Friday, June 21, 2013 | By: Jake

Considering Abandoning the Faith?

Doubt...yeah, that's always been such a fun thing to deal with. 

It's not something that's's always been around. And as I mentioned in that milestone, doubt is probably something I struggle with the most.

These constant periods of 1-3 days when we lose faith in God, when we want to do something our way, when we would rather sin, rather lift ourselves up than others up, rather lift ourselves up than Him up. Why can't I just go make a bunch of money and spend it all on myself? Why can't I just do what I want to do? These thoughts usually stem from the self, as all sin does.

When something like this happens, you want help. You want to return to the faith, and you want to be convinced. Yet at the same time, you don't want to ruin anyone else's faith by talking to them. However, eventually, you get around to it, you attend a church service, a bible study, a devotional...and you find faith in God...doubt is frequent, but pretty simple to overcome.

However, I wouldn't describe the past two weeks as a doubting of the faith as much as an abandoning of the faith. It wasn't that I was mad at God and didn't want to deal with something. It wasn't that I had some selfish thing that Christ wouldn't approve of.

It wasn't that I hated a part of Christianity.

The problem was that I realized how much I loved it. I realized how much I would miss if I ever left the faith. 

That sense of community? Of people constantly praying over you? Holding you accountable? That's hard to find outside of the church. 

That sense of unity? Like when I went to Passion in January with 65,000 other college students that I didn't know and praised the same God? When I meet a random person on a plane who shares the faith and suddenly we can talk about anything? 

That sense of belonging? Being a part of something bigger than yourself? Knowing that some guy-in-the-sky has your back? 

That sense of security? Knowing that you don't have to worry about anything? That you won't have to fear anything? many wonderful things, but if I'm only a Christian because of these benefits, only a Christian because it's what I grew up with, only a Christian because that's what my friends are, than something is wrong, and I'm not being real and honest. 

I need to be a Christian because I believe in Christ. Yes. It is that simple. 

Anyway, suggestions for people considering abandoning the faith?

1. Get your thoughts out.
Have a journal. Record your voice. Start a Word document. You need to get your thoughts out, or you are not going to be able to process anything, nor be able to see how you've changed day to day.

2. Talk to people about it.
Sometimes, getting your thoughts out in a journal is not enough because you are still the only one that knows. Finally making the decision to tell someone your thoughts makes an unbelievable difference. It takes the weight of your doesn't have to be a Christian, it doesn't have to be an agnostic, it doesn't have to be an atheist. And in reality, it's more important to tell people of different backgrounds in a situation like this. 

3. Ask for prayers.
This one seems kind of one-sided and definitely more on the "this will convince you of Christianity" side, but you're're not sure if you are a Christian, and you don't just want to be told reasons why you should be. Asking for prayers, if God exists, can have enormous effects. And if God doesn't exist, it has almost no only pulls you towards faith if faith is true.

4. Don't fake it.
This is probably the worst thing that you can do. Don't "pray" with others if you are not actually praying. Don't lead worship if you're just playing it like any other song. Don't attend church services if you're just going to sit there and say "I don't believe any of this" to yourself the whole time. Don't pretend that you have faith when you don't. That's like being a lukewarm Christian...God wants you hot and fully in the faith or cold and fully out of the faith. And this one makes sense by secular standards as well...

5. Take a frickin' break.
Lastly, take a day off. This one obviously helped me out the most. I stopped praying, stopped reading the Bible, stopped worshipping, stopped thinking about God, stopping pondering religion and atheism...all of it. And as my wonderful great aunt suggested, whenever a thought about any of that comes into a play, start singing a song and get the thought of your head.

I was in a position where I felt like I was trapped inside a box called Christianity, that I was tricking myself into believing something that I didn't believe in so I wouldn't have to go outside that box, so I wouldn't have to be open-minded...

But as that same aunt said, believing in Christ does not put you in a box, it's what frees you. Christ is freedom.

And I wasn't feeling free...I was seeing church as an obligation...and that's the complete opposite of what Christ wants.

I'm glad to be back.


Post a Comment