Raised in a “Christian” home, I thought Christian belief was simple and straightforward. I then went to a conservative, dare I say “fundamentalist,” Bible College and learned differently. Sometime in between my junior and senior year I was very tempted to throw my Bible away and walk away, mainly for academic reasons. I pursued answers to the questions, and this search awakened in me a passion for apologetics. I went on to seminary to study apologetics, and it was there in seminary, Jan. 2004, for an entire month I’d lie awake in bed asking myself how people would respond if I announced tomorrow that I no longer believed.
I don’t know how I made it through that time except to say my wife and I found a warm church family. Now several years later I find myself in pastoral ministry plagued unrelentingly by a consistent feeling that the “Christian” expression I have been taught is not correct. I tell people at this point that I only believe 3 things (God’s existence, Jesus is His Son, who came back to life).
So for me the doubts now circle around other issues. This is extremely difficult, especially for a guy in pastoral ministry because I am not sure what I think of the Bible. And because I am expected as a pastor to have the answers I never feel like I have the space to work through my own struggles. It is fearful and paralyzing to stand before people who expect you to declare what God says and not be sure. The doubts are no longer academic…they are hard to categorize.