burning in the bosom.” In just about all Eastern religions, God is an impersonal force one with which one could hardly get angry. In these and every other option beside Christianity, God is far enough away for us stay safe. Simply put: doubt is much harder because there is not too much to doubt.
Christianity, on the other hand, is all-together different. We have resource reference which provide us with incredible knowledge of God. He tells us who He is, what He is like, and what His future plans are. He cares so much about our knowledge and understanding of Him that he became incarnate. He says He is always with us, even when we can’t feel Him. He says His love protects us even when we don’t see it. He does not hide from the terrible pain and suffering of this world by either denying its existence or claiming to be “hands-off” to anything hurtful. He says He is right in the middle of it, able to control it, yet, more often than not, failing to stop it. He allows the rawness of our emotions to be seen in books like the Psalms and Lamentations, but does not take away the sorrow. He allows us to be confused by His actions as we see in the book of Job and Romans 9; and, does not feel compelled to give us an answer. He gave us a peak behind the curtain of creation, but just enough for us to be left with ten-thousand questions He does not intend to answer. He gives us the drive to think deeply about all matters of life, yet does not take away this drive when we are riddled with sin (Eccl.). He calls on us to be perfect even though He knows we cannot be (Matt. 5:48). All of these things He does, even though He knows that they bring with them the possibility of more doubt? Why? Because they also bring with them the possibility of deeper belief.
Following my God is not easy. He calls on us to have a holistic faith. He does not want a trivial relationship that fails to get into quite a few wrestling matches. Previously, I said that Christianity is the most falsifiable religion there is. Of course, this does not mean that Christianity is not true. It just means that it exposes itself to the possibility of being wrong, precisely because it is right. It is the same here. God exposes himself to the possibility of doubt due to the fact that He is not hiding behind a curtain, wanting some distant relationship. If it is your desire to doubt less, go to one of the other religions out there. Everything about them is so obscured, it is hard to find anything to doubt. But my God, the God of Christianity, stands at the door and knocks, ever desiring to sit down with us, reasons with us, reveals Himself to us, gives us directions, commands, and guidance, even though all of these things could cause you to doubt more substantially. Why? Because, in a nutshell, all of these things give us the ability to believe more holistically.