An article in The Independent, a British Newspaper, states that Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury, confessed to having moments of doubt about God.
He is the senior bishop of the Church of England and considered the symbolic leader of the worldwide Anglican church including the Episcopalian Church in the US. Welby made these statements on BBC’s Songs of Praise, a program featuring hymns and inspirational stories.
Justin said when he heard about terrorists killing nearly 130 people, he went out to pray the next morning. He asked God where He was at when all this was happening.
Responding to a question whether these attacks caused any doubts Welby said, “Oh gosh, yes” and then added they put a “chink in my armor.”
Though the Church of England is largely Liberal in its view on God and the Bible, Welby comes from the Evangelical persuasion inside the Anglican church.
It shows that even the best of us can struggle with doubts.
I appreciate his honesty and I don’t believe Justin is alone in this struggle.
It reminds me of an interesting verse in Luke. After Jesus died on the cross, the disciples panicked. The Romans had just killed their leader. Many probably wondered if they were next. The tight knit group scattered.
After Jesus rose from the dead, He spent the next few days rounding up His disciples. When Jesus appeared to one group, they thought He was a spirit. The Lord said to them:
“Why are you troubled, and why do doubts arise in your hearts?” (Luke 24:38 NASV)
After being with Jesus, seeing His healing miracles and deliverances, the disciples were now struggling with doubt. But Jesus tied these doubts to the troubles they were experiencing.
According to Thayers, the word doubt has at its root the idea of being two minded. On the one hand we have faith in God, but then on the other we allow worry and fear to infiltrate our thinking. This battle going on in our minds is the source of our doubts.
The world is in a time of trouble. Christianity is under attack. We are being belittled in the media, our beliefs ridiculed and criticized. There is a blatant attempt to marginalize Christians.
James tells us that trials and troubles test our faith. And our faith needs testing. People in the west struggle with easy “believism.” It is easy to believe God when everything is going fine — when there is money in the bank and food on the table. But do you still have faith during difficult times?
Christians in most parts of the world have long ago dealt with that issue. I recently posted a story about ISIS murdering 12 Syrian Christians, four by crucifixion. All they had to do was deny their faith and they would be alive today.
We in the West are just starting our faith purification process. Will we only believe when it is convenient or will we still believe during the dark hours?
We have all read these verses in James, now we need to live them.
Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, 3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. 4 And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. (James 1:2-4 NASV)