For some reason, doubt is seen by many to be a positive thing. There is not a single hint of any such principle in Scripture, of course, but it remains the case that there is some idea in popular thinking that God encourages doubt. I was informed the other day that “doubt leads to questions, questions lead to truth.” I’m sorry, but that is absurd. What is another name for doubt? Unbelief. Please feel free to stop by the channel if you choose to energetically disagree with that assessment, incidentally. I’d be more than happy to discuss it. Believe me. Recall, we push the antithesis. There is no graded slope from “belief” to “doubt” to “unbelief”, contrary to the popular conceptions – such as wikipedia’s presentation, which says “Doubt, a status between belief and disbelief”. It further claims that doubt “involves uncertainty or distrust.” Belief, obviously, involves trust; the antithesis of trust is distrust, obviously. The antithesis of certainty is therefore uncertainty, while the antithesis of doubt is, therefore, faith, or belief. There is belief, or unbelief. You believe, or you don’t. The “you don’t” just mentioned is doubt, is unbelief. Period. The world doubts, Christians believe. The wisdom of God is antithetical to the wisdom of man. This is precisely what Scripture presents, and I have no patience for those who try to say otherwise. It is utter folly to present any doubt of God or His Word as somehow beneficial in any sense save to the glory of His justice and wrath.
Biblical faith is not “unreasoning”, but is the basis for and complement of true reason. This conception of “unreasoning” faith is another modern myth, especially favored by fundamentalist types (in the modern sense) be they putatively believing or unbelieving. We will hear this espoused by IFB preachers and new atheists alike – two good examples of fundamentalists on the opposing sides. Unbelief in God’s word is belief in the world’s word. Belief in God’s word is unbelief in the world’s word. There is a place for doubt – but it’s proper place is doubt of the proclamations and punditry of worldly wisdom. Worldly wisdom is false wisdom. Faith in that wisdom is false faith, as doubt in worldly wisdom is proper doubt – in antithesis. Faith in the wisdom of God is true faith, while doubt in the wisdom of God is improper doubt. Is sin, in fact. So, what possible reason do we have, Biblically, to consider doubt to be positive, uplifting, righteous, or valid in any respect? Doubt is the usurpation of self over the right and sovereignty of God. There is no room for doubt in the mind or heart of a child of God.
Yet, the objection is made; we do often doubt, do we not? That, however, begs the question. We can easily say “we do often sin, do we not?” Is the proper response to doubt to address it as sin, or is that “lacking in compassion” to do so? For one thing, I am firmly of the opinion that if we have it in our heads that doubts are somehow “positive”, or will lead to positive results, we’ve already assumed that the discussion is, in fact, on neutral ground. Scripture, however, does not give us this view of doubts. (Mar 14:31) As such, we treat doubt with kid gloves, and irresponsibly so, given there is no neutral ground! Secondly, if admission that doubts are “valid” is compassion, then apparently telling the truth is “cruel” or “unfeeling”. I’ll take my chances with the truth – especially since I don’t believe in chance. Further, the expression of doubt is, quite simply, only seen to be positive when it comes with a confession, and repentance. (Mar 9:24) Doubt is the antithesis of assurance. (Heb 11:1) With so little to speak positively for doubt, and so much to speak against it, who are we to encourage it? There is nothing to be said for uncertainty, nothing to be gained by giving it free reign. God grants faith; faith is the antithesis for and curative of doubt. Faith is where we derive certainty, and assurance. If certainty is to be disregarded, what can be said of Luke’s purpose for his Gospel? (Luke 1:4) With Augustine, and against the modern concessions to doubt, I agree with Augustine. “Grant what You command, and command what You will.” The righteous live by faith – not by doubt. God Himself is Faithful, not doubtful. We are to be like Him, are we not? Let’s both think and live like it.