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Saturday, March 17, 2012

Time for a Closer Look at Faith

I have been a little concerned about my faith lately.  It seems to have retreated from the level it was six months or so ago.  This post is an effort to clear up some faith stumbling blocks and move forward.


I look at the subjects of religion, faith, and spirituality from two perspectives.  I am a scientist by training so I prefer using scientific methods and objective evidence to understand things.  However, it is the analysis of my experiential (subjective) accounts that eventually overrules any unresolved issues or limitations I have with empirical evidence.

I belief in God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit.  In my world view the Christian God as represented in the Trinity is truth.  My faith is at a level where I am comfortable not knowing answers to questions like "How did man arrive on earth?"


Questions, skepticism, and sometimes outright doubt are common during my day. I think this way mostly when I am depressed.  The doubtful thoughts vary from simple misunderstandings to almost outright attacks on my fundamental understanding of Christianity!  I often wonder why I have so many doubts and suspicions when I try to understand Biblical truths?

For example, consider salvation.  Out of the 7 billion people living on earth today 2.3 billion are Christians.  So what happens to the 4.7 billion non-believers?  One interpretation maintains the belief that all people are accountable to God.  They believe the Bible promises that everyone who truly seeks after God will find Him.

In a blanket statement manner they say if a person truly desires to know God, God will make Himself known.  I haven't fully reconciled this one.  I mean, what about the people living on such and such island that have had little or no contact with the western world and Christianity?  What about those who have been socialized and indoctrinated into another religion or spiritual belief system?  Are they really all destined for

My Walk

My spiritual walk is completely different than it was just one year ago.  I don't attend church regularly.  I pray less.  I rarely read Scripture.  I do believe, however, that the Spirit lives within me and helps me deal with bipolar symptoms.

Last year I was going to church weekly, praying throughout the day, reading Scripture all the time, and even studying at a Seminary for a degree in Theological Studies.  Today, I have not attended church since January, I pray each day but a lot less, and I haven't read the Bible in weeks.

I have been declining gracious invitations to attend church and participate with other believers.  I am truly grateful for my brothers and sisters in Christ reach out to me. I want to acknowledged them and I pray that they experience an unfettered path towards greater spiritual awakening and understanding.

My Faith

These days instead of focusing on living a Spirit-filled life, I find myself looking for "proof" God exists.  After I receive my "proof" I move ahead, only to be followed by the nagging thought "Does God love me?" Instead of trust I have doubt.

As you can imagine, my state-of-faith greatly impacts my day-to-day outlook and emotional health.  When Spirit-filled I walk with freedom and ease knowing God will provide and protect me at all times.  This is healthy.  It leaves less room for anxiety during the day.

Way Forward

I do see a way forward from here.  Before this however, I need to remind myself that I'm okay exactly where I am.  Sure, my relationship with God has changed some and I am less Spirit-filled than than I've been at other times.  But I still relate to Him and worship Him.

Perhaps there are reasons for this period of skepticism.  Maybe it is an opportunity for my faith to grow?  I find the process of discovering answers to challenging Biblical questions makes my faith stronger!  It is action towards a better relationship with the Father.

Though I see a way forward, I don't have a particular path determined.  I am confident a path will show itself as I move along.  It is likely I will be in this "non-engaged" pattern for some time.  I'm not all that concerned.  It's only temporary and I know I'm being led by God regardless of which decisions I make or path I choose.  This is very reassuring and calming.


I do not see my current faith situation anything to be alarmed of.  It's not like I went back to agnosticism.  I'm still a Christian.  There have been change recently in my faith practices, but I still have faith.  I am asking more questions, but getting understanding at the same time.

My faith fluctuates.  I have periods of strong faith.  I have periods of doubt.  And I have periods of healthy skepticism.  They are all okay.  Each has benefits toward the development of the Spirit inside me.

I believe our personal faith and spiritual practices reduce the intensity of bipolar symptoms.  I hope we continue to see more and more people receiving real mental health benefits from their faith and spirituality. 850

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