Why It’s Good to Doubt God

About a year ago, I posted on my old website a lecture I gave at Asuza Pacific University on the role of doubt in the Christian life. Below is a greatly abbreviated version (half the length) of that lecture that cleans up some of the “oral” feel of the original lecture. Based on feedback I’ve received over the past year, I thought reposting it in this form would be of benefit to some.

The Benefit of Doubt

Doubting one’s faith in God is a very tough place to be. Faith in God is what keeps it all together when you are facing one of life’s many challenges things.

Sometimes things happen in our lives—it may be one big catastrophe or a line of smaller things that pile up—and you start having a lot of doubts. At first, when you have those disruptive thoughts, you try to push them to the side, hoping they’ll just go away, before God notices.

They don’t and he doesn’t.

So you feel your faith in God slipping away—and it is unsettling, disorienting, and frightening to watch that happen. You doubt that God cares, that he is listening; you doubt that he is even aware of who you are—that he even exists.

In such a state of doubt about God, you feel like there is clearly something very wrong with you.

“Maybe I’m not smart enough. Maybe I’m a faker. Maybe I haven’t memorized enough Bible verses. Maybe I need to go to church more often.”

Whatever it is, you’re doing something wrong. It’s all your fault.

And so we do the only thing we have been taught to do. We do everything in our power to get out of that state of doubt as quickly as we can. For some, if doubt persists, they live lives of quiet desperation, ashamed or afraid to speak up. Others simply walk away from their faith.

Surely, doubt is the enemy of faith, right?

To have faith means you don’t doubt, right?

Doubt is a spiritually destructive force that tears you away from God, right?

Wrong.

There is a benefit of doubt.

Doubt can do things spiritually that nothing else can do.

Sometimes we think of our faith as a castle—safe, comfortable, familiar. But what if God doesn’t want us to be comfortable and safe? What if comfortable and safe keep God at a distance?

Doubt tears down the castle walls to force us on a journey. It may feel like God is far away or absent when in fact doubt is a gift of God to move us to spiritual maturity.

Doubt is not a sign of weakness but a sign of growth.

Doubting God is painful and frightening because we think we are leaving God behind, but we are only leaving behind the idea of God we like to surround ourselves with—the small God, the God we control, the God who agrees with us.

Doubt forces us to look at who we think God is.

If we’re honest, we all think we’ve God figured out pretty well. We read the Bible and maybe memorize some of it. We go to church a lot. Maybe even lead Bible studies or something.

We’re doing great, and God must certainly be impressed.

It is so very easy to slip into this idea that we have arrived—that we really think we’ve got all the answers and that we almost possess God.

We know what church he goes to, what Bible translation he reads, we know how he votes, we know what movies he watches and books he reads. We know the kinds of people he approves of.

God happens to like all the things we like. We feel like we can speak for God very easily.

All Christians who take their faith seriously sooner or later get caught up in that problem. We begin to think that God really is what we happen to think he is. There is little more worth learning learn about the creator of the cosmos. No need. God is the face in the mirror.

By his mercy, God doesn’t leave us there—and doubt is God’s way of helping that happen.

“I want you to die constantly.” — God

Doubt is experienced as distance from God. But that doesn’t mean that God is dying for us. Doubt signals that we are in the process of dying to ourselves and to our ideas about God.

Jesus talks about that. He says, ”take up your cross” and ,”lose your life so you can find it” (Matt 10:38-39)

Paul talks about being crucified with Christ—“I no longer live, Christ lives in me” (Gal 2:20); or “You have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God” (Col 3:3).

All that talk of dying and being crucified and hidden does not describe a one-time moment of conversion. It describes a required daily mode of Christian living—where you surrender control—all the time.

Dying is a normal mode of Christian existence, and doubting is a common way to get the dying process moving. And when you are in that process, God feels far away—but that is when he may be closer to you than he ever was.

Don’t run away from doubt. Don’t fight it. Don’t think of it as the enemy. Pass through it—patiently… and honestly… and courageously…. When you are in doubt, you are in a period of transformation.

Welcome it as a gift—which is hard to do to if your entire universe is falling down around you. God is teaching you to trust him, not yourself. He means to have all of you, not just the surface, going to church, volunteering part. Not just the part people see, but the part no one sees.

Not even you.

The Dark Side of the Bible

God wants you to doubt? Really? What about John 20:31: “These things are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.”

John seems to be saying, “If you know your Bible, you won’t doubt but believe. So Christian, if you doubt, you just don’t know your Bible well enough. Your faith is weak. Maybe go to one more Bible study that week.”

But think of this from another angle. Jesus himself had his moments where he doubted God and God was very distant from him—God abandoned him—and he knew his Bible very well.

In the garden and on the cross, Jesus said what psalm after psalm says: “God where are you? I don’t see you anywhere. Are you even there? I am giving up all hope.”

That one passage in John doesn’t cover everything. It just means that John wrote his Gospel so people could see how great Jesus was and put their trust in him. It does not imply “henceforth thou shalt be a perfect faith machine and never doubt.”

Also, I don’t expect the New Testament to say, “Doubt is God’s way of making you grow.” The New Testament doesn’t answer every question we might have for all time. It describes the early mission of the church.

The Old Testament is another matter. The Old Testament records Israel long history of day-to-day life with God. And the Old Testament writers aren’t shy about the dark side of their faith.

For example, the Psalms talk about God’s distance. In nearly half of the 150 psalms, something has gone wrong—some barrier has arisen between Israel and faith in God. At times, the psalmist feels abandoned by God and he is holding on by a thread.

One example is Psalm 88. In summary, here is what the psalm says: “God, I have been on my knees to you night after night. I am so troubled, and in so much agony, I might as well be dead. I am absolutely without hope…and you don’t care. All night and all day I call to you—I’m on my knees—but nothing. I am in absolute pain and the only friend I have is darkness.”

Feel free to call this a faith crisis.

Maybe he doesn’t know his Bible well enough. Maybe he needs to go to another Bible study so he can learn you shouldn’t feel this way, let alone talk this way. I mean, what’s wrong with him and his weak faith?

This “abandoned by God” experience is in the Bible because it is valued as part of normal Christian experience. John Calvin said that the Psalms are a “mirror of the soul.” Sometimes the soul looks like Psalm 88. If your soul ever looks like Psalm 88, at least know that you are good company.

Another example is Psalm 73. Basically this is what the psalm is about: “Yeah I know how the system works: God blesses the righteous and punishes the wicked. I’ve read the Bible. I’ve been to Hebrew school. I get it. My problem isn’t that I have forgotten what the Bible says. My problem is that what the Bible says doesn’t work.”

This writer goes on and on about how the Bible says that God is supposed to bless the faithful and punish those who are not. But he looks around him and sees the exact opposite. The wicked and arrogant, they are healthy, strong, they prosper. But he’s doing his best, and—nothing. “I am wasting my time. Why bother? The world makes sense without you. Hey God, if you were there Donald Trump wouldn’t own half of new York City and homeless shelters wouldn’t be struggling for every dollar.”

The dark places of the Bible connect with the dark places of our souls.

I know a lot of people raised in the church who are like the writer of Psalm 73—but they are afraid to talk about it.

They have heard sermons and Bible studies their whole lives where they were taught to think of the world in a certain “Christian” way, and then maybe in high school, maybe in college, they begin to see that it’s more complicated. Then there is a major disconnect between what they had been taught and what they see. Faith is no longer a convincing way of explaining the world, and so they leave it.

When you feel like that, realize that you are right where so many of the writers of the Psalms are—not to mention Ecclesiastes and Job.

Your period of doubt has value—to move you further on in the journey, even when you feel like you’ve left the path altogether

Doubt gets you moving.

Listen to Some Deep People

Embrace the doubt. Call it your friend. God is leading you on a journey.

Spiritual masters of the Christian church caught on to this long ago. It is not a part of the contemporary Protestant scene as much (with exceptions, of course), which is a shame.

Many (especially Protestant) Christians tend to intellectualize the faith—we live in our heads. Our faith tends to rest in what we know, what we can articulate, what we can defend, how we think. We tend to place “thinking” over “being” rather than the other way around.

That is why doubt for people like us is the great enemy. We spend a lot of effort in removing doubt. Our world is flooded with books and apologetics organizations whose job it is to give the answers quickly and easily—no struggle, no doubt—all this Jesus stuff, piece of cake.

That attitude robs us of a spiritual experience that you can’t avoid anyway and that wiser Christians, since almost the beginning of Christianity, have told us is vital for the Christian life.

This experience of deep doubt is sometimes referred to as the “dark night of the soul.” That expression has come to us through the writings of two sixteenth century Spanish Catholic mystics: John of the Cross and his mentor Teresa of Avila.

Many people have spent their lives thinking about what these and other mystics wrote concerning their experiences of God. I am not one of them, but I am learning. Let me boil down what they are saying.

The “dark night” is a sense of painful alienation and distance from God that causes distress, anxiety, discouragement, despair, and depression. All Christians experience this sooner or later—some more intensely than others, some for longer times than others. But the feeling is the same: they lose their sense of closeness to God and conclude that they no longer have faith. And so they despair even more.

St. John’s great insight is that this dark night is a special sign of God’s presence. Our false god is being stripped away, and we are left empty before God—with none of the familiar ideas of God that we create to prop us up.

The dark night takes away the background noise we have created in our lives in order to prepare us to hear God’s voice later on—in time, when God deems we are ready.

When the dark night comes upon us, we are asked simply to surrender to God and trust him anyway. The reason St. John calls this a dark night is very important: it is because you have no control over what is happening. That is a very important piece in all of this, because people want to control.

Imagine, like the Chilean miners, being all alone in a deep dark cave, miles down, with absolutely not a single ray of light—utterly pitch black. You have no idea where you are or how to get out. All you know is that you are helpless. You try to find your way, you grope, but nothing. You start walking slowly at first, and then you realize that wherever you are, it is big, dark, flat, and you can’t do anything about it.

You are out of control. The point of the dark night has done its job.

Listen to Another Really Deep Person

In 1975, the Jesuit philosopher, John Kavanaugh, went to work for three months at the “house of the dying” in Calcutta with Mother Teresa.

He was searching for an answer to some spiritual stuggles. On his very first morning there, he met Mother Teresa. She asked him, “And what can I do for you?” Kavanaugh asked her to pray for him. “What do you want me to pray for?” she asked.

He answered with the request that was the very reason he traveled thousands of miles to India: “Pray that I have clarity.” Mother Teresa said firmly, “No. I will not do that.”

When he asked her why, she said, “Clarity is the last thing you are clinging to and must let go of.”

When Kavanaugh said, “You always seem to have clarity,” Mother Teresa laughed and said, “I have never had clarity. What I have always had is trust. So I will pray that you trust God.”

The point of the dark helpless place is to strip us of absolutely everything so that only surrender and trust remain. That is the daily and severe Christian calling

Are you one of those people who wonders why you can’t just be a happy Christian like your roommate or that lady in church? Listen to Mother Teresa. Apparently, she was in her dark night from 1948 until near the time of her death in 1997, with perhaps some interludes in-between.

You know all that great things she did? Don’t think her dark night wasn’t somehow connected to how she spent her life. You might even say that “spiritual greatness” and the dark night go hand in hand—you must pass through the one to get to the other. She learned trust—not certainty—trust in God. And all of that poured out to the people around her.

We’ve heard this many times: “Let go and let God.” It’s true—but “letting go” might be more than we bargained for. We must be taught, for we will not willingly go there ourselves.

When we are not letting go, when we try to stay in control of something, cling to something as Mother Teresa says, that’s when God turns off the light and makes it dark—not because he is against us, but because he is for us.

