Mark 9:24 "I believe; help my unbelief."
My son Kyan recently asked “hey Apa… what’s that word the pastor used this weekend? Like when you’re not sure there is a god because you believe nothing can be known about the nature of god?”
“You mean agnostic?”
“Yeah. I think that’s what I am. I think I’m agnostic.”
He proceeded to lay out how, though he appreciated his Christian upbringing, he couldn’t logically understand how to prove anything about the existence of any god, let alone a specific god of a specific religion. I freaked out for a second, as questions about my parental efficacy flashed across my mind, but then I remembered that I had the same sorts of questions in my youth (though I was 14 and Kyan is only 11). My questions back then led me on a winding journey, that eventually led back to my faith, albeit with a more open-minded perspective than what I probably started with.
I called a few friends this week to discuss. My mentor Dave Gibbons told me that doubt is not necessarily a bad thing. He’s actually going through a sermon series on doubt now at his church @Newsong. Then I called another friend Jason Min, who told me that facing doubt is actually a core value of his church @CitizensLa.
I think I’m going to explore more about the role of doubt in faith in the days ahead. Given my dad’s passing, there are lots of questions floating around our household about the nature of God and the world He created. “If God exists, why do people have to die? Why do bad things happen to good people? How does he decide such different outcomes for people if he loves all his children?” Though catalyzed by Kyan’s somewhat startling comment, in an increasingly transparent, connected world, there is no doubt that we all need to figure out how to surface, address and maybe even encourage more questions about why we believe what we believe.
Dear God, I feel like you’re shifting some things in the atmosphere. I don’t know what you have in store, but I know that it is good, because you are good. Even when we have questions and we can’t understand, we can take comfort that you love us, even when we don’t understand. I thank you for Kyan and his questions, and for the road ahead. In your son’s name, Amen.