I grew up in the church. Was extremely active from the time I was born through college. My church attendance wavered after college. Not really sure why. But my faith hasn’t. I have the drive to attend now that my son is here – but church doesn’t work with his nap schedule. So we are bedside baptists on Sundays.
As I play Children’s Bible Songs on the CD player for my son, I think about what it will be like when he can sing these with me. I think about what it will be like when I read those ever so popular Bible stories to him – Noah, Jesus, Moses, Adam & Eve. What questions will he ask? What answers will I give?
What answers WILL I give? Do I tell him everything in the Bible is absolutely true and that’s exactly how it happened even if I myself don’t truly believe that? Do I even try to explain my thinking, my reasoning, my questioning, my doubts?
I am a firm believer that faith is not faith without doubts. Faith fills in the holes where truth, history, record, etc. doesn’t fill in. But doubt is allowed in those holes as well. And as I have been told by many whom I trust spiritually – my parents, my Sunday School teachers, my Pastors – doubt is perfectly normal and is expected by God.
There is one specific doubt that truly stands out because it did so much for me growing up. The Earth was created in 7 days. My question to my mother growing up, “But if the dinosaurs lived for millions of years before man, how was everything created in 7 days?” My mother’s response… quoting scripture about how time on Earth is fleeting seconds in Heaven. That 7 days in Heaven can be a much longer time on Earth. That satisfied me for many years – may even still do the trick. My “Christian Origins” class in college helped. I enjoyed hearing the historical perspective that proved much of the Biblical stories from my early days.
I’m not saying I don’t believe the Bible. I’m just saying – it was written by man. And I have to doubt that every word in there was truly written word for word from what God told that man. Man is human isn’t he? Humans sin. There’s no way around it. In order for me to continue my strong faith, I have to believe that while the Bible is the truth, it isn’t the end all be all truth. Because what God has done, what he continues to do, is too awesome and too great for man to accurately put into words. We’ve done our best, but the Bible just can’t capture all that truly has or will happen.
One thing I do know for sure is the power of God and Christ – and what they have done in my life. There is no doubt there – ever.
Maybe I just tell my son that. And hope he doesn’t torture his Sunday School teachers with too many questions…