Really struggling with doubt right now...

Discussion in 'Spirituality/Worship' started by Lms526, Aug 22, 2008.

  1. Lms526

    Lms526 New Member

    As many of you know, I have a long history of depression. Anyway, I started Effexor XR about a month ago, and have found significant relief. I don't feel depressed anymore, but I don't feel much of anything else either. I just feel blah and flat.

    Over the past several months, I have also been struggling with intense emotional doubts about Christianity and in general. There are many things I am struggling with in this area. Here are some of my biggest struggles.

    1. The Virgin Birth

    2. Is the Bible truly reliable?-Who decided which books became part of the canon? Was it a committee vote? How was it decided which books were rejected and which were accepted? How is the Bible different from any other "holy book" such as the Koran, the Torah, or the Book of Mormon? What makes the Bible unique?

    3. I am also having difficulty reconciling the God of the Old Testament with the God of the New Testament. In the Old Testament, God seems to enjoy killing people, even women and children? How can that be reconciled with a God of love, mercy, grace etc?

    4. If God is truly sovereign and in control, then why is there so much evil in the world?

    5. Why is all of humanity born with a sin nature due to the choice and mistakes of Adam and Eve? It seems cruel to me to punish every one for their poor choice.

    6. Sometimes it seems to me like being a Christian means checking your brain at the church door? Doubt, questions, and reason are all "of the devil"? Does that mean that we are supposed to just swallow everything we are taught and read without question or thought?

    I realize these are all major questions. I just don't know where else to turn for answers. I'm beginning to wonder if there even IS an answer. I'm not to the point where I can say "There is no God" but, honestly, I think I might be headed in that direction. I'm so confused. I have no idea what to think or what to believe anymore. I would definitely be open to any advice/opinions anyone cares to share, but I guess what I need most right now is prayer. Thanks!

  2. windblade

    windblade Active Member

    I think it is really healthy to be asking all the questions that you are.

    We don't need to check our reason in - we're meant to use all the faculties of our humanity.

    Writers like C.S. Lewis who was a very rational apologist helped me early on to know that asking questions was the right thing to do.

    Needing to know that the Bible was an authentic document was something that was crucial to my faith. I was basing my whole life on it.

    I found a lot of scholarly documentation in a book called 'Evidence that demands a verdict', by Josh McDowell.

    I even approached the gospel accounts of the life of Christ, and starting with the first page of accounts, I read it, trying to eliminate all the Supernatural parts.

    It was impossible for it to hold together since it's saturated with events that are not of the normal, everyday world.

    I did that because I wanted to test the theory that Jesus was just a wise teacher.

    I felt like I was in a straightjacket at times from certain church teachings, or religious things I learned from childhood.

    One book that helped me tremendously to get out of that too-tight confinement was "Your God is too small", by J.B. Phillips.

    I read it over and over again, learning to identify the images or ideas of God that I had that were too small.

    I'm sure I have the book on my shelves to find again.

    Every single question that you asked, I have too.

    When I struggled over the Old Testament God, I realized that if it was not for Jesus - who he is - I would not be able to believe in God.

    I could not believe in God either from 'Nature' - for all the beauty that there is, that I deeply delight in: there is the horror - to me, at least, of animals killing animals to survive. And Natural disasters that take life.

    Always I return to studying Christ - looking at his actions, his words, his deep humanity and love.

    I have never found any fault in Him - but only come to love him deeper and deeper. And I need and want to know him more.

    There's a lot more to your questions - I painfully struggle with others you mentioned.

    Just have run out of steam now.

    I honor and respect you for being so honest!!!

  3. Lms526

    Lms526 New Member

    Thanks for your response. It's nice to know I'm on the only who has and is struggling with issues like these. I've never heard of that book you mentioned by J.B. Phillips. Maybe I should check to see if they have a copy at the library. Anyway, thanks for the support and encouragement.

  4. kbak

    kbak Member

    Hi Lms526,

    I think many struggle with questions. It's so hard when you see how bad things are. It doesn't shake my faith in God, but I do tell Him all the time that I sure don't understand why certain things are the way they are.

    God's a big guy and not afarid of our doubts or questions so don't be afraid to bring them to Him. Certain churches can be very unyielding and I find them the modern day pharisees.

    I know that if you bring these questions to God and ask Him to help you find the answers to help you, He will!

    I wish I could sit and type and talk about a lot of your doubts but typing is painful for me so I have to keep it short.

    Take care. Praying for you,

  5. Sweetpotatoe

    Sweetpotatoe New Member

    Lifting you up in prayer this day LMS, I know you've had such a hard time the last few years, Hold onto Hope dear girl, I Give thanks and praise to God for relief of depression through medication, what a blessing, my heart just sings for joy for you.

    Soo many hard questions, that we have all asked and thought, so few tangible answers, one day it will be clear, but for now we have to just have faith, to believe without knowing some of the answers.

