Sunday, 11 May 2014

The opposite of faith...

I sometimes suggest to the folks at my church that the 'opposite' of faith is not doubt, but certainty. On more than one occasion I have spoken to my congregation of my own doubts, and been open with them about the extent to which I struggle with some aspects of the Christian faith. I can only hope that my willingness to admit my doubts has helped them with theirs.

It is, perhaps, even more surprising to learn of the doubts of senior figures in the Church (though, perhaps, we should not be so surprised - they are, after all, human). One such honest individual is Richard Holloway, former Bishop of Edinburgh and also a writer and speaker. I saw a short interview with him here in which he speaks of the doubts and uncertainties which came gradually upon him as he got older.

But as I watched in the interview, I got the sense that, rather than losing his faith, as some would have it, Bishop Richard was journeying into a new, more mysterious faith. A faith with fewer certainties and more wonder. A faith rooted, as it were, less in God and more in life. Richard Holloway's honesty, openness and sensitivity helped me to feel a little more accepting of some doubts in my own journey.

Whatever your own journey, the interview is well worth watching. As Richard Holloway says in the interview, he still belongs to the Church, and attends regularly, but he doesn't 'do God easily'. I wish that more in the Church were like him.

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