Is faith compatible with doubt?

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  1. Dr CHE Sadaphal profile image74
    Dr CHE Sadaphalposted 2 years ago

    Is faith compatible with doubt?

    I am a Christian and familiar with that tradition, but I am also curious what members of other religions say about reconciling belief with doubt.

    My only request is that when answering this question is that you provide support from whatever you consider to be an authoritative book/text.

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  2. dashingscorpio profile image88
    dashingscorpioposted 2 years ago

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    Faith is to {believe} without worrying/knowing about (how) or (when).
    If "doubt' is present that means faith isn't solidly in place.

    1. Dr CHE Sadaphal profile image74
      Dr CHE Sadaphalposted 2 years agoin reply to this

      What do you think of Peter in Matthew 14:28-33? Seemingly he had two co-existing conditions: a "little bit of faith" that cried out to Christ to save him and doubt that focused on the storm and not the Lord.

    2. dashingscorpio profile image88
      dashingscorpioposted 2 years agoin reply to this

      Matthew 17:20
      "...If ye have faith as {a grain of mustard seed}, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove..." Apparently a (little faith) goes a long way!

    3. Dr CHE Sadaphal profile image74
      Dr CHE Sadaphalposted 2 years agoin reply to this

      Indeed.

    4. profile image57
      Norine Williamsposted 2 years agoin reply to this

      Re: Peter: He did not "keep his eyes of JESUS!"  Heb 12:2 Looking unto JESUS the authority & finisher of our "FAITH"...  When we take our eyes off JESUS, we will experience what Peter did - FAILURE!

    5. Blessed Hill profile image76
      Blessed Hillposted 2 years agoin reply to this

      Peter didn't fail, he walked on water! He stumbled. How do you suppose Peter got back to the boat once Jesus had lifted him up? For someone to walk progress has to be made. It's not written but I think him and Jesus walked hand in hand bck 2 da boat

    6. Dr CHE Sadaphal profile image74
      Dr CHE Sadaphalposted 2 years agoin reply to this

      I agree. There were disciples (plural) in the boat yet only one (Peter) ventured out. He is the only one who took a step toward Christ. A step of faith to be celebrated given the universal fallibility of human nature.

    7. profile image57
      Norine Williamsposted 2 years agoin reply to this

      The "moral" of the Story "DON'T TAKE YOUR EYES OFF JESUS-OR FAILURE" if not but for an instance!  Yes JESUS will not leave us but allows us to experience failure (which stems from "doubt") if not but for a second!

    8. Blessed Hill profile image76
      Blessed Hillposted 2 years agoin reply to this

      With Jesus as my Lord there is no failure. He always causes me to triumph, He has made me more than an overcomer, with Him I have the victory. Read the end of the book, with Him we have already won!

  3. Blessed Hill profile image76
    Blessed Hillposted 2 years ago

    My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing. If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he  is  a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways. James 1:2-8
    Faith and doubt are like oil and water, they don't mix. From a believing in Christ point of view, I either have faith that Jesus has redeemed me or not. But I can believe in redemption and have doubt concerning whether or not God will heal me of cancer. My doubt will not cancel out my salvation, I just won't enjoy the fullness of the gift he has made available to me. So according to the scripture above you cannot have faith and doubt concerning anything God has made available, they counteract each other.
    Romans says faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God. So we will be in a state of doubt and unbelief in an area until we hear and continue to hear what the Word of God says concerning that matter. When faith comes doubt is obliterated. This is a lifetime of transformation from doubt to faith and we grow in the revelation of His amazing grace. Hope that makes sense or faith.

    1. Dr CHE Sadaphal profile image74
      Dr CHE Sadaphalposted 2 years agoin reply to this

      "I either have faith that Jesus has redeemed me or not." I agree because as John 3:16 makes clear, we are saved by grace through faith. It's not faith with, just faith IN Jesus. The Bible qualifies faith only as the limiting reagent in salvation.

    2. profile image57
      Norine Williamsposted 2 years agoin reply to this

      Jn 3:16?  U meant Eph 2:8-9?
      What is this "limiting reagent?"  Sounds scientific?

