Archive for August, 2022

Do You Know A Skeptic?

August 3, 2022

Lets talk about skeptics.. first we need to define the word: Webster defines it as “a person who doubts or questions”

Before we envision a skeptic as a negative person, we need to understand how skeptics work in our society. In Western Philosophy , skepticism has been identified since the 5th century. The tradions has persisted among great thinkers in modern use. It is doubting what has been presented at face value without any substantial evidence.

Let us now get in context. The church has not always been a safe place for people who doubt or ask questions. A majority of the population believe in God and most believe that Jesus exists however there are barriers to people having a complete view of God and Jesus. One barrier that is familar to us all is people reconciling faith and science .They need empirical proof before they believe. Another barrier is that people admire Jesus and what he taught and how he healed the people but they cannot accept his Divinity. another barrier is that people have no relationship to Christ through prayer .In addition some people have deep-seated instincts when it comes to responding to Christians and or the Church.

I am now going to take a different tack. Lets take a look at some biblical examples of what I am trying to say; Peter stepped out of the boat in to the water to walk to Jesus in great faith .However when the waves and the wind came up he began to sink. Peter in his skepticism knew that he couldn’t walk by himself and he cried “Jesus, save me!” We know of doubting Thomas . He was skeptical that Jesus had really been nailed to a cross and was now alive. But when Jesus said to him put your finger in my side and look at the holes in my hands and feet, Thomas cried, “My Lord and My God!”

As a pastor. I have delt with many “skeptics”, but you know what, some of those skeptics were a boost to my ministry. To be challenged , to be questioned helped me solidify in my mind the direction that I thought the church should go. We dropped some plans and institued others because we had to examine those ideas in light of being questioned by some members of the congregation.

By encouraging Christians toward an honest faith, protecting the vulnetable and cultivationg empathy, skeptical people helped the Church to live as God intended. Jesus draws near to those who doubt, so we can too. Amen