Kim Fabricius considers a number of possible and oft-proposed identifications for the opposite of faith, and proposes that the real opposite of faith is fear. He writes:
There is a lot of fear around in the church today. Fundamentalists are afraid of scholarship and science. Traditionalists are afraid of change and newness. Many of us are anxious about secularism or alarmed by militant Islam. And a lot of Christians are seeking safety by demanding our rights, defending our territory, acting like victims, whinging and blaming and shouting the odds. It’s unseemly, it’s unchristian. Fear makes us act in these faithless ways, makes us shrink, turns us in ourselves. But faith – real faith – expands us, turns us outwards to others, doesn’t circle the wagons but lays out the welcome mat to the different and strange and tries to engage even the enemy. Not easy. But whoever said that faith is easy?
Brandon Wallace writes along similar lines:
It wasn’t until my latter college years that I actually gave myself permission to read differing views, and I was amazed at how much I learned by doing so. I finally got to a point where I realized God isn’t scared of my questions, and that the heart of faith is searching and seeking more and more. Once I let go of my fear, I was able to experience the Gospel (and life) in a way I never was able to before. Did my opinion on homosexuality change because I researched it? Yes, it did. Did my entire faith structure crumble because of this? No, it did not. In fact, it grew stronger. You see, stagnation cannot be a part of faith. If you aren’t changing your mind on aspects of theology and figuring out sometimes that you don’t really have all of the answers, then really you aren’t growing in your faith at all.