The Secret Sin
Dear old and new friends,
Rare, if ever, is this sin confessed to your spouse or confessor. Unlike other clandestine sins, this one isn’t enjoyable to anticipate or experience—it’s disturbing. The sin of which I speak is having thoughts of doubts about God and other holy truths. Like many of you I have known the Apostles’ Creed by heart ever since childhood, but it has been said that we believe what we believe without believing! A childhood profession of religious faith can in adulthood be an expression of habitual thinking, beliefs never questioned.
Later in life small cracks can appear in a religious creed. These cracks begin to leak doubts into your consciousness that can cause fearful anxiety. Worries follow doubts that you are losing your faith which in turn causes dark depression. Mother Teresa of Calcutta, proclaimed a saint for her loving care of the destitute in India, in later life suffered from doubts and oppressive depression. Doubting Teresa sadly did not have to suffer the agony of depression for her holy thoughts of doubt!
“Holy thoughts”…wait a minute; didn’t you begin speaking about the sin of doubting? Yes, but that was to get your attention. Doubts and faith go together like the Long Ranger and Tonto, Lewis and Clark, peanut butter and jelly. Doubting isn’t sinful, rather a virtuous traveling companion for lovers of God. Uncertainty about God’s supposed intervention in some near-death escape or the existence of hell and heaven act as safeguards against being a religious fanatic. Questioning ancient church dogmas or bold pronouncements of science about the universe are only a natural recognition of the limits of our extremely imperfect human intelligence.
It is healthy to question the veracity of two thousand year old miraculous relics like the “believed” actual nails with which Jesus was supposedly crucified—even if nowhere in scripture does it say he was nailed to the cross! Especially today in the 21st century, mind-boggling miracles and holy apparitions are no longer credible or even plausible if using the old roman rule of thumb: “Credo quia impossibile”… “I believe because it is impossible.”
Secret Doubters, perhaps it is time for a new and more honest Apostles Creed.
The A’possible Creed
I have doubts God created earth out of nothing—but it’s possible.
I have doubts Jesus was born of a Virgin—but it’s possible.
I have doubts about the resurrection of the body—but it’s possible.