For many people in our world, the opposite of faith is doubt. The goal, then, within this understanding is to eliminate doubt. But faith and doubt aren’t opposites. Doubt is often a sign that your faith has a pulse, that it’s alive and well and exploring and searching. Faith and doubt…are excellent dance partners….
Fundamentalism shouldn’t surprise us. When a leader comes along who eliminates the tension and dodges the paradox and neatly and precisely explains who the enemies are and gives black-and-white answers to questions, leaving little room for the very real mystery of the divine, it should not surprise us when that person gains a large audience.
Especially when that person is really, really confident.
Certainty is easier, faster, awesome for fundraising, and it often generates large amounts of energy because who doesn’t want to be right?…Two people can believe the same thing but hold that belief in very different ways.
You can believe something with so much conviction that you’d die for that belief, and yet in the exact same moment you can also say, “I could be wrong.”
This is because conviction and humility, like faith and doubt, are not opposites; they’re dance partners. It’s possible to hold your faith with open hands, living with great conviction and yet at the same time humbly admitting that your knowledge and perspective will always be limited.
Do you believe the exact same things you did in the exact same way you did five years ago? Probably not. You’ve grown, evolved, changed, had new experiences, studied, listened, observed, suffered, reflected, and reexamined. That’s how faith is. We learn as we go.”