« I’m Not a Christian Because It Works for Me | Main | Challenge: The Gospels Aren't Eyewitness Accounts »

April 08, 2013


I disagree.

Doubt is a sin. Especially doubt that is non-intellectual in nature.

To say one has emotional or moral doubts is to say that one questions the truth on the basis of something irrelevant to truth. I'm enjoying my sin too much, or I'm too angry at God because someone else is enjoying their sin too much, so I question the truths He has revealed through Nature and Scripture?

What exactly is it to suppress the truth in unrighteousness if not that?

And even intellectual doubt is sinful when we don't immediately respond to correction.

Of course, with all that said, I never respond immediately to correction, and I suspect that even now, I've been reproved on something or other but still have not accepted the correction. And I'm riddled with both emotional and moral doubt. And I do let it fester.

God have mercy, but I'm a wretched sinner here too.

Thank God for Christ who saves me from sin, death and the devil!

Why cloud the issue?

Doubt of a proposition is the complement to confidence in that proposition.

Purely intellectual.

The most rational action regarding a proposition is based entirely on your confidence/doubt in it.

Emotion and morality can explain a departure from that most rational action.

But emotion and morality can't contribute or detract from your confidence in the proposition itself.

Correction to intellectual doubt is evidence.

I'm not sure where I stand on on doubt being a sin, per se, but I don't agree with the logic of, "Many great people in the Bible doubted, so that means it isn't a sin." Peter denied Christ three times...that was a horrible sin, and you could say that stemmed from moral / volitional doubt.

I think perhaps the state of doubt or uncertainty isn't a sin, but how we act upon that doubt could definitely lead to sin. And, I would argue doubt makes one more likely to act in a sinful manner because of a lack of firm grounding and conviction in the truth.

"And he that doubteth is damned if he eat, because he eateth not of faith: for whatsoever is not of faith is sin."

Romans 14:23


I don't think Paul is talking about doubt there.

I think Paul means that if you think it's sin to eat a certain thing, then it is sin (for you) to eat it.

But that's only because you did something you thought you shouldn't.

Likewise for all other actions that you think are sins.

There's a germ of truth in it: you are acting against your conscience - even if you are misinformed.



are sure you're not confusing "doubt" with "unbelief"?


Doubt is unbelief-lite.

I don’t know.

Brett says, “If you do doubt, you’re in good company.” Well, that good company isn’t good enough is it? One could say, “If you do sin, you’re in good company.” What follows from that?

I know what he’s trying to convey, but “good company” isn’t our standard. He goes on to underscore the fact that many good Christians (even today) have doubted. It’s a leap to get to, “so I don’t think doubt is a sin,” which Brett says at 30 – 45 seconds in.

Brett then says, “It’s a normal part of the human experience”. Lots of things are part of the normal human experience and yes, sinful. Unfortunately for us, sin is quite normal.

I do agree that we confront doubt – just as we confront other sin. But there is a reason we should confront it. Is doubt unrighteous? Can it corrupt?

I know of too many sins to count. I do not find any peace calling doubt “ok”.

I’m open to an argument that doubt is not a sin, but being in “good company” isn’t one of them.

I completely agree, KWM.

Definitions mean everything here. Lucifer has zero doubt, yet, he has zero trust, which is that free fall of The-Self into The-Other by volition. His utter lack of doubt has to do with availability of light and information. He knows. Thus he does not doubt. He can’t doubt given his sightline. Yet, Trust is a matter of the Will and not a matter of the Mind’s exposure to information and so he can still Not-Trust. Doubt and Trust are not two ends of the same stick. Ignorance kills us, but is it sin? Well, if it is it is not a sin of the Will but simply of condition. How many teens have left the faith because of a certain unspoken flavor which in some way communicates to them that they have yet another weirdness because they just aren’t sure about X or Y or Z? What has an honest “I don’t know” to do with Volition? In ignorance, in lack of a clear sightline we say in honesty, “I don’t know” and this is an utterance born out of condition and not out of volition. There does come a point where the light given, the sightline spied, the Person tasted begins to give one a certain handhold by which to climb over certain gaps in the rock wall as one climbs up, half hanging by that newly found handhold, half dangling in midair. Here Trust begins to overshadow the I-don’t-knows and traverse such gaps. But let us be clear: though doubt will one day fade, trust never will. Not ever. That abandonment of The-Self on the Word of The-Other has never known a first as such is that uncreated movement there within God’s interior. Be careful with teens on this one. Intellectual constructs, as coherent as they may be in the fifteen year old’s brain, are not the same thing as Person Tasted. Satan has all the perfect intellectual constructs. And he has zero doubts. No. Life is not found there in zero-doubt. Life is found on the end of an entirely separate stick, hanging in midair off of an entirely separate Tree.

