In Good Faith

If religious faith amounts to “certainty,” is there no room for reasonable doubt in religious life?

Julia McKay - Unitarian Universalist

Rev. Julia McKay is the minister of High Plains Church Unitarian Universalist and a professional spiritual companion dedicated to embodied life practices that enhance our deepest ways of knowing.

We are impacted by all aspects of culture, including religion. Religion might be described as a worldview that orients us in the universe and helps give our lives meaning and purpose. Yet, having a responsible faith means that we are willing to examine our religious orientation intentionally, honestly and critically for its impact on ourselves and on society. If we only want faith with certainty, we are simply consumers of particular beliefs frozen in time. If we allow for a faith without certainty, we accept change and growth over time — which is the point of having a spiritual path, right?! When we do this, we become creators of culture, not just consumers, change-makers who are shaped by cultural values AND shape those values in return.

Jeff Scholes - Agnostic

Jeffrey Scholes, Ph.D., is an associate professor of philosophy and the director of the Center for Religious Diversity and Public Life at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs.

That faith amounts to certainty is a Christian Protestant idea that still carries a lot of freight with it to this day. The idea that the “right standing before God” is threatened because of momentary feelings of doubt about the whole thing (for Protestant Christians) is ludicrous. How can anyone comprehend Jesus’ “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” as anything other than a profound statement of doubt? WWJD can be answered with: “He can doubt the intentions and will of God.” There is room for reasonable doubt in any faith journey. Just be careful and attentive. That doubt can invite non-biblical authorities in for a long visit. And these authorities may surprise you — they may embolden your faith. Or they may take you on a journey that converts those doubts into a different kind of certainty.

Ray Hendershot - Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints

Ray has served on a mission to England, has been a bishop, and has held other key leadership positions in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Currently, he works with other faiths to provide service to our community.

Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ is not by chance but by choice. Faith does not fall upon us by chance or by our birthright. Faith grows in a person as they follow the advice found in the scriptures and live the commandments given by God to man. Faith in Jesus Christ is a gift from heaven and comes as we believe. We seek it and hold on to it by what we do on a regular basis. Our faith may change to knowledge by what we do in life. Our faith grows as we live the teachings of Jesus Christ and prepare ourselves to return to live with God after this life.

Benn Mac Stiofan - Druid

Benn Mac Stiofan is a practicing Druid who speaks Irish and has deep respect for the spiritual, ethical, and mystical teachings rife in Celtic myth and legend.

Doubt is the key to truth. When it comes to a direct and personal experience of the Gods, you cannot take someone else’s word for it. Do you want someone to describe love to you, or do you want to experience love yourself? Personally, my most moving experiences with my ancestors and the Gods have occurred precisely because I approached them with a heart vacant of preconceptions. I never wanted another to tell me how to experience the Otherworld. I wanted to feel it myself. Otherwise I knew it would have no meaning for me. Because of this approach I now have an informed faith that gives me tremendous comfort, challenge and support. But the Otherworld is never static and demands adaptation. Once you reach a final verdict, get ready for change. 

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