  4. Ericdierker profile image44
    Ericdierkerposted 2 years ago

    I was teaching bible study with a group of pre-teens and teens. I just simply asked the dozen or so "do any of you have doubts about Jesus?"
    Not one hand went up except for mine.
    John 20:29 Jesus said to him, “Thomas, because you have seen Me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” (and this was said after Thomas insisted on touching the wounds before he would believe)
    Just fantastic for those who were just kind of born with unquestionable faith. But then again there is danger in such a notion as we are far removed from that Thomas encounter. Following blindly based on traditions and strict reading of the Word is not good.
    Doubt spurs on the quest for further understanding. Doubt is a separation from God which requires renewal and effort for us to return home with God. As with troubles we face this is a strengthening of our direct relationship with God.
    Doubt is not only compatible with faith it is in fact a part of it. Give me doubt so that I can overcome it. As with courage, it is only really there when we have faced a fear and overcome it. If we were born perfect in faith we would not appreciate it's splendor.

    1. Dr CHE Sadaphal profile image74
      Dr CHE Sadaphalposted 2 years agoin reply to this

      I don't think doubt is a once-and-for-all static phenomenon, but progressive (up or down) over time. So I agree that entertaining doubt forces you to scrutinize your faith. That process produces faith stronger than it was before.

    2. profile image57
      Norine Williamsposted 2 years agoin reply to this

      Be it "(up or down)!"

      Education "kills!"

    3. Ericdierker profile image44
      Ericdierkerposted 2 years agoin reply to this

      Norine that captures you perspective in a nutshell. But you must be dead to the Lord as you have been taught by seminary if I am not mistaken.

    4. profile image57
      Norine Williamsposted 2 years agoin reply to this

      Not "dead "TO" the LORD," but dead "IN" the LORD & HIS WORD when "taught" by seminaries who have "perverted the gospel of CHRIST," not serving GOD!

  5. manatita44 profile image84
    manatita44posted 2 years ago

    Yes, they go together. Everything has a beginning and the spiritual life is no exception. In fact, even among the monastics, we stumble. It is not that we do not accept, but the power of the hostile forces are quite strong.

    In the beginning, there are many pitfalls and struggles in the spiritual life, and we grow a lot through adversity. I'm not saying that it's a must, but it seems to be the pattern for many.

    So initially the Faith is there, but we stumble and doubt surfaces time and time again. As we get stronger, as God increases our Faith, doubt automatically diminishes and we begin to cement or augment our relationship with God. The spiritual life is a slow and steady road. One just does not jump from A to Z. It is a very long but ultimately rewarding journey. Much Love.

    1. Dr CHE Sadaphal profile image74
      Dr CHE Sadaphalposted 2 years agoin reply to this

      Indeed. It is a Christian walk, not an event. Step-by-step and day-by-day we pursue holiness and maturity in Christ.

    2. profile image57
      Norine Williamsposted 2 years agoin reply to this

      You know what? Y'all sound "RELIGIOUS?"  Did Paul go "step by step?"  Blessed Hill is closer than ANYONE!  Faith & Doubt are TOTALLY "opposites!"  Why do you think Peter "sunk?"  He "DOUBTED;" if not but for an instance!

    3. cam8510 profile image96
      cam8510posted 2 years agoin reply to this

      Yes Norine, Paul did go step by step and taught it, 2cor3:18 "But we all, with unveiled face beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are transformed into the same image from glory to glory, even as from the Lord the Spirit." WORD Step by step

    4. profile image57
      Norine Williamsposted 2 years agoin reply to this

      The Dr said "we pursue holiness..." I don't know about him, but "I'm righteous (holy) by FAITH" & it was not a step by step event! Now that I've been "born again" & recv "revelation" via the HS of HIS WORD, I can NOW pursue "maturity in Chris

    5. cam8510 profile image96
      cam8510posted 2 years agoin reply to this

      "Follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart."  Follow, here, is diōke, elsewhere translated "pursue."  It is a present tense verb indicating a duration of action.  Paul says, pursue righteousness.

