Doubt – Part 3.
Doubt is serious. Doubt is the greatest common reason given in surveys of former Christian youth who later left the church. They were discouraged from expressing their doubts in their church and youth group, or they encountered people incapable of helping them.
Steve Jobs, Apple Computer magnate, grew up a Christian. He died a Zen Buddhist.
At thirteen, his world was rocked by a 1968 Life magazine cover showing two starving children in Biafra. Steve asked his pastor, “If I raise my finger does God know which one before I raise it?” “Yes, God knows everything,” said the pastor. “Did God know what was going to happen to those children?” asked Steve. All the pastor said was, “I know you don’t understand, but yes, God knows about that.” No answer. No apologetic. No sympathy. No reason. No “Let’s talk about this.” Jobs left the church and never returned.
Is this a hard question? Yes, but it is answerable. Steve Jobs deserved an answer. He got none.
It’s not just our clergy or Sunday School leaders who need to be equipped to answer such questions but every parent and every single member. Every church needs to clearly proclaim an open door policy for doubts to be expressed and dealt with.
Doubts confronted properly lead to a stronger more confident faith. Doubts suppressed extinguish faith.
(Steve Jobs story from Doubting Toward Faith, The Journey to Confident Christianity, by Bobby Conway, pp 49-50)