March 27th, 2015
I have doubts regarding the practice of my faith. Is this healthy or a symptom of undeveloped faith? Religious writers have been on both sides of the fence on this issue. Dr. Charles Stanley, a noted Baptist leader would call “having doubts” Struggling Faith. Interestingly, his scriptural reference for this is my favorite piece of scripture, Mark 9. 24; “… I believe; help me with my unbelief!” On the other side of the fence Paul Tillich, who is widely regarded as one of the most influential theologians of the twentieth century wrote, “Doubt isn’t the opposite of faith; it is an element of faith.” I am in the Tillich camp.
I was baptized when I was 14 years old having come back from Europe that summer where I was confused and aghast by the practice of venerating relics. I wanted a simple faith … not something that was entwined with politics of the past and what I perceived to be superstition. It didn’t take long before I was restless with what I perceived to be theological contradictions. So I went Christian denomination shopping. When I settled on my faith community, I had a whole new set of issues; such as “can you really have your Christianity á la carte?” My doubts did not deter me from my quest to have a strong relationship with my Lord. As time passed I became a secular leader of the church, and entertained ordination more than once. Considerably short of that, I became a licensed Worship Leader for the Episcopal Dioceses of Olympia.
Christmas vacation 2009 my oldest daughter and I were walking on the beach in Mazatlán; she was 36 at the time, and asked, “Dad, do you think God is putting road blocks in the way because you just aren’t listening?” When we got home, I went to the rector of our parish and requested a spiritual director for structured spiritual discernment to determine my calling. This process brought me to what I do today, which is helping others in business while practicing the teachings of the Gospel. I do this as a business operations consultant and certified business coach. My work is an interrogative diagnostic process. With God’s grace I am more accepting of my doubts regarding faith. I am not as worried about the answers: I am more focused on the questions.
~Curt is a Management Consultant at Key Business Solutions