Scared of losing my faith


(Emily) #1

I’ve started reading the books on the Biologos Resources page. I find them interesting, but for some reason, I am scared of losing my faith. I am scared that God doesn’t understand me because I hold views like that of Denis Lameroux and others. And I think because hardcore creationists are against science, asking questions, and that doing though shows a “lack of faith.” That makes no sense to me. That’s fear of what we don’t understand. I think faith would be venturing out and feeling those uncomfortable feelings when you do the research, and have hope that, as He did with others, God will meet you where you are. That the verse “You will seek me and you will find me.” Is true.

I think the reason I am freaked out because there’ve been people who’ve gone on this journey, looked at the evidence, read, etc, and later became atheists. I don’t want to become an Atheist. And I’ve also been diagnosed with an anxiety disorder-OCD, so I think that may be part of the worry too.

Is this worth praying about?


(Benjamin Kirk) #2

Agreed.[quote=“Celticroots, post:1, topic:21760”]
I think faith would be venturing out and feeling those uncomfortable feelings when you do the research, and have hope that, as He did with others, God will meet you where you are. That the verse “You will seek me and you will find me.” Is true.
[/quote]
It is indeed. You have nothing to fear by learning.


(Dennis Venema) #3

Hi Emily,

Yes it’s worth praying about :slight_smile: - God would be happy to walk alongside you in this exploration. Just remember, if evolution is true, then it was God’s idea in the first place.

This is also one place where learning from history can help. We would think it a bit odd if someone, in the present day, lost their faith over learning that the earth went around the sun. Yet people did, back in the day. Why? Because they couldn’t shake the notion that if it was true, then the “Bible was wrong”. It wasn’t the Bible that was wrong, of course - just their interpretation of it.

So, I see evolution in similar terms. 150 years from now Christians - should Christ tarry - will look back and wonder what all the fuss was about. Not so for us - we get to live through the transition.


(Phil) #4

While we have plowed this ground before, my experience is that doubt and uncertainty is a part of life, and rather than fear it, we should accept and to some extent embrace the uncertainty as part of the reality of being human. Faith then becomes more meaningful, much like a life preserver when you are floundering in the water. Life preservers are pretty useless on dry land, and unfortunately, the attitude of some Christian sects is to never get wet for fear your flotation device is inadequate.
Peter Enns has some good thoughts and his books and blog are worth reading.


(Joe Palcsak) #5

HI Emily…

Would you mind fleshing out for me what you mean when you say that “hardcore creationists are against science”? Don’t all of us who believe in the One true God count as hardcore creationists?[quote=“Celticroots, post:1, topic:21760”]
I think the reason I am freaked out because there’ve been people who’ve gone on this journey, looked at the evidence, read, etc, and later became atheists
[/quote]

I am a living example of this. I went on the journey; meaning I grew up believing in God but became an atheist when I was persuaded that the TOE is true. I spent 30 years of my adult life as an atheist. Happily, I always maintained a keen interest in science and a firm commitment to seek out what is actually true. There is no shortage of people on these pages who will villify me for saying this, but there is a reason you fear that you will become an atheist: the TOE is the origins narrative of naturalism, and naturalism is the worldview of atheism.

Please ask the questions and seek the answers. Only do not accept the notion that every answer must either conform to naturalism or be disregarded. Allow yourself the freedom to follow the evidence where ever it may lead you. And if and when you see the evidence for design in life, do not frantically search for a reason to discard such evidence, but celebrate it in the spirit of Romans 1: 19, 20.

Emily, I am a Christian today precisely because I never stopped seeking the truth; because I always held what is true in higher esteem than any worldview. I am an unlikely Christian in that I only rejected and never sought God. But on the other side of the coin, I never really closed the door on God. I simply believed in the worldview that flows logically from the embrace of the naturalistic narrative of the origin of life ( the very worldview that you fear you might come to embrace). Once I became convinced by the evidence (not in spite of it) that life requires a Creator, I immediately began to seek Him. If my testimony can inspire you at all, let me encourage you to take the whole counsel of Scriptures as well as all of the evidence that Our Creator has made available to us, unencumbered by any commitment to any worldview. If you take your journey in freedom, you have nothing to fear!


(Emily) #6

Hi Mr. Palcsak,

Thank you for the reply and all the others for their replies! Sure I am fine clarifying. :slight_smile: By hard core creationist I mean those who deny all of modern science, who think the earth is 6,000 years old. Or think the evidence for Evolution is a big conspiracy by the “evil” “atheist” scientists who supposedly “hate God.”

Like you I used to believe that Evolution was a purely naturalistic view of origins, but reading a lot of good books by those who’ve gone through similar faith journeys made me rethink this. It’s interesting to see how some well-known biologists of the past, like Asa Gray for example, had no issue with Evolution and fully supported Darwin’s Theory.

