Sunday, April 7, 2013

Saturday and Doubt

Church this morning was about Doubting Thomas.  The pastor was talking about the problem of Jesus not being present with his disciples or anyone else on earth between the times of his crucifixion and his resurrection.  Jesus was not healing people.  Jesus was not communicating to his disciples God's way of looking at situations, thereby leaving them to their own devices.  The pastor called this time "Saturday", for it was the time between the Friday of Jesus' crucifixion and the Sunday of his resurrection.

The pastor then said that, in a sense, today seems like Saturday.  Christians might believe in Jesus, but where is the proof that Jesus is alive?  The pastor replied to this by saying that Jesus is by each one of us, and those who don't see that don't see it because they don't want to see it.

That may look rather insensitive, especially to people who sincerely doubt Christianity or theism in general, and who struggle to have faith.  I'd say that, ordinarily, my pastor is sensitive to the issue of doubt.  I've expressed my problems with the Bible more than once in our Bible study group (not that I do this every week, but I have every now and then), and my pastor has said that he can understand why people have doubts, since the Bible is difficult.  I'd even say that, in his sermon today, he appeared to be sympathetic to doubters.  There is so much in the world that doubters or skeptics can point to in calling into question the existence of a benevolent God.  Is doubt or skepticism really that ridiculous?

But is God's existence truly evident to those who seek it?  Some testify yes, and some testify no.  But there is a part of me that would like for the Jesus story to be true----for the healing presence that supposedly inhabited Israel two millennia ago to impact the entire earth in a concrete way.

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