Being out of control is another way of saying “dying to yourself.” When we are out of control, that is when God can speak to us—without all of the layers of stuff we have piled up inside of us. God puts us out of our control so that we can learn to trust—like Mother Teresa said—not “believe” or “have faith” but something deeper and harder:

Trust.

You can only trust when you have let go completely, when you don’t try to control. When we learn to trust God out of our emptiness,

  • when God is out of our control,
  • when God becomes God more deeply in us,
  • when we surrender and trust,

we become liberated from our attachments, from our fears, and we learn to live with freedom and joy.

That is the Christian journey.

We see this even in our relationships with each other. You cannot have a truly growing, intimate relationship with another if one person is trying to control the other. That destroys true intimacy.

If we are trying to control God, what do you think he is going to do? Rather than leave the relationship entirely he may initiate a period of separation, a period of absence, a period of darkness—so that we can learn that in this relationship we have to surrender, we have to let go of control.

One cannot have contentment in the Christian life without the darkness. Dying is the only path to resurrection, and that is the only way of knowing God. There is no shortcut. Jesus himself is our model for this.

I think that is the heart of Paul’s mysterious words in Phil 3:10. Knowing Christ means experiencing both the power of his resurrection and participating in his sufferings, being made like him in his death. Death and life. Both are part of the Gospel life. It’s a package deal

**********************

When your faith has no room for doubt, then you are just left with—religion, something that takes its place in your life among other things—like a job and a hobby, something soft and comfortable.

Doubt is God’s way of helping you not go there.

 

the gift of darkness (or, why being bored in church might be God telling you something)
"Where was God when my brother was freezing to death on Mt. Hood?"
being certain of God--not our beliefs--is the mark of the spiritual life
A Calvinist learns from Catholics how to be a better Calvinist--part 2 in a series
  • Rachel Vendsel

    Thank you very much for sharing this article, Pete. You articulated what I have been feeling out by instinct in my counseling practice. I love how you explain the benefits and even the gift of doubt. I think these thoughts could contribute significantly to the way we think about the broader concept of suffering. You said:

    “Many (especially Protestant) Christians tend to intellectualize the faith—we live in our heads. Our faith tends to rest in what we know, what we can articulate, what we can defend, how we think. We tend to place “thinking” over “being” rather than the other way around.

    That is why doubt for people like us is the great enemy. We spend a lot of effort in removing doubt. Our world is flooded with books and apologetics organizations whose job it is to give the answers quickly and easily—no struggle, no doubt—all this Jesus stuff, piece of cake.”

    I think it’s also true that we tend to sentimentalize our faith, and we spend a lot of effort in removing pain and suffering, in pursuing comfortable lives. So when we encounter true pain, we feel similarly lost. But the pain — if we have the courage to stay in it and not run from it — can be an equally powerful gift from God.

    At any rate, thanks for sharing your thoughts, they are very helpful. I will be using them in my counseling work.

    • peteenns

      Thanks, Rachel. This is all one of the mysteries of the faith, and of life, I think, not adequately addressed in some sectors of Christianity.

  • Rachel Vendsel

    p.s. In my experience, a person who is experiencing doubt/pain/loss is usually not ready or able to hear that their current experience is a gift. For helpers and counselors, it is better to just sit with the person in their questions and pain, incarnating the love of Christ without words or answers. Patiently. The “dark night of the soul” may be a dark year of the soul. Or years. And that’s ok.

    Sometimes the Psalmists wrestle with their pain in a Godward direction but not always and that’s ok, too. Ps. 88 doesn’t say, “Darkness is my closest companion, but then I realized that really God is with me.” Darkness is my closest companion, period. Maybe God put those words there to teach us that the darkness really must be utter and complete for it to do its work.

    • peteenns

      I agree.

    • JenG

      I hear you completely. I’ve been in a “dark night” for dark years – but when I found this article (old version) earlier this year, I cried because I felt hope for the first time that maybe all this doubt wasn’t a sign that God moving away, but actually moving closer. That maybe doubt was a sign that I was on the right path, not the wrong one. And that maybe one day I’d see some light at the end of this long, long tunnel.

  • JenG

    Thanks for re-posting this – I’d stumbled on the original post earlier this year and it was exactly what I needed to hear at the time. I’m sure that will be the case again for others reading it today!

    • peteenns

      Thanks, Jen. I reposted because the older version was over 5000 words and had too much of a repetitive oral vibe (I super repeat myself when I speak). I think this gets to the point more quickly. I appreciate your comments!

  • C. Ehrlich

    It might be helpful to try to clarify the bigger picture here–to specify when doubt is actually bad (as when threatens to damn one’s soul), and to say how to distinguish good doubt from bad doubt. What mistake is the atheist making in regarding her own doubt as good and healthy? What of the Christian whose doubt seems to be leading her towards atheism?

    I wonder if it’s a mistake to talk of doubt so generally, without specifying its particular objects. Doubting the existence of God, or the truth of the Christian faith, is often a different experience than simply doubting some more particular idea about God. “Doubting one’s faith in God” is often very different still.

    • Dan

      I agree with this. At times, I think it may be necessary to posit that there are possible explanations, even if they can’t be articulated at this point in time; that the cross is there, and that’s what matters (and to clarify, I’m not speaking from a counseling perspective like Elena).

      As for this post by Dr. Enns, thank you for posting this. I’ve been in my own dark period recently and it was comforting.

      • peteenns

        This is such a common experience, Dan. The only question I have is why it is so hard to admit this or talk about it. That may be a problem of our contemporary expressions of Christianity–with a little western “success” narrative thrown in. Who knows.

    • peteenns

      Cannot even doubt in God’s existence be the very thing some people need, because the God they have in mind is a not God but simply a mirror of themselves?

      • C. Ehrlich

        It is true people that can doubt the existence of God while having a substandard conception of God. It is plausible that such doubt could lead to a better outcome. However, instead of doubting the existence of God in such a case, it would presumably be better to simply reconsider one’s conception of God. So, relative to this obvious alternative, doubting God’s existence is presumably bad. Doubting God’s existence is not something that anyone so situated plausibly needs.

        • peteenns

          My feeling is that it is very hard for people to have that self-awareness of their private mini-me god until they are in the throes of some deep pain.

  • http://www.atheistamongthem.com atat

    I enjoyed this article, and found it very appropriate to my current transition in life…I have one question surface as I read however.

    How do you know the difference between god guiding you to trust him through a period of doubt (as you summarize), and simply no god at all?

    • peteenns

      You don’t know.

      • http://jbyas.com Jared Byas

        And thus we have the birth of faith…

      • http://www.atheistamongthem.com atat

        …I was hoping you would have an answer that is different from the one I came up with on my own :-)

        Perhaps you are intentionally being brief so as to lead me to a more obvious follow-up question, so I’ll bite…

        If we “don’t know”, what is it that leads us to choose one choice over the other? I know most ‘believers’ would say faith…but then then why faith in one and not the other? Since we are all so accustomed to making what is a “more probable” choice, should I assume that by choosing the least likely of the two I have more faith, thereby enabling me to have more trust? How long should we “suspend our (dis)belief” in the name of trust before we consider we may in fact be wrong about the issue?

        I’m not expecting to answer this question any time soon, I know it will be different for everyone…just sharing the dilemma I currently see with the situation your article describes. I am happy you have started blogging, I am/have been a fan of your writing & work. Looking forward to see more of your influence in the current state of Christianity and it’s homeschooling community as well.

        • peteenns

          “If we “don’t know”, what is it that leads us to choose one choice over the other?”

          I don’t know.

  • Don Johnson

    I think Voltaire wrote something like “God created man in His image, and man has been trying to return the favor ever since.”

    One’s faith can be an idol and God is in the idol smashing business. It can be an idol when one adds things that are not God to God or subtracts things from God. In the USA, there is a so-called prosperity “gospel”, where God wants to make us rich! This is a very obvious idol, where God and mammon merge; but there are also other idolatrous images of “God”.

  • Curt

    If it is good to doubt god then why is it bad to not believe in him?

    • peteenns

      I am speaking of doubt as part of the Christian journey, an experience that is, I would say, universal among Christians working their way through the ups and downs of life. I am speaking to how one can negotiate those periods of doubt and darkness when they inevitably come.

    • Milo Coladonato

      To answer your question, it isn’t bad not to believe in God. We have been inculcated to believe by our institutions and families that you must believe in God or there is something wrong with you. This expectation has put upon us a very serious psychological burden. There are many people like myself who have worked very hard to believe and have faith only to realize that it isn’t there in the first place. I do not feel the least bit empty or inadequate because or it. It was in was in the throws of faith that caused some of the problems I no longer have. I noticed that no one answered your question so I thought I would add my comment, whatever it is worth. Thanks for asking the question Curt.

  • Tony M

    Fantastic post! Thank you for sharing this. It has been very helpful to me.

  • http://achorusofehoes.wordpress.com Jonathan

    I’ve been through journey’s where i’ve gone through doubt and like what you said, we all try to get out of it as fast as possible. Going that route is worse still from my point of view. At this point in my life, i’m going through some major shifts and sometimes i feel like im slipping in and out of believing and doubting. Ecclesiastes has given me a breath of fresh air and im looking forward to reading your commentary on that. But what I valued most here is what you mentioned about dying to a safe view of God to one that we can’t really tame. Thanks for this post, I’m glad I read this. Give me perspective through this tough time.

    • peteenns

      Thanks for sharing a bit of your journey, Jonathan.

  • Phil Taylor

    Thanks for the article. Very helpful and encouraging to me.

    • peteenns

      Thanks, Phil.

  • Dinah

    this is one of the most brilliant articles I have read on this subject (in current writing) …. and it so needed to be said.
    from my own experience, the “dark night” comes not just from doubt but also from suffering and depression (e.g. Job) ….. I suffer from depression, and thought I have never doubted the existence of God, yet I have cried out “why have you abandoned me?” …… and received no answer for a long, long time.
    Another example I think is Billy Graham’s crisis of faith …. when he had no answers but trusted God anyway.
    thank you for this

    • peteenns

      Thank you for sharing your thoughts, Dinah.

  • EricG

    The original version of this came out when I was diagnosed with cancer a year ago, and was very helpful to both me and my wife. I also like Rachel’s comments above.

  • http://mikeblyth.blogspot.com Mike Blyth

    But isn’t doubt in this sense of uncertainty or disbelief something that is generally seen negatively in the Bible? If so, how can we feel assured that it is somehow normal or what God is doing in us rather than a failure on our part?

    • peteenns

      Mike, in places yes, but the Bible speaks diversely on this–which is a good thing, as it reflects different moods and seasons in our lives. Did you read the post? I touch on doubt in the Bible a bit.

      • http://mikeblyth.blogspot.com Mike Blyth

        Oh, yes, I certainly read the post! I realize there are many instances of doubt in the Bible, though I think it may be a stretch to say that Jesus doubted God’s presence and very existence. That’s not inconsistent with the record, but I don’t think it’s required, at least if God did actually abandon Jesus in some sense during the crucifixion. He clearly struggled in the garden, but we’re not given details of the process, but it’s not apparent that he doubted God himself at that point. But we don’t need to debate that point because it is only one instance among many.

        I’m not trying to split hairs or argue that doubt is always bad. I’m really trying to see how this all works, remembering that not everything godly people experienced was necessarily normative or good. It’s clear that David and Job struggled with the goodness of God and the reason for their suffering. While their suffering was part of God’s plan, and while we know that it strengthens and purifies us, was their doubt itself the right response? If not “right,” then was is perhaps an inevitable stage?