    God spoke the world into existance, God is in control, He knows what He's doing!!

    A few years back I read a book by Joyce Meyer called "Why God Why", then I desperatley wanted to get hold of her book, "When God when" I had so many questions, I haven't read those books in a while, but I remember one thing I read, if the answer is not evident then Gods not telling right now, but he has a plan.

    Sorry I haven't got any answers.

    Jesus said 'I am the way, The truth and the Life' Amen.

    Praying for Peace Lms, I hope you get answers, sending Love.


  6. Sweetpotatoe

    Sweetpotatoe New Member

    Times when I have grappled and doubted I think of the alternative...and its crazy.

    Like if reincarnation was the truth, who would determine who came back as what????, Who would be a frog, a horse, another person??, There would have to be someone in control...possible, not to my logical mind.

    If evolution was the truth, how come there are no monkeys evolving into Human beings in this day and age, How come Human Beings cannot work out how to create life????...

    Who is the Universe????who is the 'force thats going to heal, comfort, and help us'???

    I think too that back 2000 years ago there were many laws and customs that were a way of life, we live in free countries, where we can pretty much do as we want, All we know is freedom and the freedom to choice, we are so so lucky, but very indulged.

    All through the Bible are stories of Human Beings that have been before us, committing the same crimes, having strife and troubles just like us, disease and sickness, poverty and lack, people that choose God and people that choose to deny him.

    I have a logical mind, and for me lots of things are hard to understand, but the alternatives are just not an option for me.

    For me I love the Lord, no matter what I understand, I have comfort knowing He is in control, that someday we will not suffer, that someday we will all live in the peace and bliss we dream of.

    Just thoughts.


  7. windblade

    windblade Active Member

    Hi Lms,

    Forgot to say how glad I was that the Effexor helped your depression! That is such good news.

    If you have the kind of bright mind that can so concisely think through and list all of these important questions, I think it's a great gift to have.

    Why not think of it as an adventure or a great quest?

    Another writer that I highly admire is Houston Smith. He is one of the top-most scholars on World Religions.

    He did a great PBS show on each of the major religions, and I learned so much from it - really fascinating.

  8. fibromickster

    fibromickster New Member

    I can answer #5. We are NOT born with sin that is why you are baptized when you are older and you want to be saved. Babies/little ones go to heaven if they are not baptized. There is no way they would go anywhere else, that is what it says in the Bible.

    I did get both of my girls babtized when they were babies just so they could be blessed. Also I was brought up Catholic to believe in baptism at birth, however after reading the bibly I truly believe that you have to make your own decision to want to be saved and in order to be saved you need to be baptized. That is why when you are older and understand you do this.

    I am also curious on some of your other questions, so I am looking forward to reading the answers.

    God Bless and please don't give up on your faith.
  9. Lms526

    Lms526 New Member

    Hi everyone!
    I just wanted to say thanks to everyone who responded to this post. I really appreciate the support.

    Anyway, I just wanted to let everyone know I'm doing much better. I still have questions, but I've come to realize that is okay. Doubting and questioning is actually a good thing. It doesn't mean that I'm a pathetic excuse as a Christian. I know that no matter how much I may want to sometimes, I could never completely walk away from my faith. I've also come to realize that we are never going to have all the answers while on earth.

    For a while there, I was seriously considering turning my back on my faith and becoming an atheist. But there were two major things that held me back.

    First, I just couldn't accept the idea that this earth is all there is. There simply has to be more to life than this. Like Paul says If this life is all there is, then Christians are to be pitied above all men.

    Second, I couldn't accept the fact that becoming an atheist would me denying the supernatural. I have experienced too many things that cannot be explained any other way.

    I have decided that I simply need to decide if I am going to trust God and take Him at His word or not. But that doesn't mean that I have to accept everything without question. But I believe that God is able to handle our questions.

    Anyway, thanks for all the prayers being sent up on my behalf.

  10. lvjesus

    lvjesus Member

    and He can take it! :) An honest seeker, God will not despise. I wanted to check in on #2. There is a wonderful preacher that I love to listen to. Where I live we used to get CSN Virginia, which was part of CSN International, where they had bible teaching all day and I would listen to and from work every day. I learned more than I could tell in many hours.

    Anyway, there was one in particular that I liked called "Walk in the Word". The pastor is James MacDonald and he preaches at Harvest Bible Chapel in Illinois. If you go to their website,, and look under "Store" and search for "God Wrote A Book" (the name of the series) you will find a wonderful, 4 part series on just the sort of things you are asking, how the bible was "put together" or cannonized, what the criteria were for accepting or rejecting material, and how the Bible is different from other "sacred writings", as well as the reliablility of the bible as an historical document, etc.

    I found this series absolutely facinating. You can download the entire series in MP3 format for $12 and then burn your own CDs or listen on your computer. If you do get it, please post to me and let me know what you thought.

    God Bless,

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