And that other more modern believers of Evolution were C.S. Lewis and B.B. Warfield among others.

I think a big reason for the issue is if someone were to ask me. “Do you believe the Bible?”

My response. Depends on what part of the Bible like I view Genesis in light of the scientific evidence as not to be taken literally but agree with the larger picture. God is the Creator of all, man is cut off from God due to our sinful nature, and that Christ paid for our sins with his death and resurrection. So, yes I do believe the Bible, and that Jesus existed and that He was God, and did all the things He claimed. All His time on earth I do think actually happened.

Someone asked me “How can you have a relationship with God if you don’t believe what the BIble says?” No doubt a strict literal interpretation dude.

I wanted to say “You mean your narrow all or nothing interpretation that would force me to deny all of modern science?” Yeah that makes sense. >_>

Point is I think the bigger issue is worrying what other people think, as I’ve been told I am not a Christian sigh. So I pray that God helps me realize that I don’t have to care what others think. Have you all worried about what other Christians would think and say you weren’t a “True” Christian? If so how did God help you overcome it?


(David Lee) #7

Let me suggest an additional way of looking at this.

Our relationship with God, through his creative Word, Jesus, is indicated through his written word, scripture. We come to him in worship. We come to him in adoration. We come to him in awe. We come to him in mystery. And that worship, adoration, awe and mystery is modelled for us in the book of Psalms (from that written Word).

Here are two (out of many, many!) illustrations from the Psalms.

(1) Psalm 19. At first sight this looks like two completely separate pieces of writing joined, and rather awkwardly so, from different sources. How, one asks, are they related? The first part (1-6) is about created nature. The second part is about his “law” (to a first approximation, envisage this as we imagine our Bible today). But why, pray, are they together, in the same psalm?

But now, instead of viewing it as two separate, unrelated documents glued awkwardly together, see them as opposite sides of the same coin. God is revealed through nature and his word… together.

Note also the language of that first (nature) half. For the creationist tendency note how NON-literal, how NON-scientific, even how NON-“real” it is. Instead it is figurative; it is allegorical; it is about imagination not calculation. It is THIS type of language that is right next door to the “law”, the Bible.

The Psalms often model for us the importance of imagination in our relationship with God.

(As a not-so-little detour, if you wish, settle down and read Job chapters 38-42.)

(2) (Totally different!) This is about doubt, anxiety, etc. When we think about worship, we tend to think a little like, say, Psalm 87: “Glorious things of you are spoken!” Read it. Don’t worry too much about the historical and geographical detail. If I were to ask “is this worship?” the chances are we would all immediately and confidently answer: “Yes! yes! yes!”

Now continue into its next-door neighbour, Psalm 88. If I were to ask “is this worship?” would we immediately and confidently answer “yes! yes! yes!”? I suspect not!

The Bible’s very own worship-book gives us both 87 and 88. In the Psalms, God gives us permission to come before him not just with the overtly positive Psalm 87, but also in our brokenness of Psalm 88. God embraces us whether today is a Psalm-87 day or a Psalm-88 day.

Bring your doubt, bring your fear, bring your anxiety to him. He is the God not just of Psalm 87 but also of Psalm 88.

(Oh! church of God, how pastorally damaging is our removal of weekly discipline of psalms from the centrality of our gathered worship!)


(Chris Falter) #8

Hi Emily,

Welcome! I’m glad you are here and have had a chance to chat with my friend Joe. I agree with the vast majority of what he said. However, I respectfully disagree with him on this point for two reasons:

(1) For the past 157 years, leading Christian thinkers such as B.B. Warfield, C.S. Lewis and N.T. Wright (on the Protestant side) have declared that evolution is the scientific perspective on how God created life.

(2) Atheism has perverted every branch of science. It uses neurology, relativity and quantum mechanics to declare that man is not a spiritual being. We do not have to reject neurology, relativity and quantum mechanics in order to reject their error. We need only point out that atheism is pushing the scientific method far past the boundary of its capabilities.

Similarly for biology and the theory of evolution.

Does that help?


(sy_garte) #9

It doesnt matter what people think of you. If you confess to a belief in Jesus Christ as the risen Lord, your personal savior and redeemer, you are a Christian, whether others agree with your taste in music, your favorite (and least favorite) Bible stories, your past history, or anything else. There is no test, there is no price, there is no initiation or examination needed to follow Christ.