  6. cam8510 profile image96
    cam8510posted 2 years ago

    I believe doubt should reign supreme.  Thomas is my hero in the Gospel narratives.  If there is not a healthy level of doubt, a person will simply fall prey to the first things that comes along.  Regarding religion, this is clearly what happens most of the time.  People believe what is at their doorstep, the religion of their particular corner of the world.  If I was born in the middle east, I would be Muslim.  If in India, I would be Hindu.  These are generalizations, but these places are predominantly one particular religion because people place their faith in the religion at hand.  I was born in America, so I became a Christian.  (I no longer consider myself to be a Christian).  When I say doubt should reign supreme, I mean a sincere doubt that can be persuaded by evidence.  When a person has been convinced by proof that a particular religion is true, then faith is appropriate.  Blind faith simply sets people up for believing anything, everything and every Elmer Gantry that comes along.

    1. Dr CHE Sadaphal profile image74
      Dr CHE Sadaphalposted 2 years agoin reply to this

      Indeed, doubt persuades maturity in belief, but if doubt reigns supreme, this tends to make life unliveable. I agree: "blind" faith sets everyone up to believe anything. Thankfully the faith described in the Bible is qualified by object & content

    2. Blessed Hill profile image76
      Blessed Hillposted 2 years agoin reply to this

      I don't understand this issue of I was a Christian but am not anymore. If I am born a Smith, I don't just give up being a Smith because I don't agree with my dad. When you become a Christian you are adopted into God's family by covenant.

    3. Ericdierker profile image44
      Ericdierkerposted 2 years agoin reply to this

      Interesting analogy. I was adopted at two months old. I was born into one family and adopted by another. Are you suggesting Christianity is like a cult that one cannot leave by free will?

    4. Angele Parris profile image76
      Angele Parrisposted 2 years agoin reply to this

      Faith or doubt? I live in Ocala, often referred to as horse country. What do you think would happen if they had unicorn, pegasus or my little pony farms? Do you think people would merely come to buy animals, then leave?

    5. Blessed Hill profile image76
      Blessed Hillposted 2 years agoin reply to this

      Eric, people who leave God's family don't fully realise what they have. Sure, anybody can disinherit their parents, isn't that what the prodigal son did. But God's love and grace can cover that too. I guess Hebrews deals nicely with adoption.

    6. cam8510 profile image96
      cam8510posted 2 years agoin reply to this

      Grew up Christian, accepted Jesus-age 8, missionary 3yrs, Bible College 4 yrs, pastor 7 yrs. Left organized Christianity to seek the truth. 2 examples-Reject: 1.holiness expressed as genocide, OT. 2. A god telling father to kill son as a faith test.

    7. Blessed Hill profile image76
      Blessed Hillposted 2 years agoin reply to this

      That's probably why I haven't made my way through bible college or a theology degree, a lot of head knowledge getting in the way of truth. Just curious Chris, have you found THE truth yet? Or are creating your own?

    8. cam8510 profile image96
      cam8510posted 2 years agoin reply to this

      Blessed Hill, I've not spoken out of disrespect or with sarcasm. I've stated my point and a bit of my history. I do not manufacture truth. I remain openminded to all true evidence for the existence or nonexistence of a deity. On occasion I still pray

    9. Blessed Hill profile image76
      Blessed Hillposted 2 years agoin reply to this

      Chris, no disrespect or sarcasm intended, apologies. I will agree with you, the OT can be difficult to get your head around sometimes. The symbolism in Ezekiel does my head in completely. The devil is a kitten in comp 2 creatures in that book.

    10. profile image57
      Norine Williamsposted 2 years agoin reply to this

      Blessed: U sound like someone "GROWING!"  Others too "educated" & "carnal!"  No signs of "allowing Holy Spirit" do HIS JOB!   
      Dr. "object & content?"

    11. Dr CHE Sadaphal profile image74
      Dr CHE Sadaphalposted 2 years agoin reply to this

      @Chris Mills. And the fact that you still pray signals that (I will assume) in the midst of your doubt that something else transcends yourself. Sounds like faith still holding on to me.

    12. cam8510 profile image96
      cam8510posted 2 years agoin reply to this

      @CH Elijah Sadaphal, you have described it well. If there is no questioning, faith will be placed in the 1st god concept to come along & is nearly inevitable. This is why we have so many religions. Sincere questioning is a procession toward Truth

  7. Dr CHE Sadaphal profile image74
    Dr CHE Sadaphalposted 2 years ago

    @Chris Mills. Peter L. Beger once wrote that absolute relativism can only exist if the relativists exempt themselves from their own razor. How does this apply to faith and doubt? Because the socio-cultural-geographic influence of religion is valid but it cannot be used to presuppose that all truth is relative. Why? Because that means the argument itself is relative, and thus is not valid.

