Category Archives: Doubt Testimonies

Doubting My Salvation

By “Matt”

I was so strong in my faith as a very young man. I believed, trusted, had faith or whatever terminology you would like to use. Christ was the central focus of my every thought. Then, after years of feeling a call to ministry, God opened a door for me to begin preaching and teaching youth. I was 20 years old at the time, and one day, out of no where, I began to question if I was really saved or not. So I went to the Lord and “nailed it down” (Asking Jesus to save me if I was not already saved). I have actually “nailed it down” many times. This lead to wondering then what is true faith? I picked apart the word faith instead of just stepping out and trusting Christ. But over the last ten years, I have wrestled with doubt about if I am really saved. Strange enough, I don’t doubt the validity of scripture at all, never have. My doubt is “can I truly be saved”? Do I really have faith in Christ or more recently am I able to have faith in Christ.
The most terrifying thing is that assurance is gone. I actually had to start adapting around it and just say that its too much for me to deal with anymore. I never walked away from faith or Christ, never denounced him, but I certainly shelved it and began just going through motions. I have read evey possible publication on doubt through the years and been to so many pastors and counselors and called every single radio ministry, been on every kind of depression and anxiety medicine imaginable, etc. But, nothing ever seemed to help. So, every few months since 2007 I would put it away for a little while, that is to say I can’t deal with another dead end, only to pick it up or re open the case again hoping this time would be different;But, to no avail. Each time, it gets worse. Now, over time, as with anything that goes on for a length of time, you become desensitized. I guess I have felt it would never go away.

I have not sought a new religion, I still don’t question the validity of scripture or the power of Christ, or any theological things. I never have. Now, I am at a place of this: is my doubt emotional, volitional, a combo of both. Am I choosing not to trust Christ and hence am destined to live in this torture forever? I told my wife recently that I just want faith in Christ. That is all I want. People say “then get saved or just believe”, I guess I am the current version of the man in Mark who said “I believe, help thou my unbelief”. Never until now have I seen a community online, or otherwise, that specializes in this. If this community had been present earlier, maybe I would not have gone now 10 years with this thorn in my flesh. I commend the writers, and participants of this website and I am just discovering it.

Finally, one thing is certain in the midst of of my uncertainty and that is that I will not shelve it this time. I can’t! I need to know. I need help. There is so much more I want to say of my story, but I don’t have time to do so today. But I look forward in joining this online community. Let me leave this advice for people who may be new to doubt or have not been there as long as I have: I have heard it all from the devil, I have believed a great deal of it. His ultimate goal is to rob us of joy and faith. I hope this will bring healing in my life! God bless!

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Darrell Bock on Christian Doubt

I have asked a few respected Evangelical scholars and authors to contribute one paragraph each on the issue of Christians and doubt. I was going to post these all in one post, but the paragraphs are turning out to be too substantial to mix together with the others so I will post them one at a time over the next couple of weeks.

Darrell Bock is Research Professor of New Testament Studies, Professor of Spiritual Development and Culture (CCL) at Dallas Theological Seminary (More info on Darrell below).

Darrell, If you were talking to someone who is having significant problems with their faith, doubting whether or not Christianity is true for whatever reason, what would you say to them if you only had one minute?

It is called faith but it is not without reason. Faith means trust or belief. It does not mean you are certain of everything. It means there is a trajectory that in turn leads in faith to a full embrace of what God has done. When it comes to “proving” Scripture or events in it, I cannot do that for all claims. But what I can show is that the direction Scripture takes makes sense (and in places requires a knowledge or describes actions that suggest inspiration). Take one of Jesus’ major claims, that God would vindicate him by bringing him to God’s right hand (See Mark 14:62-63). Jesus was saying in the midst of the dispute with the Jewish leadership that if my tomb goes empty and you cannot find me after you do what you are going to do to me in crucifixion, then you can know God vindicated me and took me to share in divine authority by his side. I will be seated at God’s right hand. That is the point of Peter’s first speech at Pentecost in Acts 2:16-36. Something caused Peter to go from outright fear and denial of Jesus after Jesus was arrested to boldly proclaiming Jesus after the resurrection. The experience of the resurrection appearances and seeing that empty tomb did it for him. God must have acted, a message must be brought to the world of what God has done. Peter’s changed life is a testimony to those who struggle with doubt. Peter feared and doubted, but the assurance of the empty tomb and resurrection “righted” him as he realized Jesus was at God’s right hand, vindicated by God himself. That act showed God’s view of Jesus and endorsement of him and his ministry. That act of God was designed to assuage doubt.

Darrell Bock

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Darrell Bock: B.A., University of Texas, 1975; Th.M., Dallas Theological Seminary, 1979; Ph.D., University of Aberdeen, 1983; postdoctoral study, Tübingen University.
Dr. Bock has earned international recognition as a Humboldt Scholar (Tübingen University in Germany) and for his work in Luke-Acts and in Jesus’ examination before the Jews. He was president of the Evangelical Theological Society (ETS) for 2000–2001, and serves as corresponding editor at large for Christianity Today. His articles appear in leading journals and periodicals, including many secular publications such as the Los Angeles Times and the Dallas Morning News. He has been a New York Times best-selling author in nonfiction, and is elder emeritus at Trinity Fellowship Church in Dallas.

Find out more here.