        I would be the last one to say that a godly person never doubts or struggles with God. At the same time, there are so many exhortations to have faith, to believe and trust, and so many warnings against doubt and disbelief, that it is hard not to see it as dangerous. I’m more comfortable acknowledging my doubt as a weakness (“I believe, help my unbelief,” or even “I don’t believe, help my unbelief”) than seeing it as inevitable or appropriate. Do you think seeing it as a weakness is wrong?

  • http://citypilgrims.blogspot.com will pareja

    Pete:
    First, thanks for your article. I’ve been recently stretched and benefited from some of your writings.
    Second, this (providential) re-posting of your original article comes during a time in my life in which that “line of smaller things is piling up” and tickling those chords of my heart to doubt the goodness of our Father. Again, I am served by your thoughts.
    Third, here are some random beefs or questions…

    “Faith is no longer a convincing way of explaining the world, and so they leave it.”
    Is it God’s “fault” if someone leaves THE faith or if there is a lapse in THEIR faith?

    “Your period of doubt has value—to move you further on in the journey, even when you feel like you’ve left the path altogether.”
    At some point, a person must reckon with the hope of the gospel in light of their sin and doubt. I completely agree that “doubt has value to move you further on in the journey” but the key phrase is “further on”. That is what St. James elucidates: testing (w/ all its doubt and pain) produces endurance which keep you furthering on. However, I don’t see how doubt carried “value” for the wilderness generation in Numbers.

    Also, it is helpful to distinguish (pastorally, at least) between faith as ONE’S exercise of trust and THE faith (once for all delivered to the saints, Jude 3).

    “…doubt is a gift of God to move us to spiritual maturity”- I think this needs some clarifying. What is doubt? Is doubt neutral or innocent? By doubt (as being a gift of God), do you mean trials/testings? Is doubt a subset or an assumption in our trials? If so, I agree w/ your statement for that coheres with some of the epistolary material. I gather that the intent of your address/article is meant to clarify the place of doubt in Christian experience since many get hung up on their doubt. However, in that attempt, it seems (to me) that you might have exalted the place of doubt in Christian experience. Maybe that is in part b/c I’m preparing to speak on James 1: “for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is drive and tossed by the wind” leading to(???)… double-mindedness and instability.
    Thank you, sir, for considering these thoughts.
    Will

    • peteenns

      Will, I appreciate your thoughts and questions. Think of it this way. The questions you ask are all “Yeah but how do I know” questions, which are questions that can only be resolved in the process of working through one’s own struggle. That is not an evasive answer but, I feel, the key to the whole matter. Also, as I think I mentioned in my post, I do not expect the NT to cover every exigency re: the spiritual journey.

  • http://www.godlovesteenagers.com Steve Austin

    Peter, thanks so much for this Truth!

    This is truly one of the best articles I’ve ever read on the subject, and I appreciate the fact that you didn’t sugar coat this aspect of Christianity.

    I’ve copied the intro and put a link to this article on my website. It will be a great challenge for them to read this!

    Sincerely,
    Steve Austin

    • peteenns

      Thanks, Steve. As a father of a 24, 21, and 18 year old, I know that teenagers don’t tolerate inauthenticity.

  • Brad

    This is the MOST.. and I mean MOST powerful form of encouragement I have ever seen.. I am literally crying right now and I really don’t know why.. I have these experiences every now and then. I have been struggling with reading the Bible and I feel like the stereotypical Christian lifestyle is something very different from what Jesus Christ has to offer, I have felt like I have been in the dark and I want to get in touch with something greater. If you could offer me some advice in which direction I should head from here please do so, I am having trouble letting go and I need help. I truly do.. Thank you so much. God Bless You.

    • peteenns

      Thanks for your comment, Brad. What a journey you are on! I know what you mean when you say “advice” but in a sense, this whole dark time is a process where advice is not always helpful. It also is important to have a community that respects your journey and will walk with you because they have walked (are walking) that road, too.

  • Tesia

    Thank you so much for this. I haven’t had hope in a long time.

  • http://writtenstraw.wordpress.com Erica Bonnell

    Thanks for the comment on my post regarding doubt and faith. I appreciate the link to your own site, which I will check back from time to time for insight and inspiration.

  • I’mabeliever

    Mother Teresa is a great example of this very subject. To experience suffering at it’s core, day in and day out would bring any human being to the point of doubt. I have also experienced these dark times of doubt and emptiness, but always end up returning to my faith because life simply would not be worth living if there were no God.

    • http://Dorianmattar.com Dorian Moises Mattar

      Mother Teresa was a scam artist. She had thousands die in a bed while telling them that it was OK to suffer while she made deals that made her TONS of CASH with Charlatan. You DON’T know Mother Teresa.

  • cher

    Although no, we should not doubt, it is inevitable that we do , and I think the author is addressing this issue and calling it what it is. I think you have some good points but I think the author does too. I do believe that doubt can be helpful because like the author says it helps to tear down the god we’ve built and realize the TRUE God for who He really is, despite our knowledge or memorization of Scripture. We know what the bible says, but really knowing is altogether a different animal.

    • http://Dorianmattar.com Dorian Moises Mattar

      So you admit that the bible is a LIE and that what “really” is, is a different animal altogether?

      Welcome to the real world. Now take the last step and stand on your own to feet.

      If you loose a job, study and get another. If you get sick go to a doctor.

      Praying does NOTHING because this invisible god in the sky doesn’t exist. This is evidenced by the fact that he never answers those who REALLY need him.

      Ask any military amputee, if God has grown their limbs back.

      NOT ONE.

      • Grace

        I’m sorry you feel this way. But you can’t get your answers by mocking somebody’s beliefs. There’s answers to your questions but why answer them if you believe in your heart that there is no God?
        This convo will go on and on but only end up where we started and all you would do is ridicule every answer I refute. Which I’d prefer not to get into since respect is lacking. God bless you bro and I hope you find peace in things that you do.

        • http://Dorianmattar.com Dorian Moises Mattar

          Who has disrespect anyone? Did I call you names?

          I only stated the facts and asked a simple question.

          If you had the answer, you would have provided it.

          Lastly, you seem to hate when people either mock you or make you feel uncomfortable.

          I wonder what you think about all the religious people accusing atheists of being devils, gays being an abomination and everyone else that doesn’t believe as someone who is going to hell?

          It’s just so funny to see how easily you guys get offended while you hypocritically put everyone else down as if you knew what you actually believed in, which obviously, you don’t.

          You rather live a lie, then go right ahead. Just stop pushing this lie to everyone else including children.

          Peace

          • Grace

            Christians are merely humans too, we make mistakes, we may offend, be offended, be defensive etc. as human beings our natural instinct is to protect ourselves.
            You don’t have to call anyone names by being disrespectful. What I am stating is, for you to understand where anyone is coming from, you have to have a mutual respect for people. I didn’t answer your questions because you seemed very combative about the matter, is this a personal issue with Christians or God?
            And thank you, so you know exactly where we are coming from when it comes to also being ridiculed right along with gays, atheists, etc. But unlike them we are murdered, publically and/or privately because of spreading the love of Christ. You touched up on being fair earlier. Is this fair? Killing people because of their beliefs? But then again, what is fair? We have now established that this is a human trait, regardless of your beliefs. We have created war for ourselves.
            Yes, you are ABSOLUTELY right! We ARE hypocrites, anyone that believes otherwise is lying to themselves. That is a human trait as well.
            And yes, God has never and will never coerce you to believe in Him. You mentioned that He has given us only 2 choices to go to heaven or hell, believe or not believe. Not much choice right? Would you believe me if I said that there was never the latter to begin with? That only heaven was presented to us initially? Hell was never Gods desire for any humans that’s including YOU and me! Would you believe me if I said, we chose the path of hell to begin with? We have let sin enter into our own hearts and desires. This world is now an “I” world where everyone looks out for their own beneficial gain, me included, I am by no means an exemption. What did God do to change that? I’m sure you’ve heard: John 3:16

            “For God so LOVED that world that He gave up His one and ONLY son so that who ever believes in Him will not perish but have everlasting life.”

            let’s continue on to the 17th verse:

            “For God did NOT send His son to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.”

            Please ask anymore questions if you have more…God bless you! :)

          • http://Dorianmattar.com Dorian Moises Mattar

            Can you elaborate on murdered?

            If I recall correctly this country is 75% christian, it posts anti guy signs on roads along with “your going to hell” if you don’t believe. It is Christians that have LAWS in certain states, against Atheist candidates, and I could go on.

            Christians are the least prosecuted individuals in this country. Perhaps you live in another country?

            and if I may ask, why do you need to spread the “love of Christ”? Isn’t he omnipotent? You would think that an omnipotent god can run his own campaigns, not that he would need to since all he would have to do is actually visit his “children”, instead of abandoning them.

            But I guess he is used to that, since he kicked Adam and Even after the very FIRST mistake they ever made, while being thrown in a “garden” with a wicked individual many times smarter than them.

            So now we know were this unfairness comes from.

            It comes straight from the top.

            But with regards to wars, Christians and Muslims almost ended human civilization trying to prove who’s god is the real one.

            Mind you, not ONE of any of the soldiers, Kings and Queens EVER set eyes on any of these gods.

            It’s not that you are hypocrites, it’s that religion is a decease that deprives humans of actual thought, which in turn makes them into gullible subjects that are easily manipulated into doing anything.

            Education is key and even there, Christians are constantly trying to push their agenda on everyone else.

            Creationist and Intelligent Design anyone?

            Seriously!

          • Grace

            My question to you is, how did we, humans, come about? How were we created?

          • http://Dorianmattar.com Dorian Moises Mattar

            Study biology and you will know.

            If you are asking from an ignorant point of view and simply asking because you can’t understand how it can happen without a god, then you must answer my question.

            Where did god come from.

            Now remember, you must answer the question in the SAME amount of detail that you would expect from a reputable science document.

            In other words, simply stating God has always been without supporting documentation, will get you to the same place as if I answered you, we have always been and not provide you with any documentation.

            This is simply because ANYONE or ANY book can state ANYTHING they want, BUT for it to be accepted as TRUE, it must provide TESTABLE and PREDICTABLE evidence.

            So in answer to your question, humans evolved from lower other species all the way back to a common ancestor 3.5 billion years ago.

            Before that, we ESTIMATE based on CALCULATIONS – NOT SOME OLD BOOK SAYING SO – that life started about 10 BILLION years ago somewhere in space and crashed into our planet multiple times until our planet was cool enough for life to exist. This SIMPLE organisms – like a virus or bacteria simply replicated and lived as Cyanobacteria for millions of years. They produced oxygen until there was enough for other types of Bacteria to emerge.

            From there many forces including, random mutation – like your DNA which is a MUTATION of both your parent’s DNA – environment, and an increase in COMPLEXITY by the bacteria produced ever more complex organisms.

            If you want the truth, you need to EDUCATE yourself on the subject.

            At this point, you are debating a topic of the 20th century with a the scribbles of ignorant shepherds of ancient humanity.

            What is interesting, is that you choose to believe the ancient book, then the OBSERVED and PROVEN facts generated by the best minds on the planet in the 21st century.

            Don’t you find that a bit odd?

          • Grace

            You’ve already answered, but I asked because I was curious what your beliefs were. I’m well educated in the matter and am very confident about where I came from. I’m just trying to understand where you’re coming from.
            If then it is so that we originated billions of years ago, how then did these people find out about it? Were they there? Isn’t it that who ever tested it, experimented, had to have documented it for further studies?

            Isn’t it so that they would’ve had to have read it from somewhere in order to get more “facts” about where we originated from? And where did you come to find out about this? Did you meet them? Were you one of them? Or did you read it somewhere? If you read it somewhere, then aren’t we the same regarding our knowledge? We read in books? Testing what is true and right?

