Last Sunday was ‘Thomas Sunday.’ The second Sunday of Easter is the time when we reflect on faith and doubt and focus on Thomas, the one who ‘saw and believed.’ Jesus, in turn says, ‘blessed are those who have not seen, yet believe.’
Here are some reflections from an anonymous blogger that posted on my sermon sight, I’m especially interested in what he says about ‘oversimplification and overgeneralization’:
So doubt is the enemy, eh? Yet doubt is necessary to understand the difference between true faith and false faith, as fear is necessary for prudence and anger is necessary for determination.
Human beings are suckers for oversimplification and overgeneralization. Religion preys on this weakness, among others. I would look for God beyond that myself. I find God understands the usefulness of doubt and the folly of saying one shouldn’t doubt.
I think there are many kinds of doubters. Mostly, I think a risen Christ is too threatening for the majority of us! If he is risen, then he’s a threat to our cozy little world.
14 thoughts on “Doubt and Easter”
A friend of mine once said, “Understanding is the booby prize of life.” I award this week’s booby prize to DavidD. But seriously, doubt is much like all of God’s gifts. A little doubt makes one scrupulous, so doubt can serve ethical behavior and is good. A little more makes one skeptical, so doubt serves as a bulwark to good intellectual argument, backed up by vigorous reason. However, a little more makes one a fool, missing the presence of God in Christ. The Holy Spirit, as a comforter, removes doubt. Praise Him.
I was reading the gospel of john this morning, and thinking about what it means to believe and accept the fact that Jesus, God and man rose. As one that wasn’t there at the time the act of acceptance of the facts of the risen Lord is a struggle with doubt and then decisions to accept what happened is the truth. I think doubt is normal, I have to re evaulate the reason I believe certain things and what those beliefs are based on. I believe it is a process of solitifying the truth for me, definitely with the help of Holy Spirit. Question is what makes me want to believe that the Lord has risen? Imortality, life with God in his Kingdom, these I can only imagine!
“Veridical intuition”, nee The Holy Spirit.
“I won’t believe it until I see it. I want proof, I want empirical evidence.”… If this is you, you are a a product of the Enlightenment and modernism.
Maybe…and then again, Thomas was most definately seeking empirical evidence in his doubt. And I also recall many times when Jesus was asked for a “sign” from heaven. It would seem to me that perhaps people have always been a bit “modern”. Granted, reason was never held to such a high standard as it was in the Enlightenment period (except for perhaps the post-modern period!), but it is intriguing that some things never change.
SHOW ME A SIGN!
Good point young padawan! Show me the money!
Did Thomas doubt Jesus or did he doubt the disciples had seen him? Hadn’t Jesus warned them all that at some point even the elect would be deceived and people were going to say they had seen Him, but not to believe them?
When Jesus reveals Himself to Thomas, He shows His love and mercy for Thomas rather than scolding.
I’ve been off the internet for a while, nice to see there is still intresting debate/discussions going on here.
So, here’s a question for Fr. Neo. What does one do when he believes and knows the truth, yet feels nothing from it? Can some one leave God for to long? I haven’t really been to Church in over a year now, tried going back on Easter Sunday and for the First Time ever I felt absolutely nothing. Yet I still believe in Jesus Christ the only son of God.
Been there. Pursuing God is the remedy for spiritual dryness. Best done in small groups, not using them as a crutch, but as a sounding board and clarification filter. Remember, Jesus said “where two or three are gathered in My name, there I will be also.” Alone in church won’t work, even if there are other people there. If you are a man, I must assume from your masculine name, find a men’s meeting. It works. Trust me. Might even Morph you into the man God created you to be!
I’m actually part of the Knights of Columbus. My mebership was about to go up this past week. I was having trouble deciding if I wanted to stay with it. I figured I’ve been a member for 5 years now, I might as well stay a member and try to find a new council in the city I movrd to.
You could almost say this was a church group blog wise, two or three are gather together
Welcome back Shafter!
Why did you walk away from God recently?
I agree with you. Jesus was giving Thomas a grace. He met him in his doubts!
Luke 19 verse 27 what do you think is being said here. Is this Jesus talking for the Master in the parable? I don’t recall rememeber ever seeing this in my reading of the Gospel.
πλην τους εχθρους μου εκεινους τους μη θελησαντας με βασιλευσαι επ αυτους αγαγετε ωδε και κατασφαξατε εμπροσθεν μου
“But bring those enemies of mine who didn’t want me to reign over them here, and kill them before me.”
This is the conclusion of Jesus’ parable of the talents. I’m not sure he’s ‘speaking for the Master,’ only relating what a master would do in such circumstances.