    So yes, our religious preference is relative. And what does this tell us? That the religion selection process is unreliable and one ought to scrutinize beliefs. Here, doubt is the fuel that animates the quest for ultimate truth. But this social conditioning of belief doesn't just stop at religion. It's extends to every other arena of beliefs in general.

    So, the fact that you and I are both American who are judging other religious beliefs is another case of relativism that has been socially conditioned. I prefer small government. Had I been born in Scandinavia, odds are I would favor really big government. If a secular pluralist had been born in India, guess what? They wouldn't be a secular pluralist. If Richard Dawkins had been born in Morocco ... well, you get the point.

    Relativity relativizes itself so when someone else says, "I'm right, you're wrong" and then I say, "No, I'm right, you're wrong," we're both doing the same thing regardless of what those beliefs are in.

    Generally speaking, Western culture has been socially conditioned to think its ideas and philosophies reign supreme over external ones.

    1. cam8510 profile image96
      cam8510posted 2 years agoin reply to this

      CH Elijah Sadaphal, Sorry I didn't  respond earlier.  I've tried thinking on this level before and it just gives me a headache. But I do get your point.  I'm left with a question. Can anyone be objective about anything? i.e. Does real truth exist?

    2. profile image57
      Norine Williamsposted 2 years agoin reply to this

      What? "That the religion selection process is unreliable and one ought to scrutinize belief." What happened to the "job" of the HOLY SPIRIT?  U don't believe in HIM? We have to "scrutinize belief" when HE "leads & guides?" Or HE can't do it BETTE

    3. cam8510 profile image96
      cam8510posted 2 years agoin reply to this

      Norine, of course one ought to scrutinize belief Acts 17:11 "These were more fair-minded than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness, and searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so." WORD

    4. profile image57
      Norine Williamsposted 2 years agoin reply to this

      Those were NOT filled with the Holy Spirit as MOST "Christians" proclaim!  Is that where you are?  If filled, the HOLY SPIRIT "reveals" & man doesn't have to "search" for HE (HS) will "lead & guide into ALL TRUTH!"

    5. Dr CHE Sadaphal profile image74
      Dr CHE Sadaphalposted 2 years agoin reply to this

      @Chris Mills No one can be objective about anything because our perception of reality is always relative. Hence, real truth can only exist if it is revealed and transcendent.

  8. Angele Parris profile image76
    Angele Parrisposted 2 years ago

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    I am a Christian, but my religious beliefs differ from most Christian beliefs, based on a vision.  I attended St. Thomas Anglican church as a child, thus I have to commenting on " doubting  Thomas" phrase.

    Thomas had seen the miracles performed by Christ, so I often wonder how he could have doubted that Jesus had risen from the dead. If I was born in the Middle East I probably would have been a devoted Muslim, if i was born in India I might have been a devoted Hindu. However, if I was among the unfortunate living in these countries and heard the teachings of Paul, I would have accepted the gospel of Christ because this seems to be the only way out. Accepting Paul's teaching, in those days is like being offered a free permanent visa to America. Faith or Doubt?

    God has a chosen people - the Jews. He sent his son Jesus Christ into the world. While on earth Jesus preached and healed. Christ's mission was to the world, but centered mainly around the Jews. He said to Peter, that flesh and blood did not reveal (whatever) to him, but His father in heaven. Jesus died and rose from the dead. He promised His disciples to send a comforter, after He went back to the Father.

    He later called Paul to preach among the Gentiles.  In other words to offer salvation to non-Jews. Paul preached to the Romans (who were among the non-Jews), and other Gentile nations. Those who accepted Paul's message did so strictly on faith because Paul's message differed somewhat from the message preached by the disciples of Christ, and Paul really had no solid proof that He knew Jesus.

    So, today we have a problem in the world where African people are among the poorest in the world. God says for the sake of man He has shortened the days - causing mankind to die quicker than normal, and live a shorter time on earth than normal. In Revelation, He also says He has the key to death and hell. Marcus Garvey says that while our God has no color, and since it is human to see .....etc. I am Christian, definitely not Rastafarian.

