Permission to doubt

As I reflect on Easter, I have a wee problem.

In our enthusiasm to celebrate, do we drift towards a triumphalism which excludes others? As Christians, are we so caught up in the moment that we forget those around us, maybe even forget what really happened at that first Easter?

Maybe it’s just the church that I attend, the blogs that I read, or whatever… But I think that we need to create more space for doubt, for the exploration of meaning, for coming to terms with a totally transformed mindscape.

Look at Jesus’ originals followers. They had scattered after his arrest, trial and crucifixion. They met behind locked doors. They didn’t suddenly burst on to the streets of Jerusalem proclaiming the dawn of a new age that first Easter Sunday morning.

Instead, they had to adjust, to express their doubts, to join the dots of Jesus’ earthly ministry and his re-apperance. Their transformation from fear and dejection to boldness and willingness to face ridicule, abuse, death was not a single event, but a process over the next few weeks. They had to adjust to a world where the religious rules that had guided their whole being were replaced by being guided by the Spirit. From the definable to the ineffable.

I believe that we need to make room for a similar process today, and to openly acknowledge that doubt is not a bad thing.

After all, if we aren’t surprised and puzzled by the Easter story, have we really taken in the magnitude of it?

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2 thoughts on “Permission to doubt

  1. Is that because we can manage doubt all by ourselves as fallen people in a fallen world; whereas faith requires thought, commitment and community?

  2. Hideous

    I wonder if the opposite is almost true? That is, that our certainty (as opposed to faith) is a sign of our fallen-ness, in that we become so proud of our knowledge that we cannot let ourselves move into the grey areas.

    As I’ve thought about it today, I’ve found my thoughts moving to radicalisation of religion (and atheism in this country) – based on that absolute certainty. It seems to me that authentic faith – and hope – will deal with issues of doubt and puzzled-ness as part of moving towards wonder and astonishment.

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