March 22, 2006

It's Okay to be a Doubting Thomas

John 20:24-29 (NIV)

Now Thomas (called Didymus), one of the Twelve, was not with the disciples when Jesus came. So the other disciples told him, "We have seen the Lord!" But he said to them, "Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe it." A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, "Peace be with you!" Then he said to Thomas, "Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe." Thomas said to him, "My Lord and my God!" Then Jesus told him, "Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed."

This scripture directly ties in with one of the themes I like to write about on this blog. The notes included in my bible referring to these verses say:

"Some people need to doubt before they believe. If doubt leads to questions, questions lead to answers, and the answers are accepted, then doubt has done good work. It is when doubt becomes stubbornness and stubbornness becomes a life-style that doubt harms faith. When you doubt, don't stop there. Let your doubt deepen your faith as you continue to search for the answer."

If Jesus had not accepted Thomas' doubt as an attempt to grow in his faith, do you think He would have appeared to him? There are plenty of examples in both the Old and New Testaments where people question God. If they do it with faith and are seeking answers, He supplied them.

When I came to Believers Covenant Fellowship over a year ago, I had not resolved the issue of how God viewed homosexuals. I listened to what my future wife Brenda, Apostle Dale, and other members of the church told me, but I still had questions. I did some studying on my own and I prayed a lot. After some work on my part, I was at peace with the understanding of how GLBT people had equal rights to God's kingdom and should enjoy equal rights in our society.

I asked questions, sought out information, opened my heart and my mind, and got answers.

God blessed Thomas for asking questions because he was listening for the answers and accepting when they were presented to him. That is a great example for all of us to follow and one that is become tragically rare in today's soceity.

1 comment:

  1. It's a smart person that changes his or her mind. Kind of a simplistic statement, but it's true.

    I'm so glad God had patience with me back in 1980 when I was very anti-gay and leading a college Christian fellowship. He sent a gay Christian across my path to talk with me. I came away from that unconvinced, but that was the start of my "doubt" that what the church had taught me was true. It wasn't, and 20 years later, I fully knew it.