    Most Christians accept today's religious teachings by faith, since there is so many different interpretations of the bible. One thing that is true is that there is a group of people, who are God's chosen people, and there are Africans living in Africa. When one compares the chosen people's kingdom to the African kingdom, there is little or no comparison. We either accept this hypothesis as truth or doubt it (not lie).

    I recently saw a picture of Jamaican children holding breadfruit.  Someone commented that Jamaica has enough breadfruit trees to feed the entire nation.

    1. Dr CHE Sadaphal profile image74
      Dr CHE Sadaphalposted 2 years agoin reply to this

      Acts 9:1-22

    2. profile image57
      Norine Williamsposted 2 years agoin reply to this

      Amen! Now since Paul was "A Chosen Vessel" did GOD (aka JESUS) not say HE would "put HIS laws in Paul's heart & mind" (Jer31:33)!Therefore it was JESUS speaking thru Paul telling us what we MUST do for Salvation (Gal 1:6-9)! "Rightly divided" WOR

  9. roselinsojan profile image59
    roselinsojanposted 2 years ago

    Blind belief, that is what God want from us. ex:we can't see air, but we know it is here&we can't live without air.

    1. Dr CHE Sadaphal profile image74
      Dr CHE Sadaphalposted 2 years agoin reply to this

      True, we can't see air but invisibility doesn't suggest lack of existence or the need to deny the senses (ex: gravity, love, our thoughts and x-rays). Air is composed of very visible molecules with very physical, tangible, believable components.

    2. Angele Parris profile image76
      Angele Parrisposted 2 years agoin reply to this

      People often ask where Cain got his wife. Let us ask where Moses got his wife? Moses fled Egypt and was asked to return to save the chosen people. Christianity (the bible) is about a blessed people who constantly find themselves in slavery.

    3. cam8510 profile image96
      cam8510posted 2 years agoin reply to this

      We can see air. Let's stop using it as an illustration for faith.  http://phys.org/news/2013-05-first-ever … orms.html. Besides, you can wave your hand and feel air. The senses pick it up. It doesn't have to be seen.

    4. profile image57
      Norine Williamsposted 2 years agoin reply to this

      Jn 3:8 "The wind bloweth where it listeth, & thou heareth the sound, but canst not tell which it cometh, & whither it goeth; so is everyone that is born of the Spirit."  U can't "see!" Only "hear" as 1 w/HOLY SPIRIT!
      "IN CHRIST"="ALL SPIRITUA

    5. Dr CHE Sadaphal profile image74
      Dr CHE Sadaphalposted 2 years agoin reply to this

      Moses got his wife from Ethiopia (a Cushite woman): Numbers 12:1

  10. nnms profile image78
    nnmsposted 2 years ago

    I am a Protestant Christian and do believe that faith and doubt are in a continuum in our daily lives. Though faith should have the upper hand in our lives, many a time we found ourselves in doubt or backslide. I think we should strive to give priority to faith over doubt.

    1. Dr CHE Sadaphal profile image74
      Dr CHE Sadaphalposted 2 years agoin reply to this

      And most certainly, asking critical questions acts as a catalyst toward maturity in belief.

    2. profile image57
      Norine Williamsposted 2 years agoin reply to this

      Scripture does NOT say this Dr! "Continuum" of "doubt" DESTROYS! If FILLED with the HOLY SPIRIT, there would be "NO DOUBT!"
      Dr what have they "taught" u!  We're all "human?"  We have to "do the best we can?" No JOB of HOLY SPIRIT (Jn14:26;16:13)?

    3. Ericdierker profile image44
      Ericdierkerposted 2 years agoin reply to this

      Cool Norine you go by the doctrine that knowledge and intelligence are sinful.

    4. profile image57
      Norine Williamsposted 2 years agoin reply to this

      We should "RELY TOTALLY" on GOD (aka HOLY SPIRIT) or HE LIED in Prov 3:5 "TRUST in the LORD (not u) with ALL thine heart; and lean not unto thine "OWN" UNDERSTANDING."  RELIGION has "taught" we ("man") can do BETTER JOB than the HOLY SPIRIT!
      WRONG!

 
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