            If we originated from other species that originated in space, that apparently had enough intelligence to wait until earth was “warm enough” for us to land on. Then where do you suppose our intelligence came from? How about our emotions? Our ability to love or hate? What is our purpose here on earth? Do we even have one? Does this life we live even matter, if we just came from nothing? Do we then not have a soul? If so where does it go? If it does go anywhere, who created that place? Is it back in space?

            Wow, that was tiring just asking it….
            All I’m saying is, it takes more work and faith to not believe in God than it is to believe we were made in His image. That he brought His son to live as men, endure our pain, so that there is no one. not one, that can say, “he doesn’t know how I feel”. To later on be atonement for our sins, a debt that we could never repay because of our sinful nature. That to me Dorian, makes more sense. That to me is love. It’s an unmerited favor. You never asked for it, just like when you fall in love, that person never asked for your love and the things you do to show your love for them.

          • Grace

            And I’ll quote from Martin Luther
            “Mighty potentates have raged against this book, and sought to destroy and uproot it—Alexander the Great and princes of Egypt and Babylon, the monarchs of Persia, of Greece and of Rome, the Emperors Julius and Augustus—but they prevailed nothing.

            They are gone while the book remains, and it will remain forever and ever, perfect and entire as it was declared at first. Who has thus helped it—who has protected it against such mighty forces? No one, surely, but God Himself, who is master of all things. “

          • http://Dorianmattar.com Dorian Moises Mattar

            That’s pretty funny. I guess the Muslims might say the same about their book.

            It proves NOTHING.

            Again, you choose to follow a book with talking snakes instead of the proven FACTS.

            and Mr. Luther King was NOT a scientist. A good person, YES, a knowledgable person in the field? NO.

            Might as well ask a plumber how to treat a shot victim in an ER room or ask a doctor how to weld a copper pipe.

          • http://Dorianmattar.com Dorian Moises Mattar

            May I ask where you got your education in the matter?

            I ask because your questions are quite strange coming from someone who says they are educated in the matter.

            Do we need to be at the scene of a crime to determine that there was a murder? Do we need to be there to find the criminal? I really don’t understand your point.

            EVERY SINGLE piece of evidence is available for ANYONE to test it. All evidence is documented and tested by multiple labs around the world. Evolution has been trying to be disproved by everyone for the last 150 years.

            Again I’m in shock of the silliness of your questions.

            Where you there when your great-great grandma was born? How do you know she existed or was actually born? Seriously!

            Do you actually think that science is that childish? Look around you and witness what science has achieved! We are dealing with a mechanism that is SELF HEALING. If there is an error, it WILL be found and FIXED.

            We can determine the bio composition of planets billions of light years away! We understand Quantum Mechanics, we can manipulate atoms at will. We have space stations, satellites, telescopes and the like flying around in space at over 25 THOUSAND miles an hour.

            What is that you think you are dealing with here, kids?

            I see science and I see results! I see religion and I see chaos and destruction.

            You dare compare an accent book full of stories of humans living in fish, talking snakes and global floods with true and test science books? LMAO You have to be kidding me!

            I did NOT say other species! I said BACTERIA that lived in rocks flying around in space, those rocks crashed and the bacteria was able to survive once earth was cool enough. I’m sure many asteroids crashed into earth BEFORE that, but the bacteria could NOT survive then. Do you understand?

            Your questions are irrelevant to reality. Wether you LIKE to think that there is meaning or not has nothing to do with reality. Your question is kin to a dying child asking why, after it has been suffering of cancer and is about to die. There is NO REASON, it just happens.

            Or does your god love to see children dying of cancer?

            Now that was tiring lol

            It doesn’t take faith to believe in evolution, it takes evidence that apparently you just won’t accept no matter how real and PROVABLE it is.

            We can PROVE evolution with FACTS, you simply state that your god is this or that, but can’t prove ONE SINGLE thing about it.

            He is omnipotent, then PROVE it!

            You say he is real? Then tell him to show up!

            Does he? NO. Hum, I wonder why.

            Made in his image? Seriously, does your god look like a chimp?

            Because humans have 95% IDENTICAL DNA of a chimp!

            Do you have teeth like a chimp? Do you have eyes? Do you have hair? Hunt, Kill, Eat, Care for your kin, LOVE, FEEL, CRY, FEAR & fight?

            You are IDENTICAL to a chimp, but you WON”T accept it!

            EVERY BONE in your bony is matched to that of a chimp!

            Apparently you don’t know what “In the image” of something means.

            For some unfathomable reason, you rather be descendant of SIN, instead of being the culmination of BILLIONS of years of evolutionary processes.

            I don’t quite understand your train of thought, but it is a mess made up of nothing else other than conspiracy theories, ill preconceived ideology and just plain ignorance on the subjects to which you believe you actually know something about.

            Again, please tell me where it was that you got your education.

            Again you bring up Sin, and the silly story of your jesus dying for us, which he obviously didn’t as he is supposed to be alive. He supposedly suffered for three days and I’m supposed to be moved? LMAO What a childish thing to believe.

            MANY humans have suffered an unmeasurably more than your Jesus supposedly did and I don’t see you calling them gods. People have lived in jails all their lives while being innocent! They have been prisoners of war for YEARS! They agonize without legs, are born with their hears outside their bodies, are born to cancer, go thru Chemo, ALL KINDS OF THING that are MUCH worse than what your little Jesus supposedly when thru! So give me a break if I don’t shed a SINGLE tear for him. HE doesn’t deserve it!

            I didn’t ask for your god to do what he supposedly did, because i would NEVER ask such a thing form ANYONE. I would NEVER have someone be killed in MY NAME! Do you understand that! It is a cowardly thing to ask! Do you read me?

            The alleged sacrifice and I call it that because that is all it is, an ancient pagan ritual transposed to a human, as a sacrifice for your atonement, which is nothing more than an irresposible abomination.

            That is not love or intelligence, true love would be for your god to get his ass over here and stop the pain! That would be LOVE.

            Love is forgiving without all the absurd sacrifices and blame that you constantly accept. Hey maybe you have been in jail or really hurt someone, I don’t know! But this is NOT normal, this is SELF DESTRUCTIVE behavior and you should get help for it.

            How can you call your god loving when he threw his children out of heaven after ONE! mistake!

            Is that what you do to your children?

            Do you put them in a room with a psychopath and expect them to behave? I don’t think so!

            You use a double standard in your thinking, clinging to ideas that you would NEVER use in real life!

            LOVE? You apparently do NOT know what true Love is!

          • Grace

            This is your exact words, copied and pasted. “So in answer to your question humans evolved from other lower species all the way back to a common ancestor 3.5 billion years ago.”

          • http://Dorianmattar.com Dorian Moises Mattar

            and your point would be?

          • Grace

            Didn’t you say you didn’t say we came from other species?
            I’m quoting this to let you know that’s indeed what you said, your brain is going 500 thoughts per minute your losing track of the focus.i was going by what you stated, not my words but yours.

          • http://Dorianmattar.com Dorian Moises Mattar

            YES! What is your point?

            EVERY SPECIES has evolved from a COMMON ANCESTOR.

            I’m not sure what you point is.

          • http://Dorianmattar.com Dorian Moises Mattar

            I missed the 2nd part of your comment.

            With regards to “Hell”, yes I know there is a dispute on the subject, but there are passages in the bible where there are “grinding of teeth” and other strange things. I am aware that many passages where added latter by the church. But the fact still remains that most christians including my sisters believe that unbelievers WILL go to hell. AND THEY STILL FOLLOW SUCH A DISGUSTING THING! Like I said before, “religion is a decease…”

            SIN
            The idea of sin is another mutation of a thought. There are all types of people with different mental and emotional capacities and this is EASILY demonstrable. The 23 year old kid that started shooting at LAX is a very good example. Do you really think that this kid had a choice of doing what he did? He OBVIOUSLY had MENTAL issues BEYOND his control. Now turn around and look at GENIUSES around the world that are 12 years old and can program in 12 different language and are MODEL humans until they die.

            This CONTRAST demonstrates that it is the INHERITED mental and emotional CAPACITY that makes humans do MOST of the things they do.

            Placing a tag on humanity as a whole and calling them sinners is a useless COPOUT that benefits NOONE.

            God and his Son
            The idea that god gave his only son is most amusing. A god with only one son? Hum… Strange enough, but what’s even stranger than that, is that this ideology is basically an irresponsible mechanism for humans to shed their errors instead of taking responsibility for them and dealing with them in a rational manner.

            Additionally, nobody should have the right to forgive a transgression against someone else. The only person that can forgive is the person against that transgression has been committed.

            On the “Nice” passages of the bible, I’m sure you are aware that I could counter each one with probably two that are of horrendous nature.

            i.e.

            Death for Adultery?
            If a man commits adultery with another man’s wife, both the man and the woman must be put to death. (Leviticus 20:10 NLT)

            The world is a inherently VERY complicated place, and religion tries to simplify it with dogma.

            The only way out of this mess if thru education, but this will only be achieved when humanity reaches an economic level that allows it for EVERYONE.

            This will happen within the next 100 years, at which point religion will be a thing of the past.

            Thanks.

      • bevery

        hard work and prayer go hand in hand. science and faith co-exists. you believe in Evil but you don’t believe in God?

        • http://Dorianmattar.com Dorian Moises Mattar

          Hard work produces tangible results, prayer produces the exact same result as a placebo. No prayer has EVER regrown a limb.

          I don’t believe in evil, evil is a man created word that carries with it a lot of baggage. In reality, evil is nothing more than the inability of a human to do something more than what they are capable of. A blind person cannot see, just like a psychopath cannot love.

          Both are a result of DNA. In a not so distant future, if religion and politics haven’t destroyed the world, science could advance to the point where we control all DNA and Genetics sequencing, which would result in the complete disappearance of any type of psychosis.

          This will not be a result of your god, but of the scientific method, and we know that because if we turn off the scientific method, we would go back to the dark ages and your god would not move a finger as BILLIONS would die.

          So NO, science and your faith are NOT compatible, at least NOT in the way that you are describing it.

          You want to believe in a god, then by all means, but the minute you try to push FAITH, your game is UP. Faith is the most corrupting though process known to man. It makes you believe in ANYTHING that is unprovable and makes you vulnerable to anyone who knows how to explore this door.

          Which is EXACTLY in the position you are now.

          • hi

            You say faith is the most corrupting thought process known to man, yet you clearly have faith in science and that it is correct.

          • http://Dorianmattar.com Dorian Moises Mattar

            Faith is only required were there is no evidence.

            We don’t pray for the lights to turn on, they do because we understand electromagnetism and the same applies to every single scientific field, from archeology and biology to astronomy and quantum physics.

            Faith separates, evidence unites.

            Evidence: 30,000 sects of christianity alone. Millions dead due to faith wars between Muslims and Christians. Why doesn’t the real god please stand up?

            Science has united the world thru technology, this is how we are communicating at this very moment. Air transportation has made the world smaller and gene therapy is already curing cancers.

            None of these things were possible before science and the progress of science is observable and predictable. At this pace we will have most of our major problems solved by then end of this century; including most deceases, energy, water, transportation and asteroids.

            Once we have that, the only things in our way are climate change and religion.

            Both stem from ignorance.

          • hi

            Does it not take faith to believe the universe came from nothing?

          • http://Dorianmattar.com Dorian Moises Mattar

            No it does not.

            First what is nothing? We understand nothing as no energy, mass, space and time.

            Now, we understand that the total NET energy of the universe is ZERO. E=MC2, which means that Zero Energy = Zero Mass. No mass, no energy, no space, no time = NOTHING.

            Quantum particles Appear and Disappear constantly out of nowhere and One fluctuation along with Zero Amount of Energy is all that is needed to create EVERYTHING you see from nothing.

