when Jesus helps your unbelief

jesus help my unbelief cartoon by nakedpastor david hayward
*** SHOP ***

You struggle with your unbelief. You ask for help. It gets worse.

I tweeted last night:

“Just remove one overused clichéd word from your vocabulary, like the word “believe”, and see how it helps shape a new way of thinking.”

The bible says Satan believes. A lot of good that does him.

Actually, I believe losing belief can be an unbelievably good thing. In fact, I moderate an online community where we learn how to deconstruct our beliefs in healthy ways.

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  • I think dropping “Faith”, “Love”, “Jesus”, “God”, “Patriotism”, “Justice” and more can be equally very useful. All these abstractions we use, can be mind-traps. Dropping them can lead to a very unstable place, however. So dropping on- at-a-time is a good plan. Later, after gaining some insight from this freedom, we can perhaps re-embracing our former abstractions as useful tools, rather than letting them enslave us. They are just words, after all.

    “Belief” was the first abstraction I dropped — in my early 30’s. I began to see how silly this concept was:

    (a) First, we all hold multiple contrary beliefs simultaneously.

    (b) Second, there is no stable “Self” that “holds” anything.

    (c) Lastly, what we tell ourselves we belief tells us little about our real self — and instead, we tend to use these abstraction to signal others and falsely comfort ourselves.

    Seeing these habits of mind and language, helped me undo lots of my silliness — political, religious, psychological and more. And in the end, I have only been able to embrace my silliness with compassion. 🙂

  • Chester McMackin

    Every now and then, some of us, especially this fellow, have periods of temporary disbelief. This opens up the use of the brain the Creator gave us and allows reasonable questions ( originating from the God Give brain ). Eventually , a buildup to belief sets in, which later may return to the disbelief stage and the process continues. With each stage there are some reinforcements, and some reduction factors .

    I will keep searching and asking questions, but with the knowledge that I will NEVER ,in earthly occupancy ,have THE answer.

    Love research.

    What to do ?……….just keep asking …………………………..

  • Yes. I view belief as kind-of like a fleeting personal preference in what fancies you. Like picking out what to wear in the morning. Maybe one morning you want to wear a pink shirt but then the next day you feel more like wearing a blue shirt. My “beliefs” can even change throughout the day. At some points, I side fairly strongly on the atheist side that there is no creator being and no hereafter when we die. At other times I feel that we just don’t know the answers to these questions. So I have one foot in atheism and one foot in agnosticism and shift my weight to either foot throughout the day depending on many factors. In fact, it might be healthy to have each foot in slightly different world-views to give the mind something to work on. If you have both feet in exactly the same place, you can easily be pushed over.

  • Mike Bravener
  • Mike Bravener

    We all need something to believe or believe in.

  • I often think about “God-belief” in three categories. And depending on the category, being a believer, agnostic or atheist has different impacts:

    (1) Creator God
    Believing in a Creator-God is as useful as believing in a Gnome named Fred. Because not believing in either has no impact.

    (2) Magic God
    Believing that there is a spirit/spook/demon or such that can intervene in our lives and affect health, wealth, success or failure is a totally different thing.

    In the former, being an agnostic is fine since it is the same as being an atheist. In the later, being a believer in a magic that doesn’t work can have bad consequences.

    (3) Salvation Tribal God
    The third type of god that is harmful to be an agnostic about is one that separates people by beliefs. We need to reject this sort of thinking.

    So, when we think of the need to decide, we need to think about what not-deciding could cost us. Of course, salvationists believe the same — if we don’t decide to believe Jesus stories, we burn.

  • makes sense

  • Belief in some thing is a far cry from faith in Someone.

    People will believe in anything and everything. But can only come to a living faith in Christ Jesus through the gift of the Holy Spirit.

    Revisit Jesus’ conversation with Nicodemus and you’ll see Jesus say that himself.

  • I’m agnostic towards a creator God (I think His name might be Steve 😉 ) and atheistic towards the salvation tribal God. I take a more nuanced position towards a magical God. I’m atheistic towards notions that religious or occult rites and rituals have any effect whatsoever but I do hold that there may be aspects to reality that fall outside what we currently know or what may even be knowable. Therefore I do relate to the strictest definition of agnosticism about what is knowable. On a practical level, though, I am atheistic towards a magical God.

  • Perhaps this is naïve, but just redefining “unbelief” as not a bad thing seems to cut the Gordian Knot to me.

    Anyway, it works for me. Seems that if God gave us this big brain, it would be a shame to not use it. When it tells you something is not worthy of belief, I think that’s worth paying attention to.

  • klhayes

    Jesus has helped my unbelief a lot. I see things done in the name of Jesus and really question if He would be ok with such behavior and ideas.