Here’s a thought for Sept. 27

Lutheran Campus Ministry chaplain Southwest Minnesota State University

Honoring doubt

Voltaire once said, “Doubt is uncomfortable, certainty is ridiculous.”

I know and understand that there are many Christians who cringe when they read that quote.

Individuals seem to like certainty, and many believe that certainty is a key component to your faith. I want to unpack that statement and take a look at doubt and how that intersects with our faith.

Growing up, I had this impression that doubt was not allowed. For you see, doubt in the simplicity is the following: to be uncertain. Thus, I walked with the aspect that you could not be a person of faith and have doubt. I no longer believe that and have gone to embrace what my friend Kathy says, “Real people doubt, and trite certainty doesn’t seem to help hurting people.”

On campus, I come across young adults who have serious doubts about their life and their faith. Many of them are stepping out for the first time without the faith of the parents. Students and ourselves need to accept doubt as a natural part of our experience instead of resisting it. It use to frustrate me when doubt crept in my life or into the life of those that I walk alongside of.

However, I fully believe that God can stand up to the doubt that we have.

This past week, Nadia Bolz-Weber came out with a new book that has shot up the NYT book list. Years ago, she did a blog post called “Faith needs doubt like children need love.” My wife and I are blessed with three children. We pour love into them, and that love helps build strength in them, and that strength allows them to grow and develop and doubt can do the same.

It is my hope, dream and prayer that our faith communities can be places where they can wrestle with the tough questions in community. God is telling a beautiful story. When we let go of needing to know everything, we are released and can focus on my favorite Scripture (Micah 6:8): act justly, love mercy and to walk humbly.