            Thus we have a mathematical model of how Everything came from Nothing.

            http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu/hbase/astro/planck.html

            Welcome to the 21st Century.

          • hi

            Where did these particles come from?

          • http://Dorianmattar.com Dorian Moises Mattar
  • cher

    Actually, God has given us Scripture to tell us what to believe. So I don’t think it is based on our own reasoning but on God’s. We are fallible, small, weak and lame; we need Jesus as our Rock, not ourselves. We can depend on ourselves as much as we can depend on ants not to take over our picnic. But I do agree with you that questioning our own faith can be a door through which God leads us to strong trust in Him.

  • http://Dorianmattar.com Dorian Moises Mattar

    How do you reason when the premise of this article is flawed? Every single logical thought is warped to the point that it’s no longer a thought.

    How do conceive that over 25 THOUSAND people die of starvation and you are still wondering if this god cares.

    And you do so, simply on egotistical and selfish reflections of yourself.

    The logical conclusion to anyone asking if god cares, is NO, he doesn’t. If he did, he wouldn’t allow for children to be raped in CHURCH by the THOUSANDS.

    Why do you people insist that god loves you because good things happen to you, when everyone else suffers?

    The only reason you people have good things happening to you, is because the ECONOMY in YOUR COUNTRY allows for this things to happen.

    It has NOTHING to do with some god.

    Grow up people!

    • monte

      good question, and a honest one. One has to wonder though, did GOd forget to feed them or did we. you have spoken about this so that means you were aware. so the question begs to be asked, what did you do to stop this? the biggest atrocity is when good people do nothing

      • http://Dorianmattar.com Dorian Moises Mattar

        Yes, I’m aware, but I’m not an all powerful god that can do anything by barely thinking about it, and he would also be aware and much more capable than I.

        What I’m I supposed to do? In this economy, I’m barely able to take care of myself and my family.

        Should I abandon my family and go a crusade to save the world, while this god sits on a throne?

        I don’t think that’s fair.

        • Grace

          You have very valid questions. And your questions have answers. I love that you would ask such questions. It means you care about the children being treated poorly. Your questions though can also be answered if you welcome the thought that God does care, somehow, somewhere (perhaps His throne) how do we know? It’s by faith…which I believe in your past posts you don’t have in God. Which is tough considering all this back and forth questions will merely be just that which can eventually also lead to arguments thus making you believe less in God. I’m sorry you feel the way that you do. However, I pray that you open your heart up to Him one day, maybe not today but someday. I pray also for your family. Have a blessed day! :)

          • http://Dorianmattar.com Dorian Moises Mattar

            You can’t simply believe something by faith. You need to use your mind and reason. You need to use deductive reasoning to come up with your answers. How can we put faith into something that sits on a throne while others suffer? How do you even associate yourself with something that has brought so much pain to humanity?

            Why would you think that I need to open my heart to something that ordered the killing of all animals and children on the planet for no reason?

            How do you love something that threatens you to a lake of fire if you don’t follow him?

            I hope you have the courage to face whatever it is that makes you HAVE to believe in such things and become a person of reason.

            Reasoning is what gets us science, which gets us EVERYTHING we have today instead of what we had when religion ruled the land, which was torture and death to all who didn’t believe.

            Peace

          • Grace

            I can’t and don’t argue about God for me to sound logical. I just love people like you because you make me love God even more and receive His love even moreso. It’s humbling to realize that God can do absolutely EVeRythinG yet there’ll always be people that would still not believe in Him. It’s also a reminder that I was once in your shoes. I questioned every single christian that was trying to talk to me about Him, I thought of questions to trap them, etc, after all, it’s so easy to ask questions on why your God did this and that without understanding the premise of the story. Just like its easy to walk in in the middle of a conversation and completely get lost, we have no premise of the convo, only pick up from where you entered, sometimes where you entered may not have sounded pleasant. Many times, that’s what the bible is, most especially the Old Testament. However, all throughout the bible from cover to cover God has only showed how much he Loves His creation. It hurts Him to see us hurting or going through problems or pain because He first created us to enjoy, have fun, no pains, no sorrow. However we chose to go the other route, continuously, over and over again. We reason, and say His ways are not good, we’d rather do our own thing, it makes more sense. Now, this is something you may choose to believe or not but God will never coerce you in believing Him and follow Jesus. That’s your choice. Either way He loves you whether you believe in Him or not. Whether you want to reason it out or have faith in Him. As for me, you ask, why I would believe in Him? It’s because I choose to, there’s comfort that I find in trusting in Him, He lays me down beside still waters and I find peace and knowing that Jesus has died for me (and you). It’s not a matter of HAViNG to do anything because He said so. It’s a matter of the heart and choosing to do so has changed my life IMMENSELY, though at times trying, it is SO worth it! <3

          • http://Dorianmattar.com Dorian Moises Mattar

            So I remind you that god kills children and you love him more.

            Hum, that makes a lot of sense.

            You mention that god can do absolutely everything and we still wouldn’t believe… Really, where exactly do you come up with that?

            All god needs to do is show his face and this conversation would be over.

            Something as simple as that, and this omnipotent being can’t even do that.

            WoW, you really got your mind wrapped around that one.

            Then you mention that god loves his creation, where do you see that?

            All it ever says in the bible is that you are a worthless sinner that NEEDS to be saved and that without your god you would burn in a lake of fire.

            If that’s your idea of love, then you don’t know love, and I feel sorry for you.

            You mention that you where like me, questioning things and that we are not reading the bible properly or coming into the conversation in the middle of it. Sorry to tell you, but I know the conversation very well, and there is NO POSSIBLE EXCUSE for your god to kill people.

            God won’t coerce me into believing? WOW, He gives us only two choices, either follow or burn. If that’s not coercion than please tell me what it is.

            I have a mind, so I WILL USE IT! Faith is useless.

            He lays you in calm waters? What calm waters are those?

            Can you please list what makes you calm about it?

            Is it believing that you will live forever? That’s not proven by anyone.

            Is it believing that no harm will come to you? Seriously, Christians get ill, suffer, go broke, trip, fall, crash, and everything else, just like everyone one else.

            Your false idea that somehow you are better off in ANY way compared to anyone else, is an illusion that you choose to embrace. Wether you believe it or not, you are in the exact same place as everyone else, you just believe that you are not and that’s called a delusion.

            Unless you can prove that Christians live a better life, you are INCORRECT in your assumptions.

            I didn’t ask this Jesus to die for me! Do NOT place that burden on me! If you need an escape goat for your errors, that’s YOUR irresponsibility! I take full responsibility for my errors and don’t need anyone else to take the consequences of those actions for me.

            It is not worth anything believing in something that is not real. It’s a FALSE, EMPTY and EGOTISTICAL fallacy that YOU are being saved while thousands suffer.

            How can you be so selfish to believe that you are so special that your god cares so much about you, while he allows children to be rapped right in his house, the church?

            What is he doing while this happens? Is he watching? Jerking off?

            THOUSANDS OF CHILDREN AROUND THE WORLD!

            WHILE HE WATCHES FROM HIS THRONE!

            SO WHAT IS YOUR GOD DOING WHILE CHILDREN ARE BING RAPPED?

            PLEASE ANSWER THE QUESTION.

          • beverly

            can you see your brain??? the fact that you can’t means it’s not there? so you’re brainless if that’s what you believe.

          • http://Dorianmattar.com Dorian Moises Mattar

            Wait, wait, did you just asked me if I can see my brain? YES I CAN, I can go to a hospital and have a cat scan, hell I can look in the mirror and see my head which houses my brain.

            And please don’t ask me if I can see the air, because guess what, we CAN see the air, we can see EVERYTHING in the air, and when these things are not there, like oxygen, hydrogen and all the other elements, it’s then called a vacuum, as in the vacuum of space.

            All this information is on the web FREEE of charge! Just go out and LEARN! Learn about psychics, biology, astronomy and all the other incredible things that we have learned over the last 400 years!

            You are stuck with a 3000 year old book, in the dark ages and your ignorance is killing me.

            Please go help your self to KNOWLEDGE! The church wants you to be as ignorant as you can be, so that they can manipulate you, and they are doing a GREAT job at it.

          • hi

            God gives us free will. Hes not the one doing the raping or the killing, its the people that choose to do these thing

          • http://Dorianmattar.com Dorian Moises Mattar

            Really? People just wake up one day and say, “hum, i think i’ll just rape children today and ruin everyones life”. LMAO

            Buddy, it’s called biology something you apparently have no understanding off. People are BORN with chemical imbalances that make them do shit that NO normal person would do.

            That’s why Einstein is Einstein and Charles Manson is Charles Manson.

            But answer me this:

            If your god is omniscient, how do you have freewill?

            If he says that you will rape tomorrow, can you avoid the rape? If not, where is your freewill?

            If yes, how is he omniscient?

          • hi

            So you’re saying that every human mistake, aka sin, is merely a biological imbalance? and therefore you cannot blame a person for raping or killing, or even things like lying?

            I’ve actually had similar doubts about the whole freewill thing if he is omniscient, and I don’t know if I’ll be able to explain this, but here goes: Freewill and GOd being omniscient are not mutually exclusive. God is omniscient, meaning he knows what will happen in the future, so he knows what choices you are going to make. The fact that he knows what you will do doesn’t change the fact that you still made that choice on your own.

          • http://Dorianmattar.com Dorian Moises Mattar

            You tell me why Einstein is …. and Charles is ….

            You tell me why I don’t stand up right now and start killing people while right now some nut job is killing someone.

            It is MY brain, telling me that I shouldn’t do that, because I have EMPATHY and I don’t want to self destruct.

            But if I had a chemical imbalance that was bad enough, I would be climbing walls and trying to kill people. The worse the imbalance the worse the crime.

            Why do you bring up lies? Because your bible tells you it’s a sin? How about using your mind and realize that most lies do NOT deserve ANY punishment at all. What if you had to lie to save your child? Would you lie?

            See this is the problem with religion, it breaks down everything into a simple mold that is made out of concrete in which everyone is supposed to fit. Except life is not a concrete mold, it’s like water, always changing and evolving, nothing is simple, and this is why religion flourishes, because people are to lazy to study and ask the real questions.

            They are satisfied with “god did it” and “don’t worry there is a paradise”. Both are wrong.

            Omniscient -
            Ok, so here is the difference between what you think (your conclusion) and how the scientific method works.

            You avoided the question by stating your understanding of the matter, without actually answering the question. Your premise only works if your choice was made before god knew, but that is NOT the case for before you made your choice, god already knew you would make it and not making that decision would brake gods plan.

            It comes down to a single question. Can you break gods plan.

            So we’ll try again…

            If god knows that you will rape tomorrow, can you avoid the rape? Yes or No?

          • hi

            Just because you wouldn’t kill someone doesn’t mean someone else wouldn’t. I honestly don’t know what exactly is on someone’s mind before they kill someone, but they still chose to do it. If that weren’t a common belief we wouldn’t be punishing criminals and putting them into prison.

            I mentioned lies because it is a very basic form of sin. I see what you mean that in the case of lying to save your child, it should not be punished, but for example, lying at a job interview just so that they think you have more of a qualification than what you actually have is wrong and is something someone does by their own will.

            You did change your question by the way, from “If he says that you will rape tomorrow, can you avoid the rape?” to “If god knows that you will rape tomorrow, can you avoid the rape?

            But now an answer, if he knows that you will rape tomorrow, then it is because you will rape tomorrow.

          • http://Dorianmattar.com Dorian Moises Mattar

            There you go again, simplifying everything to fit your point of view.

            Punishment like jail and death penalty are both absolute ancient constructs that our societies haven’t been able to grow out off. Something better needs to be figured out because we all know that jails don’t work, they actually create monsters and known killers cost us hundreds of thousands of dollars to keep alive.

