In our Presbyterian statement of Christian belief, Living Faith, a section deals with the reality of doubt: Since we are to love God with our minds, as well as our hearts, the working through of doubt is part of our growth in the faith. The Church includes many who struggle with doubt. In the letter of Jude we find the command: Be merciful to those who doubt. What does that mean?
We get comfortable in our faith. We accept Biblical teachings because they are familiar; we ritualistically say the Apostles Creed concerned only with saying a wrong phrase rather than considering the power of the shocking statements we utter about Jesus: …conceived by the Holy Ghost, born of the Virgin Mary… We need to remind ourselves that all people do not share the Christian heritage most of us take for granted. We must reject the common tendency among Christians to assume we still live in a culture that is Biblically literate; a people who accept the teachings of the Bible. Such is not the case, friends.
Let us show mercy as we rejoice in the miracle that God is still calling people from this city to respond to Jesus. May we be faithfully ready for the opportunity God might present to us to meet the genuine doubter who might wander into our community of faith; when we meet someone in our workplace or neighbourhood who wants to know what it means to be a follower of Jesus. May we know the One in whom we place our trust and may we offer the hope and love as they experience welcome and mercy.
pastor tim bruneau, senior minister