Jesus Needs New PR

Jesus Needs New PR

WARNING: My Doubt Might Hurt You

My friend Jason Boyett invited me to write about “doubt” for his blog series on the topic. I was honored.

I hope you enjoy…

Okay, so my name is Matthew and I’m a doubter. (Shall we drink to that?)

The truth is, sometimes I think this whole “Christianity” thing feels like a bad fairytale, like “She-Ra” without the sex appeal and a Pegasus. And other times, my struggling belief that Jesus lives pulls me out of my own muck (and other people’s muck).


For the longest time, existing amid that tension drove me nuts. Whenever I was in a room surrounded by people — you know, friends, family, strangers, etc., who all confess to completely understand the “Good News” (and I feel like I’m always in a room like that) — doubt made me feel what I imagine Sarah Palin would feel in a room full of political science professors: like an hors d’oeuvre.


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posted October 8, 2010 at 9:01 am

I think your title is more effective than JB’s.
Good open-handed display of your heart.
Thanks for writing.

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posted October 8, 2010 at 10:19 am

Good easy.

When I decided to face my doubts instead of turning a blind eye to them, I made 2 commitments, and 2 commitments only.

1. God is God – do not take Him off the His throne.
2. Jesus is the Son of God – proclaimed, declared, born, eternal or not, He is and He is the lamb of God.

Everything else – its up for discussion. I’ve heard scripture abused from the pulpit and people take it out of context

However, this leads to a major pain point. A very major one. There aren’t many good (i.e. clear) answers to good questions. Very few. And that is painful.

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    Jess P

    posted October 9, 2010 at 8:51 pm

    Funny, I made a similar commitment. Years ago, I was expressing my frustration to God about all the silliness in my church and my life. I felt peace and it was like God said that he can handle anything as long as I hold on to him.

    To be honest I don’t think I really hold on to him, he holds on to me.

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posted October 8, 2010 at 10:19 am

Good ESSAY. ESSAY! Not Easy. LOL

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Recovering Alumni

posted October 8, 2010 at 11:09 am

“But I’m learning to remember that, just like a person’s strong belief can cause their faith to be rigid and judgmental and come holding a sword, my doubt can sometimes cause my faith to be cocky and unmerciful and bearing a machete.”

That line alone was worth the price of admission.

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Aaron Reddin

posted October 8, 2010 at 12:08 pm

Hi. I’m Aaron. I’m a doubting skeptical cynic with Christian-asshole tendencies. Did I come to the right group?

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Becca M

posted October 8, 2010 at 2:29 pm

Thank you for writing this-I 100% relate to your feelings and thoughts. Many times I felt like an outsider in my own home b/c my parents were so certain and many times I was not and am not.

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matt mewhorter

posted October 9, 2010 at 6:59 am

I’ve come to find that God blessed us with such powerful minds. The human brain has so much untapped potential. I think when we doubt and question it could be a reminder that we are keeping our mind ‘alive’….engaging it and using to continue finding God and our way in this world.

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Jess P

posted October 9, 2010 at 9:46 pm

Thanks for posting this, Matthew. While in the past couple years I’ve felt a sense of pride in my ability to doubt, recently I’ve become concerned how it has effected the way I treat others, just like you expressed in your essay.

As a doubter, there is a certain foolishness among Christians about ideas, belief, and even culture that I would always leverage against people when they expressed any certainty about anything I didn’t think was very certain. That’s because beliefs and ideas are strange things and should be challenged and questioned. And I do not want to be one of those fools.

But there is another type of Christian foolishness that is so beautiful. I see it in a lot of the missionaries I know. Their foolishness leads to action, to love. I love that. It is not grounded in reason, or logic, or “common sense,” but they think that they should treat others like Jesus has treated them. All my witty thoughts are of no consequence, like a tiny breeze. I would gladly trade my cynicism for their foolishness any day.

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