            Societies like the idea of punishment because it brings them some type of closure, but in reality, the guy who did the killing is just as unlucky as the victim. They both end up fucked.

            How would you like to have been born a natural born killer? Ponder on that one for a minute.

            You keep thinking it’s a choice and you are wrong. These people have such a messed up mind that it’s a kin to an epileptic seizure.

            So what? Who cares if someone lies in their resume? If they think it will help them land the job and they think they can handle the job, then no harm done. If they are not good enough for the job, they’ll get fired and that would be the end of it. Are you getting hurt by it? NO, then why do you care? Your bible has pushed this righteousness ideology that is now embedded in your mind and it has grown tentacles that you can barely escape.

            Good catch, but it’s the same thing, because he knows that you will and he tells you that you will.

            That’s correct, if you wouldn’t rape tomorrow god would be proven wrong.

            So again, can god be proven wrong?

          • Joey

            Dude! God never said the world is a haven for enjoyment. It is place of turmoil real horrid turmoil, he is under no obligation to interfere because you say so. The crimes you commit is no fault of a God but your own, so why should he interfere? We kill animals for their meat, he does not interfere, we destroy his forests he does not interfere, we pollute his rivers and seas he does not interfere. So why should he interfere when we hurt each other…….. Dude God owes nobody an excuse for when, how and what happens. Millenniums may pass and he may still maintain his silence. Who knows…… when Man one day gives up all his vices then God may just materialize surprisingly from within the Earth itself.

          • http://Dorianmattar.com Dorian Moises Mattar

            You mean the people that wrote the bible never said that the world is a for enjoyment, and why would they say that? Because that’s how they saw the world and therefore that’s what they figured god wants.

            But in reality, only a masochistic entity would create something with turmoil when they have the power to create anything they wanted.

            The crime I commit? Maybe your a criminal, guess what? I’m NOT! So you, like every other religion fanatic, like to make humans into the scum of the earth, so that you can then make your god look good. MORONIC.

            Corporations, the 1% of the world, are the ones doing all those things, yet your god allows them to dominate the other 99% and then you turn around and include the suffering 99% of humanity as if 100% of humanity had to do with this. Does that make any sense to you?

            We eat meat? Hum, I’m 90% vegan, yet it is YOUR BIBLE that clearly states to have dominion over all other animals, and it’s Atheist who are the most Vegan on this planet. Are you VEGAN?

            When men gives up his vices? What vices? The majority of humans don’t live like you pretend they do. Most people are starving to death and trying to survive anyway they can. The rest of the world, work 40+ per week. It’s ONLY a minority that actually lives like you say, why doesn’t your god get rid of those, and then everyone else could live in peace?

            To much for your god?

          • julie

            You obviously have not read the bible. Their is an origin to your question of- why does God allow bad things to happen. The thing is my friend he doesn’t. One day he created a beautiful garden for man to enjoy, however his plan did not turn out because their was an enemy called debil, Lucifer, fallen angel, who entered that garden and deceived his creation Adam and Eve, ever since God has used men to restore man’s condition, from Genesis to revelation God continuously tries to win man back to his original plan. unfortunately their was a consequence for Adams disobedience which condemned the world. God created the world for us to enjoy, however he also gave us freewill as he did with adam and eve. God will never force us to do something we don’t want to do, he will not manipulate us or deceive us into doing this and he proved by given Adam and Eve this choice and warning them of the consequence if they disobeyed. In the new testament God sends his son Jesus to come and redeem us because we were all destitute for hell eternal commendation. You must believe by faith and not by mere reasoning. Although, God is not afraid to reason with us, he even says it in Isaiah “come and let us reason…” God is not ignorant of our need or you need for answers. until now we are still in a fallen world waiting for complete redemption. Till then we must as Christians seek him in obedience with our lives. I invite you to read the scripture and seek answers with someone other than this media.

          • http://Dorianmattar.com Dorian Moises Mattar

            God created Lucifer, put him in a garden with two innocent and unexperienced fools. Lucifer trickes them and god condemns the entire humanity to a world of misery and puts the very guy who screwed it all up in charge.

            All of this while he is omniscient, which means he ALREADY knew it would happen EXACTLY as it did and then acted as if he didn’t know. Neither Lucifer nor Adam and Even had a choice to do anything different than what they did, otherwise it would have been different than what god already knew would happen.

            It’s a vicious cycle of insanity, with no logic behind it, because the people who wrote it, didn’t know what the hell they were writing about. They were just trying to interpret the limited reality they understood.

            If you don’t believe me, do this test: Try to type something different than your god already knows you are going to type. Type ANYTHING he would’t know you will type. Go ahead, try it. Remember, he is omniscient, he knows what is going to happen BEFORE it happens.

            FREEWILL –
            Freewill is just another excuse that your preacher uses to confuse you. Ask yourself one question, if a killer entered your sons’ room with a knife, and you had a gun, would you protect your son? Or would you allow the killer to kill him because he has freewill? I’ll answer that, you would not let freewill get in the way of you protecting your son, because you love him.

            Now why does god allow freewill to get in the way of protecting you from Lucifer? Killers from killing, rapist in church from raping, and on and on and on… Because freewill? I don’t care about freewill, I care about results. Your god won’t protect children from murderers because of freewill? Then he is not a god of reason, because freewill never stopped anyone from protecting those who they love. The excuse of freewill is useless.

            Lucifer is not real, he is an invention of man, there was never an Adam and Eve, and the world is not 12,000 years old. They are all made up stories from ancient men trying to understand the realities around them.

            And you are here in the year 2014, believing these stories as if they were real, simply because you have no education in ANY of the sciences that explain human behavior. So you still think like a prehistoric individual, with good and evil, angels and demons.

            Go get an education and grow up.

          • SUAREZ

            One thing you must realise is that God was the one who created you and not yourself.A lump of clay has no authority to say to the potter what are you doing or even think it has more knowledge than the potter

          • http://Dorianmattar.com Dorian Moises Mattar

            You are absolutely WRONG. First of all, you haven’t proven that god created me. As a matter of fact, I know that my parents created ME.

            What you may be asking is who or what created the first living organism, in which case, there is a new study that has now been duplicated which explains how life can come from NOTHING.

            Secondly, it doesn’t matter what we come from, it matter what we are, and even that, doesn’t matter. Just because you are smarter or better at something than someone else, you still don’t have the right to harm it.

            It is against the law to harm a child, even if it’s your child. Because a child is NOT the property of it’s parents, it simply comes from them. So even if your god did create me, he does’t own me. If he has a problem with that, tell him that I am right here waiting for him, to kick his ass.

            and I guess I’m worth more than your god, since I apparently came from clay, but he came from nothing, and last I checked, clay is worth more than nothing.

            Grow up.

          • beverly

            God doesn’t want us to suffer just like He doesn’t want Jesus to be crucified. But, these things need to happen. If bad things don’t happen to us, we will all just be so carefree and dependent. we need to be strong and these so called bad things are God’s way of teaching us how to prepare ourselves for the right time. If you don’t believe in Him, we can’t do anything about it. Just don’t mock Him like you even know Him. May God bless your soul.

          • http://Dorianmattar.com Dorian Moises Mattar

            Are you out of your mind? Tell me something, do you go rapping children so that they can learn the hard lessons in life so that we don’t go “carefree” in life? LMAO You are in need of a psychiatrist.

            Your a psychotic and apologetic individual that would allow any crime in the name of your god. I’m sure you could watch your child being rapped and killed so that he can “be strong” and learn the “teachings” of your god.

            Here in the real world, in a CIVILIZED country, we don’t allow parent to bit their children, yet your god allows not only beating, but molestation, murder, war, genocide, slavery, and the rest of the insanity inherited by ignorance and bad mutations of DNA; something your god should be fully aware of and capable of fixing with a blink of an eye.

            Keep making up excuses for your god, and remember that this is EXACTLY what the muslims that flew into the twin towers were thinking right before they killed 3,000 innocent people.

            Get a freaking clue.

          • permafrost

            Much of the rights we enjoy and freedom of thought that led to scientific inquiry came from the religion of the bible. The idea of all people being equal because we all came from God and not different kinds for apes, some inferior and some superior to each other. I think the god you don’t like is a misunderstanding of the biblical one. The god you are describing is not the one in the bible. Peace!

          • http://Dorianmattar.com Dorian Moises Mattar

            I can quote you all day long all the atrocities in the bible, from rape, genocide and slavery – so much for equality.

            The fact is that we DID come from apes, and that doesn’t have ANYTHING to do with equality. What difference does it make where we came from? Are we supposed to be feel inferior because we were ones sperm? Or an immature child? NO, we learn and reach our potential! It is what we are today what matters and I am more impressed by a process that took billions of years to create me, than by some god that would have made me in a whim. Look at women, they were created from a rib and are they immediately become subjugates of men!

            While thru evolution, we are EQUAL.

            It is the religious people that create separates everyone. Muslims, Jewish, Hindus, Christians etc. we are all divided by religion!

            Science UNITES! That is why we are talking here, because of SCIENCE, NOT because of your god. Your god does NOTHING.

            The great minds of the world didn’t need the bible to make their discoveries and in fact the church put us back hundreds of years because scientists were afraid of being killed and burned alive by the church!

            The fact is that back then, EVERYONE HAD to be religious, and additionally science didn’t even exist. Science was born around the 18th century and so attributing things to the bible is a great mistake. Just like attributing algebra to islam or the quran is a mistake. The inventor of algebra was a muslim, but that has nothing to do with his religion. He was just a bright man.

            Again, how do you find a scientist that is not religious, when everyone has to be religious or die?

          • ijustgottasay

            Been reading along and for someone who claims to not believe in God, you sure do have a lot of hatred and anger towards Him. I think you do know He exists, but you are mad and angry because you do not understand anything. You have put your faith in science, that is always changing…never constant. I lived over twenty years believing Pluto was a planet and now they tell me it is no longer a planet. Science is a bunch of educated guesses and people’s best theories. In another 10 or 20 years, something else will be disproved or changed. Science is imperfect.

          • http://Dorianmattar.com Dorian Moises Mattar

            The reason why some discoveries were made by Christians is the same reason why some where made by muslims in their golden years; everyone was religious in those days, because if they weren’t, they would be killed.

            I’ll simply remind you that mr. Bruno was burned for simply stating that we were not the center of the universe and Galileo was arrested.

            Today, most religious people fight evolution, and I’m betting that you believe it’s just a theory. This is evidence that religion gets in the way of learning. The church has always allowed science as long as it doesn’t interfere with their doctrines.

            The catholic church has made progress on this front as it now openly accepts evolution as the fact that it is.

            I’ve ready plenty in the bible and the Quran, both are nothing more than ancient text from a civilization of relatively very ignorant people. There is nothing in either religious book that has anything to do with a real god.

    • John

      Is suffering bad?

      • http://Dorianmattar.com Dorian Moises Mattar

        Not if you are a masochist.

    • Skye

      I feel sorry for you.

      • http://Dorianmattar.com Dorian Moises Mattar

        Coming from you, I’ll take that as a compliment.