And those who tell you that you cannot call yourself a Christian unless you agree with something other than the Apostle’s creed, are themselves being un Biblical. The very phrase “You are not a Christian” should never be uttered by any true Christian to anyone who professes the faith…


(Vlad K. I'm an Agnostic Atheist) #10

In the interest of full disclosure, I’m a non-believer (ex evangelical Christian). Like you, I have anxiety and OCD. I propose that your fear and freaking out is not due to fear of losing your faith. You have anxiety, as you noted, that currently manifests itself (or attaches itself) to the idea of losing your faith that you find so scary. But if this particular fear were resolved in some way (i.e. if you found a very strong reason to believe), you would remain afraid, but your fears would shift to other issues. I may be wrong on this, but I’m just speaking from my own experience.

If you are interested, there is a resource that I’ve been checking out on a psychology website called whywesuffer.com

The ultimate issue is inner insecurity/inner pasivity. It’s self doubt, self blame, etc… that manifests itself in panic attacks if it gets out of hand.

additionally, there is a Christian (evangelical) ministry called newlife.com that I enjoy listening to that may be able to help with your anxiety.


(Emily) #11

Thank you for the reply. I am not an evangelical Christian but I will look at those links.


(Robinson Mitchell) #12

The first thing I would like to write in response is that you are not alone. Faith is a journey, and many truth seekers who are passionately curious about their Christianity and about the world they live in come to a place like the one you are wrestling with now. The fact that you are concerned about losing your faith means you are dealing with the intellectual tension that can result from knowing what science seems to say about the world and what Scripture seems to say. Many have trod this same path and experienced that same tension. It’s a struggle for everyone. For some it leads to a full-blown crisis of faith; others seem to be able to accommodate the two seeming extremes without as much emotional turmoil.
In all cases, though, this period of struggle, of questioning, is a special place of God’s grace is shown to those who continue to seek Him and seek truth. Truth-seeking can never dishonor God, but can only display his glory and grace, so there is no truth - scientific or theological - that you need to fear. God understands you and understands where you are in your journey of faith, and He takes joy in our truth-seeking, so you don’t need to be afraid that your curiosity will displease him.
I don’t speak for Biologos, but I think I can state with fairly high confidence that the organization and this forum exists for truth seekers like you. We are all trying to walk in a way that is faithful to Scripture but also faithful to our God-given curiosity about the world.
Biologos may be the best place in the world to find out how to integrate a commitment to scientific truth with a commitment to Biblical faithfulness. The ultimate views you embrace will not be pleasing to everyone you encounter - there will be Christians who claim you have compromised your faith and secularists who will say you have embraced superstition over against science. Don’t take either of these extremes to heart.
But here you will find others on the same journey, many of whom have found a place of peace, embracing the truth of mainstream science and faithfulness to Biblical Christianity. That doesn’t mean that all questions will be answered and they or we will ever walk in certitude about every aspect of our lives. Faith doesn’t work that way and for now at least neither does science. Some things we know with certainty, others we may find compelling and even convincing, but we don’t know everything.
But there is joy in the journey, of exploring the marvelous created realm of time and space, matter and energy which is billions of years old, and contemplating the grandeur of the Creator God who is even greater, and yet astonishingly, came near in the incarnation of Jesus Christ to bear the punishment for our sin and give the give of eternal life. Keep seeking God and truths of redemption and faith through Scripture and seek truth about the world through science. God is glorified in both.
I’ll mention one helpful exercise that was especially edifying for me as I concentrated on historical theology in seminary. As a historian I found it helpful to learn how earlier believers dealt with the same struggle. Part of that involved learning how contemporary “scientific creationism” came about. The standard work to learn the history of the movement is The_Creationists by Ronald Numbers. To complement that, read as much as you can here on Biologos, and also check out The American Scientific Affiliation through their journal, “Perspectives on Science and the Christian Faith” which you can also find online. Learn all you can about science - don’t limit yourself to studies of biological evolution but include physics and astronomy along with geology and biology. In time any layman can become scientifically literate. Engage the questions that arise in detail, this is important, because people who only know generalities tend to talk past one another.
Finally, it’s certainly something to pray about. Pray specifically that God will help you be faithful, learning more about him, about faith and redemption, and about the marvelous creation He is placed you in, honoring Him in all you do. Enjoy the journey - you will probably one day look back on this time of struggle as a time when God showed his grace to you especially.


(Jamie) #13

Concerning people who seek anwsers to questions about their faith: those become atheists are not the ones who go too far but rather the ones who don’t go far enough.

All truth is God’s truth. Take care that you are not decived by the “wisdom” of the world.


(Emily) #14

I thank God for the discoveries that scientists have found regarding His creation.


(Bill Wald) #15

Trust God and work at being a good neighbor. Bottom line is that neither the Bible nor Christian theology “compute.” God will “finish his good work in you.”


(Christy Hemphill) #16

3 posts were split to a new topic: Leaving fundamentalist faith and the compatibility of Christianity and evolution