Mike Licona on Christian Doubt

I have asked a few respected Evangelical scholars and authors to contribute on the issue of Christians and doubt. I am grateful to each one of these men for not only contributing here, but being the type of scholar who deals with such issues with openness. I am posting them one at a time over the next couple of weeks.

Mike Licona is a New Testament historian and apologist. He has a Ph.D. in New Testament Studies (University of Pretoria), which he completed with distinction. He serves as external research collaborator at North-West University (Potchefstroom). More on Mike below.

Mike, if you were talking to someone who is having significant problems with their faith, doubting whether or not Christianity is true for whatever reason, what would you say to them if you only had one minute?

Each of us has idiosyncrasies. One of mine is I’m a second-guesser. It’s hard for me to purchase a bottle of cologne without wondering before I leave the store whether I should have bought a different one.

I seem to question just about everything. I don’t want to make a bad decision, even in some very insignificant matters. So, it just makes sense that I often have doubts pertaining to decisions in significant matters. It’s not an intentional exercise. In fact, it’s downright frustrating to me. But it’s the way I’m wired.

What about my Christian faith? Have I ever experienced doubts? Many times. Have I been brain-washed? Do I hold my beliefs because I was brought up to believe them? What if I’m wrong? And it doesn’t help that our culture is growing increasingly hostile toward the Christian worldview. Continue reading


Reclaiming my faith

(by anonymous)

In high school I liked a girl who didn’t like me back. During those hard times (which were harder than should have been), my faith became sort of a crutch. Now I realize this theology isn’t entirely wrong. After all, Christ has accomplished what we were powerless to do; he is our “crutch.” But my faith became narrowed to all those slow contemporary songs about God being my hiding place and refuge. The idea of having JOY in Christ must have completely passed over my head.

There was a point when I realized that I needed to build the foundation of my faith not on being despairingly driven to faith, but on Jesus Christ the person Himself. Now, it’s not like I think about this all the time, and I believe I have addressed this problem and I have learned to find joy in the person of Christ; however, there seems to me to be a clear shift of never having doubts about God to having doubts about God after I got over the girl. Just brainstorming, I could possibly attribute this to a few things: 1. My faith was longer a crutch and I had successfully gotten over a girl–why need God? 2. What was once a highly emotional faith had turned more intellectual, and the deeper I went the more questions I had.

I went through a period of a few months where I began to admit my doubts (about God’s existence). I can remember having conversations in the park with my friend. Much of my thought was spurred by discussion with an English teacher of mine, and essentially I was trading God (who was obviously just one made-up part of the vast history of literature) for a life of balance, beauty, and thought. My friend asked me why I would want to trade a world of meaning for one without meaning. To me, this world did have meaning. Oh, and less constraints of God’s commands, too. Always a bonus.

Shortly after this intense period of doubt, I went on a missions trip where everything was quickly rebuilt. Heck, the organizers of the trip even prayed for the weather. They trusted God for everything! That’s somewhat sarcastic, because the cynicism in me still doubts why God would care intervening with weather (weather is scientific, right?), but the other part is serious because it was a key experience in my rebuilding of faith in God.

Here I stand now. That missions trip was over two years ago. I’m now in my sophomore year of college. I work at my church as a youth intern. I give sermons. I plan on going to Biola. I teach others about Christ. I pray frequently and read my Bible daily. I listen to Christian music in the car. I try to experience Christ all the time. I look for opportunities to build friendships with people who I can introduce Christ to.

But you know what? I still doubt. It’s like I’m compelled to follow Christ, but I don’t even know what is compelling me. I can only hope it’s not just because I have a job secured. I can be in the middle of a prayer, and then out of nowhere think, “No one (No God) is listening. This is stupid.” But to lose faith, to lose Christ, would be to lose everything to me. It’s times like these I wish I was a tongues-speaking, prophecy-giving, lay-hands-on-the-people healer charismatic, because I want to know for sure I am following a TRUE, LIVING God, and not an idea.


Mike Licona’s Struggle with His Faith

I really like Mike Licona. Although there are a lot of reasons to appreciate him, I think his openness to discuss the struggle he has been through is what I appreciate most. Here is a video where he expresses his journey with great transparency.

Question Everything from Recycle Your Faith on Vimeo.

See Mike’s website: http://www.risenJesus.com


Doubting as a Pastor (by Pastor Anon)

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.


Don’t Feel the Presence of the Holy Spirit Anymore (by Anon)

I was a believer as a young child. At age 12 I almost died, didn’t phase me a bit because I trusted Jesus as my Savior.

At age 21 I doubted my salvation because of my lifesyle. There was a voice inside of me asking me to consider the “last day” a year earlier. Convinced I needed to be born again I became desperate and started seeking the LORD JESUS (Who is the LORD by the way) and was scared of going to hell. I knew the Gospel and believed it. At a Church service I gazed upon the cross and it became so personal. Months later I knew I needed to hear from God. Starting to explain my situation at a Bible Study the men got up and started to pray for me. I began trembling and started to feel a presence I’ve never felt. A woman began to explain that the Holy Spirit entered the room and she almost cried with me! On the way home I felt the peace beyond all understanding. The next few weeks, the Joy of the LORD.

Several compromises later I’m terrified that somehow I don’t have the Spirit. I’m not as close as I was. HE is the desire of my heart still and I want to live my life in a way that keeps me in fellowship with HIM. I hope I’m not a Judas or a castaway. Many different doctrines on this. Please, HELP!!!