        • David Andrasi

          yo. ive been reading all youre different arguments on this page….and quite honestly, as much as i respect your opinion, as everybody has the right to believe in whatever or whoever they may choose, you don’t have an understanding of who god is what so ever. You claim that god kills people…..really? is it god that kills people? because im sure that every single murder that takes place happens because of another human being. God doesnt rape people. We choose to rape people. God doesnt tell islamic states to go bomb other countries, the people making those decisions do…..see where im going with this man? i understand you obviously dont agree with rape, murder, etc (as should any normal human being), but blaming the acts of other people, on god, is completely illogical. If god intervened everywhere, this would be heaven my friend. we would be living a perfect paradise, but as you know, that is obviously not the case……You also claimed somewhere on this page for taking responsibility for your actions, well here would be a good start man. Don’t blame god, for the crap that we, the human race, who are selfish, envious, jealous, and all the more, commit. You wanna talk responsibility, man up to that, dont throw that on god…..and btw, sufferings are how we grow. You dont have to be a christian to understand how that works. You look at any successful person and I guarantee you they had to go through some serious hardships to get there. And those hardships definately served their purposes too, none of them went to waste. …..So thats all i gotta say at the moment. Just wanted to clear that up. Not trying to tell you to go believe in god or anything, but I wanted to address what you were saying here. Peace.

          • http://Dorianmattar.com Dorian Moises Mattar

            Anyone with the power to stop a crime, who chooses not to stop the crime is just as guilty of that crime as the perpetrator.

            If you sit by a rape, even if you are not the rapist, you are still charged with being an accomplice to rape.

            Your god has the power to stop suffering and doesn’t, so he either doesn’t exist, or is responsible for all suffering that he could stop.

            Additionally, it would be your god who created all those attributes, like jealousy, etc. Freewill? Freewill is not an excuse to allow any crime. If it were, then the policy would have to allow all crimes to take place, because otherwise they would be interfering with freewill.

            “If god intervened everywhere, this would be heaven my friend. we would be living a perfect paradise, but as you know, that is obviously not the case”

            It is obviously not the case, but the question is WHY is it not the case, when god has the capability of making it the case.

            Do you understand? It is not the case because there is not god and most humans are not smart enough to live in peace.

            If we were all as smart as Einstein, then we would have peace. But we are not, so we don’t.

            It’s funny that you want me to take responsibility for my actions, while I’m assuming you believe in this Jesus. Who is taking more responsibility for his actions, me who accept responsibility for my actions, or a christian, who passes that responsibility to jesus? Christians literally accept that this jesus was tortured for THEM. It would be like me accepting someone else to go to jail, after I commit a crime.

            Talk about not taking responsibility for ones actions.

            Suffering may be one way of growing, but we grow much more from learning from our mistakes or studying. If we grew from suffering, then Africans must be the smartest people on the planet. But they are not, so your hypothesis doesn’t stand up to scrutiny.

            Sorry.

          • David Andrasi

            No worries in apologizing, you are expressing your opinion as am I.

            Who said the only way to grow is through knowledge? What about character? Your African analogy doesn’t apply (no offence), there are many different types of sufferings that bring forth many different fruits.

            And no, I am not passing on my responsibility to jesus. The death of christ ensures our forgiveness, but does not exempt us from consequence and responsibilities. Myself and myself alone am responsible for every decision I make. Yes I am forgiven, but I still have to face the consequences of what I’ve done regardless.

            And earth ain’t heaven because we live in a fallen world. Originally it was supposed to be, but we messed that up. God isn’t torturing us. On the contrary, he also invites every soul on the planet to become a part of his family. And that’s where free will comes in. If he got rid of free will, we would be just a bunch of robots. Love requires choice, it requires effort. Take free will out of the equation, and I don’t even believe love exists.

            It’s a tough world we live in man. And it’s going to get worse. As believers, it is our duty to share the good word with others so that they may believe too. We are the tools of God. I think a huge reason why we don’t want to believe in the cross is because we find it offensive. We find it offensive because it tells us were wrong, and we need a savior. Nobody wants to hear that. Nobody wants to hear the stuff they take pleasure in is wrong, nobody wants to give up their comforts and so on, and nobody wants to ultimately give themselves up either. Instead we rather put out joy and self worth in “things” of the world that ultimately will never fully satisfy us and will never last.

            Peace

          • http://Dorianmattar.com Dorian Moises Mattar

            You can build character in many ways. I still don’t see what pain has to do with it. I broke a leg ones, hurt like hell, it did nothing for me, except a bad memory.

            How are you facing the consequences? Say you are a serial killer who never gets caught and on your last breath you believe in Jesus and ask for forgiveness? The entire doctrine of Jesus IS about being forgiven. The only consequences you face are the physical ones, like paying a speeding ticket.

            Why is it a fallen world? Because the mistake of two fools? Seriously? That’s a kids fairy tale. Why should anyone pay for the mistake of others? You say “we” messed it up. Sorry, I wasn’t there, so no, I did not mess anything up.

            Your God IS forcing you to believe, because the only choice he gives you is an eternity of suffering. How is that not an iron fist?

            People love certain things because they are predisposed to like them. That’s why some love chocolate and some love beer. This is how you love, by comparability not by freewill.

            Freewill has been pushed in church as an excuse for everything. Except that the church is ignorant in all sciences, and psychology is no exception.

            Why does an omnipotent God need humans to spread the word?

            I don’t accept the cross because it’s an offensive and repulsive idea. A bloody sacrifice is an unnecessary, archaic pagan ritual. The church has indoctrinated you to believe you need this cross because otherwise they don’t make money.

            It’s the oldest trick in the book, and the armed forces use it. They tear you down to the bone and rebuild you as they wish.

            You have been sold that you are a sinner, a no good scum bag of a human, a lesser being that can’t think for its self, a corrupt fool. Then they turn around and sell you the cure; Jesus in the doctrine of their choice.

            So they create the problem and they give you the solution. This is rxactly what your god does, he creates hell and then gives you the solution. It’s all the same trick.

            I need a home, a car, a wife and food on the table. Not sure what it is that you are trying to say, but you should look at the church and figure their worth; hint, it’s in the billions.

          • David Andrasi

            To be fair man god is not forcing us to believe. Following god gives a joy like no other. As much as we are “giving up” to follow god, we are also getting more than we could imagine. Its a joy like no other man.

            And yes there are consequences man. Even if you never get caught, you’re consequcne involves you hiding all your life with little self worth and family. I honestly doubt a,serious serial killer has joy in life. If they kill 10 people and get a way with it, I bet you they’re dealing with a lot worse inner problems because of it.

            And no man Christians are not ignorant of science and psychology..

            Pain is inevitable man. What the bible preaches is that you will go through sufferings and pain in this life no matter who you are. Christian, aethiest, Muslim, you’re going to face some hard times. The bible just shows us how to deal with those properly, and how each one of those can teach us something.

            And yes we do have different tastes but it is free will which determines our behavior. So free will does have a vital impact. It takes choice to love instrad of give up. It takes choice to work instead of play. We make choices everyday, some that benefit us and some that hurt us. God has given us the choice to pursue him and the choice to choose the other. Just like education has given us the choice to work hard and earn our degree, and also the choice of slacking off and dropping out.

            Dude I’m not trying to argue you here, and I know this hasn’t elevated to that point. There is such a joy and pleasure in pursuing Jesus man. Coming from a last life of sex and partying and weed, and self pursuit, I can honestly say there’s no life like this man. Christianity isnt about doing this and that, but rather experiencing a relationship with the almighty. And trust me its great. There’s peace, there’s purpose, and it makes all things even better. Simple things like relationships and hobbies become so much greater. I don’t doubt for a second that you can never come to Christ. I honestly hope one day you make that decision, and I believe you can. I believe you can live the life you were intended to live.

            If you want a cool video to watch man check out billy graham my hope america on YouTube. Its 30 minutes but its got hip hop star lecrae in it and another pop singer. Its pretty good man. Peace bro hit me up with whatever else I like having these talks

          • http://Dorianmattar.com Dorian Moises Mattar

            I told you, God is forcing you by threats of hell if you don’t believe. This is in fax how Christianity spread thru the world. They used to burn “heretics”. So people started believing this junk or died.

            There is nothing nice about following a death cult.

            No, a killer is a psychopath, they don’t feel remorse because they have no empathy.

            Most Christians ARE ignorant of science to the point of being creationists. They are actually science deniers. Do you accept evolution as a fact?

            There are millionaires that do not go thru real suffering, while there are people being held as sex slaves! You are not making any sense.

            Again, freewill has nothing to do with it because you are being threatened with fire. That is why it’s not free! Get it?

            How can believing in a blood sacrifice be a positive thing?

            I enjoy life without the apparent extremes that you went thru.

            I’ve seen Christians do horrible things and I’ve seem atheists do great things. The smartest and most advanced peoe on earth are atheists.

            What kind of personal relationship do you have with this Jesus? You can’t reallytalk to him, you e never heard his voice, or hugged him.

            The voice you hear is your imagination, and how do I know this? Because if we asked you, and other people, who believe just like you do, they would all discribe the voice completely differently.

            If he is real, all it would take is for him to show up and all this would be done, but he is not real, so he won’t.

          • David Andrasi

            where are you going when you die man. What’s your purpose here on earth. To get education, get a job, raise a family, get sick and then die? Is that really it? And then it’s over forever? No afterlife, no nothing? And morals, good and wrong, where did they come from? Why do most of us desire to do what’s right as opposed to what’s wrong? Why are we wired towards love more than we are to hatred? How were we wired anyway? You’re telling me this beautiful universe that we get to live in was just “scienced” up from whatever you believe in whether its the big bang or something else? Really? Do you see the logic in believing that? What about life man, what about energy. That crap had to had a beginning. Sound, light, elements. And the sun, the stars, all the galaxies, the complexity of our universe, not to mention our own beings? Our brains, how they operate and how our nerves and eyes work? Are we really that ignorant to believe something as dumb as aliens or the big bang rather than accept there might be a creator?

            Everything in this world has and always will have a beginning, as also an end. No matter what theory you believe in that “created” all of this magnificance, that didn’t just pop out of nowhere either. If i wanted to make a tree, I’m going to need some resources.

            i think these questions are a lot more challenging to ask yourself.

          • http://Dorianmattar.com Dorian Moises Mattar

            1. When I die, I will be in the same place as I was before my parents conceived me, just like everyone who dies. Just because you believe there is something after life, it doesn’t mean that it’s true. You would have to provide evidence that there is life after death. Can you?

            2. My purpose in life is different then your purpose, and it’s my own. My purpose is to enjoy life without hurting anyone and leaving the planet better than how I came into it. A god can’t give me purpose, no more than you can. I find and create my own purpose.

            But I ask you, if God gives life meaning, what meaning is god giving to those who are kidnapped and sold as sex slaves? Do you find that God gave those people meaning?

            3. Yes that’s life and I will ask you another question. Who do you think appreciates life more, those who think there is an after life or those who don’t? Think about the rich guy who has so much money, he can literally burn it, and think about a poor person that has no money, who appreciates that dollar more?

            4. Morals have evolved. This is why there were times when humans burned others alive for heracy, and had slaves, both in the bible, while today, we don’t do those things, because we have evolved past those things. So here is another question, do you follow the bible word for word, and if not, why not?

            5. The universe has been proven to have formed by the laws of physics. We have evidence to support our models of reality. Question, why do you find it difficult to believe that the universe formed over vast amounts of time in very small steps, but find it easy to believe that an all powerful, all knowing Magic god appeared out of the same nothingness without a cause , when you have no evidence to support it?

            My friend those questions are questions that I have studied in biology, physics, astronomy and antropology.

            1. Matter cannot be created nor destroyed.
            2. Stars formed thru gravity pulling together helium, hydrogen and dust clouds.
            3. Life is a biproduct of thermodynamics.
            4. Our brains evolved by the process of natural selection.

            Look up every question you have, it’s available on the web for FREE.

            For everything in this existence there is a natural explanation and we have evidence to suport it. But there is no evidence of any god.

            Sorry, but those are the facts, I rather be slapped by the truth, then kissed by a lie.

