Ants in the Pants of Faith
March 15, 2006
We had an excellent conference at Camp Wonderland. Of my four messages, the sermon on doubt attracted the most feedback. Several people thanked me for raising a topic that we rarely talk about in church. That’s too bad because doubt not only is not sinful, it can be a catalyst for spiritual growth. One writer called doubts the “ants in the pants of faith. They keep it alive and moving.” I don’t see how you can be a Christian and not have doubts from time to time. Perhaps our biggest problem is that we think doubt is the opposite of faith. It’s not. Unbelief is the opposite of faith. Unbelief describes a settled condition whereby you decide that you cannot and will not believe what God has said, such as the children of Israel deciding to reject the report of Joshua and Caleb at Kadesh-Barnea. Unbelief means we have chosen not to believe. Doubt refers to a sense of inner uncertainty we all feel from time to time. I told the group that over the door of every church in the world, we should erect a sign with just two words: “Doubters Welcome.”
If you have doubts, come inside.
If you have questions, come inside.
If you are uncertain, come inside.
If you are a skeptic, come inside.
If you are searching for truth, come inside.
If you’re looking for God but can’t find him, come inside.
We could help ourselves if we admitted that we all doubt from time to time because faith needs doubt in order to grow. If you ever come to a place where all your doubts are gone, you can relax because you’re in heaven. Until then, doubts will come from time to time and that’s not a bad thing. Doubt by itself isn’t sinful. It’s what you do with it that matters.
You can read the sermon online. It’s called If I Believe, Why Do I Doubt?