A point for thought: In all the Bible personalities that Brett invoked (Abraham, David, Peter, ... should have thrown in Thomas), in the moments they were displaying doubts, where they not also moments of sin.

I think Brett did a fine job of honing our understanding of what is the nature of doubt. I don't think he established what qualifies as a sin.

I agree with KWM, I would argue that I sin daily and need forgiveness just as freqently. I'm of the Lutheran conviction of sins of thought, deed, and action. So whether we estabish an equivalency of doubt and sin or not, we need to address the matter(s) as serious enough. Both Peter and Judas sold out on Jesus; knowing how to resolve this case is night and day.

I have always been intrigued with John the Baptist's question regarding Jesus in Matthew 11:3 - "Are you the one who is to come, or shall we look for another?" Whether this was due to the emotional strain of being imprisoned (his location at the time) or something else, I find it interesting that of all mentioned in the scriptures, John presumably had more direct and personal insight into who Jesus was than anyone. Jesus' reponse: "Go and tell John what you hear and see: the blind recieve their sight and the lame walk, lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, and the dead are raised up, and the poor have good news preached to them. And blessed is the on who is not offended by me." It seems to me that while in the weakness of his flesh it appears that John experienced doubt, Jesus' answer seems to imply that the question was not out of bounds; He knew John was in the faith, and He answered in a way to encourage that faith, rather than register a reprimand. Truly just one example, but I do think we are in good company when doubt tears at the edges of our souls.


“Christ never failed to distinguish between doubt and unbelief. Doubt is can’t believe; unbelief is won’t believe. Doubt is honest; unbelief is obstinacy. Doubt is looking for light; unbelief is content with darkness. Loving darkness rather than light—that is what Christ attacked and attacked unsparingly. But for the intellectual questioning of Thomas, and Philip, and Nicodemus, and the many others who came to Him to have their great problems solved, He was respectful and generous and tolerant.

But how did He meet their doubts? The church, as I have said, says “Brand him!” Christ said, “Teach him.”

When Thomas came to Him, denied His very resurrection, and stood before Him waiting for the scathing words and lashing for his unbelief, they never came. They never came. Christ gave him fact—facts.” (Henry Drummond)


“Now Faith … is the art of holding on to things your reason has once accepted, in spite of your changing moods. For moods will change, whatever view your reason takes. I know that by experience. Now that I am a Christian I do have moods in which the whole thing looks very improbable: but when I was an atheist I had moods in which Christianity looked terribly probable. This rebellion of your moods against your real self is going to come anyway. That is why Faith is such a necessary virtue: unless you teach your moods “where they get off,” you can never be either a sound Christian or even a sound atheist, but just a creature dithering to and fro, with its beliefs really dependent on the weather and the state of its digestion.” (C.S. Lewis)

"Are you really the One?"

That unspoken, telekinetically transmitted sense of branding, of outsider, of shame in response to such a condition has come through loud and clear to many a teen who have, being thus telekinetically rejected, simply left.

"Well now, scblhrm, you're still wrestling with this? It's been three years young man. Repent! Repent!

Thankfully, God has not devoured His Own young, though we too often have.

Be careful with our teens on this one.


Doubt is unbelief-lite.

In some cases, yes. Actually, I guess technically speaking probably in all cases...

But, I don't know that it's always a sin...at least probably in the way that most of us fallen humans think of sin...

But there again, that pre-supposes we have a correct, Biblical, Godly view of what sin actually is...so maybe that's actually a root question lurking behind this...

I think 1 John has a lot to say about this subject.

The comments to this entry are closed.