Everyone has doubts. I also believe that it’s a prerequisite for authentic spiritual growth that everyone (if they’re being 100% honest about their faith) goes through a season of doubt. There are countless examples of people doubting in the Bible. However, that being said, when was the last time you heard a Christian leader publicly admit their doubts? Now I’m the first one to admit that I am not, as host of TDMS, a ‘Christian leader.’ Nor have I ever professed to be. Just because I have a radio show on a Christian station does not automatically mean that my show is a ‘ministry.’ It might have ministry tendencies, (Why does that remind me of Ted Haggard?) but when all is said and done, I’m just a guy, standing before a God, asking him to love me… (Yes, I know Julia Roberts stole my line!)
So where does one go to express their disbelief in God? Typically, I’ve only ever heard doubt stories used with past tense terminology. Either that or the doubting story gets sterilized so much that it comes off sounding like it’s only a fleeting thought…‘Rest assured everyone. My doubts aren’t really serious! I’m sure that this too shall pass!’ Never in my life have I heard a single Christian leader admit such ‘atrocities’ publicly. That is, unless it was accompanied by a letter of resignation and a sudden vacancy on the leadership team. Is it really necessary to hide our leaders while they struggle with what we all struggle with? What are we so afraid of? That the God we serve is so small He can’t handle such brutal honesty? That the followers of Jesus are stupid enough to hear one guy’s story of doubt then follow him right off the cliff?
Although I have wrestled with my doubt in the existence of a God since I first became a follower of Christ in 1981, I have only been vocal and open about it for the last few years. Probably because the theme and format of my radio show – ‘Messy spirituality is the Christianity most of us live but few of us admit’ – demanded that I remain authentic and vulnerable in my own spiritual walk. It’s also been one of the great things about NOT being a ‘ministry leader’ and simply hosting a radio show that talks about authentic spirituality. There’s a massive difference.
Then one day, out of the blue, during the second last show of Season 7, while interviewing apologist Dr. Ravi Zacharias, I let the cat out of the bag! I actually verbalized the fact that I’m not convinced there is a God and that I feel pretty close to walking away from my faith. This was followed by a month off, filled with reading and thinking and pondering and praying…?
When I came back for our Season 8 Dress Rehearsal Show I asked our listeners if I should stop doing the show because of my lack of faith. The response was overwhelming! Some were pretty harsh and critical, however, the vast majority encouraged me to continue doing the show. The overall theme… ‘Thank you for opening up about your doubts publicly and please continue to process your doubts in a public forum so we can all journey through these important issues together.’
My reasons for feeling like ‘jumping’ are plenty. However, they would best be explained by the following illustration:
Imagine a soldier at war, overseas for 30 years. Each week he would write at least one letter to his father back home. Each week he would expectantly wait for the one who supposedly loves him unconditionally, to write him back or phone or possibly even come for a visit. Any kind of personal interaction would do. He’s heard through his friends and other soldiers just how much his father loves him, but those rumours of Glory aren’t enough to sustain his faith in his father anymore. Every once in a while a friend would tell the soldier stories of how the last time they were overseas, they ran into his father. His friends would comment on how amazing his father was and just how loved they felt by the soldier’s father. But they were still just rumours…
So, stay tuned! Keep checking in to DROOGLE: Drew’s Search For God and we’ll see if I get to unwrap my Christmas present early!