          • David Andrasi

            There is zero 100% evidence how we got to where we are today. The saying matter always existed is the exact same as saying god always existed. So my faith in an afterlife Is equivalent to your faith in the always existence of matter, which also cannot be proved.

            And sure god can give you purpose in this life. You were created a certain way with certain traits for a certain purpose. Your “self created purpose” is pretty selfish. And your right in the sense that your purpose is different from my purpose. But in all general we all have one purpose of loving one another and spreading the name of jesus so that others may believe. And of course god gave those who are being abused and tormented meaning. You think because of the acts of other people, they automatically become determined that they’re meaningless?

            Amount does not determine appreciation my friend. One can have many and still be overflowing with joy and thankfulness. Likewise, one can have little and be ungrateful that they don’t have more. It comes down to where the hearts at. A good heart can be appreciative in the little and the large. To say you appreciate life more because you don’t believe in afterlife is ignorant of the hearts of those who do believe. I myself am very grateful for life. Life is beautiful, I’m very grateful for what I have.

            And yes I do follow the bible word for word. I try my best to live by it daily.

            Question, why do you believe in an all powerful matter that poofed out of nothing without a cause when you have no evidence to support it? If you’ve studied astronomy, you can see for yourself how perfectly aligned everything is and how one thing that seems off could throw off our entire solar system. If you take god, and matter who both presumably started From nothing, I’ll take a creator any day of the week. If you take a bunch of lego blocks and scattter them in a room, and 5 hours later there was a lego city built, what would be easier to believe, somebody assembled that or the fan in the room pushed them all together perfectly.

            there is evidence of God. The bible, jesus christ, are all real events and documents that took place and we’re written.

          • http://Dorianmattar.com Dorian Moises Mattar

            There is evidence that matter cannot be created nor destroyed, I’m not sure where you are getting your information, but there is no comparison between the preponderance of evidence in physics compared to the absolute zero evidence for any of the thousands of gods man has created.

            You mean like when kids are born with cancer, two heads, no lungs, retarded, autistic, you name it, would that be what you call certain traits?

            What is the purpose of a sex slave?

            I love only those deserving of my love and I rather be tortured than spread the word of this bloody and horrendous pagan sacrifice you call your Jesus.

            I will ask again, what is the meaning of a sex slave. Your horrendous sense of justice is becoming quite irritating. I’m sure the sex slave would love to give you a well deserving sample of what pain is all about.

            Read what you typed, I think you got it completely backwards. And it is not ignorant, it’s a fact. The belief in an after life is what allowed the high jackers of 911 to crash those planes. If they realized they only had one life they would never have throw it away as they did. So you are wrong, people always appreciate things they know are in limited resource, more than thy do things that are endless; look at diamonds.

            If you follow the bible word for word, then you must hate your father, mother, sister, brother and even yourself. So do you hate all of the above?

            It is obvious that you do not study astronomy. The universe is a chaotic and unpleasant place. It may look pretty, but one second out side the atmosphere of this planet and you are done. Out of the vastness of the universe only a small percentage of it can support life, so how do you come up with the idea that it’s perfectly aligned? The universe is expanding faster and faster, which will lead to simply empty space.

            Matter can not be created nor distorted, and this is the third time I state that. Go study physics.

            Really? You’ll take a creator puffing out of nothing already knowing everything, over a natural process that took billions of years to become what it is today, thru an understood and proven sequence of events? Well, there you go, now we know why you are not a physicist.

            That is not how neither the universe nor life came to exist. Your comment is that of a completely uneducated person. Please go study physics so that you can understand what actually happened. Again, that is NOT how it happened.

            Sorry to burst your bubble, but there is no evidence for any god, not just yours, and the bible is just s claim, just like the Quran, which you would be following just as you follow the bible if you were simply born in Afghanistan.

          • David Andrasi

            I’m done here buddy. I’m not going to keep debating your every point, I know myself there is a god and I know myself Jesus Christ came down from heaven and gave his life on the cross for my sake and rose 3 days later. Nothing can change that. God is real, you cannot run from him forever. He loves you dearly, unfortunately I cannot save you, but there is the truth. Its up to you what you do with your life ultimately, but as for me I will serve the lord. Peace out

          • http://Dorianmattar.com Dorian Moises Mattar

            The only reason you can’t debate is because all you have is faith, and faith is based on the suspension of thought, and not on the evaluation of the evidence.

            I follow the evidence and you have provided none. Your beliefs are, no matter how much you cling to them and follow them, are just that, beliefs just like muslims, Hindus, and all other religions fantasies, and no matter how much you believe something, just like theirs, it doesn’t make it real.

            You can believe your delusion all you want, just keep it separate from our government.

          • Alex

            Dorian, please look into the historical evidence for the resurrection that’s just one aspect. Then look into Christian Apologetics. Ravi Zacharias, William Lane Craig, Gary Habermas. All these men do is present the evidence. This is a reasonable faith based off of evidence and how Jesus changed our hearts and lives. You can’t make this up. You can’t see the truth though if you’re not seeking it with an open mind. I know and believe if you seek after the truth with all your heart you will find it. But if not you never will.

          • http://Dorianmattar.com Dorian Moises Mattar

            What historical evidence? There is none. Just because some crazy apologetic says there is, it doesn’t mean that there actually is.

            How can there be historical evidence, when there is no body to test, no DNA, no corroborating witnesses and nothing but some old book which has talking snakes and people living in fish that SAYS that there were 500 witnesses?

            The quran says an entire town witnessed mohammed split the moon in half. Should I believe that as well and call it historical?

            Come on man, how can you be so gullible?

          • Alex

            This is historical evidence confirmed by leading experts in the field. I know what you’re doing, I did exactly what you did at one point. If you truly were looking objectively at the evidence and searching honestly to find the answer you would see how strong the historical evidence is. You’re being very rude by calling these men crazy when they are very intelligent. Why are you railing so hard against a God you say you don’t believe in Dorian? Listen just like me and everyone else the wrath of God is on you. The Bible says we are naturally sons of wrath because we hate our maker the one who gives us life breath and everything and we rail against him through lying, cheating, committing adultery by lusting after people in our hearts Jesus tells us and wanting to be our own God’s when God has given us evidence of Himself in the creation we choose to deny Him and so on judgment day you will be judged by the 10 commandments and you will be found guilty. God punishes those who are guilty with hell. I was at this point too Dorian. But even though you may hate me and hate us, I love you and so does the Lord. You know what He did for sinners? He gave His one and only Son Jesus Christ to take your penalty He took your sins on Himself and took the punishment (God’s wrath) by dying on the cross in your place and then rose from the dead so you can be forgiven. And He’s coming back again to judge the living and the dead. Open up your heart, stop railing against God and think about this. The way you can receive this gift is by repenting (apologizing to God for your sins and turning from them) and putting your trust in Christ alone for your salvation not your own works. Because He has died for all your past present and future sins to save you so you won’t have to go to hell so your case can be dismissed and you can be with God forever. I love you Dorian, even if I don’t know you He’s not willing any shall perish. Please think about this. Repent and put your trust in Jesus Christ and you will be saved.

          • http://Dorianmattar.com Dorian Moises Mattar

            Please provide the “historical” evidence instead of claiming there is.

            Because due to this imaginary gods, MILLIONS have died and CONTINUE to suffer all around the world, THAT is why. Get it?

            Look at current policies in the USA, they are being molded by religious fanatics depriving many of their rights, because some OLD CRAPPY book says some crazy things.

            There you go, talking nonsense like a crazy person. I don’t care what the bible says, just like I don’t care about what the Quran or any Hindu book says, they are just words on paper and NOTHING more.

            You can’t prove YOUR god created anything, any more than a Hindu can prove THEIR god created anything. You have no idea how things came about so you say god did it. How about studying astrophysics and then come back and discuss how the cosmos actually work.

            And then you go into FEAR because that is ALL you have, is FEAR. Have you EVER seen a scientific book that says, you either believe in the BigBang or you’ll go to hell? NO you have NOT, and do you know why? Because we do NOT need fear to make our point, we have EVIDENCE to back our points, while you have NOTHING and hence you NEED to use FEAR.

            You are AFRAID of all this bullshit that child molesting preachers have instilled in you. I feel very sorry for you.

            You are obviously obsessed with “sin” and all that crap.

            Grow up.

  • http://Dorianmattar.com Dorian Moises Mattar

    No she knew EXACTLY what she was doing. She made her self look as this great lady, which she wasn’t.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Criticism_of_Mother_Teresa

  • kojo

    The article is more like brave and bold attempt to confront the scary goliath-doubt. Doubt is a scary thing to Christians. I think the writer hopes to destroy the negative hold that doubt has on Christians by claiming it is a tool of God after all. God uses doubt so don’t be scared when you encounter doubt.

    but i think the writer in essence has glorified doubt in and of itself by making doubt a good thing. to the point that, if you do not doubt, then you must have created a God you can control and are certain of. you have taken the mystery out of God and made God your resting castle unwilling to venture into the unknown.

    that is the unhealthy aspect that has been introduced into this message. Yes the end result of the article is TRUST! and truly as the writer claims, when we get to the place of TRUST, we will not be in doubt. so there the writer contradicts his own assertion of that doubt is a needed and good thing. since he claims we can overcome and totally destroy doubt by TRUSTING God rather than just knowing all about God.

    I propose, as is according to the bible that we build trust in God by learning how to obey him daily and making him the object of our wonder and search. that way we never settle into a known certainty since He is unsearchable by Himself. you can never get to the end of God. but you will learn to trust him better that way. you don’t have to embrace doubt as a good thing, but when doubt comes, you need not be scared and loose your faith as often is the case. Rather, develop the habbit of always searching His wisdom and wonders untill you learn absolute TRUST!!

    so the true solution to Doubt is trust!! but it comes by making God your object of continues searching and understanding. you accumulate Trust as it were, not knowledge or certainty when you know God enough!

  • Aisling Beatha

    All I can say is Amen and I shall probably add the link to this to a set of daily notes I have been asked to write for our church. When I was asked to do it I warned the leader who asked me that it would not be pretty and nice and so on, that it would be raw and there would be doubt and the explanation that THAT was OK.
    That was 5 weeks ago and as of yet he hasn’t used it, hmmmmmmm.

  • Aisling Beatha

    I know I come very late to the argument but WOW :aura, this is exactly what I have been trying to say to people around me, and what I have been experiencing.

  • John

    If you are saying it is good to grow in your faith, you are correct. If you are saying it is good to persevere through trials, questions and dark times, you are correct. If you are saying it is good to come up against our incorrect presuppositions about God and find they are inaccurate, you are correct.

    But words have meaning. Doubt is defined as “to be uncertain about (something); to believe that (something) may not be true or is unlikely; to have no confidence in (someone or something).” If you are saying it is good to be uncertain about God, please show me where the Bible defines uncertainty about God as a good thing or a goal to achieve. If you are saying it is good to believe that God may not be true, justify that with a Bible verse or two. If you are saying it is good to have no confidence in God, show me that from Scripture.

    I am honestly trying to understand your article and what you are really trying to say. Did you perhaps mean to use a different word than “doubt?”

    • steve

      I agree with you, John. Well expressed. In my view doubt is analogous to being sick. Sure there are some positives to sickness – especially its contrast with being truly healthy. It also makes me very grateful for my good health…..But I don’t aspire to being sick. On the contrary…..! That said, I dont think the author’s position is that we must seek out doubt…just to extract the positive from it i.e. like a sign post that tells us we are not there yet.

      I totally and utterly disagree. To get a sense of whether our faith in Christ is where it needs to be we just need to look at its fruits……are we joyful, loving,peaceful, righteous, compassionate etc. These are the measures we should use!!

  • Butterfly_fairy

    Thank you for this


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X