Faith in Times of Doubt
A Dramatic Shift
Ancient Roman society lacked faith in God. Paul writing to Timothy decried everyday conditions, painting a murky picture of the attitudes and actions of his time. Our society is experiencing a similar time of doubt. Over the past century much has changed when it comes to attitudes about religious belief. A recent Angus Reid poll declared that over 50% of those surveyed had a negative perception of religion in general. This is an amazing change! Almost equal groups of people, affirm that they are either “non-believers” or “religiously committed.” But, the remaining 60% are either “uncertain” or “private believers.” These private believers are unwilling to let their faith be known. And, perhaps for good reason. It is difficult to live your faith in times of doubt.
What the Pollsters Discovered
The pollsters drew some interesting conclusions about the role of faith in society. They observed that the priorities of believers were in stark contrast to those who professed no belief. The “non-believers” top three priorities were: a comfortable life, self-reliance, and good times with friends. Based on self-reporting, the non-believers were 60% less involved in their community, and 300% less generous in their charitable contributions. Can you guess how these values differ from those who are “religiously committed?” And how this impacts changes in our culture?
Living Your Faith in Times of Doubt
The writers of the New Covenant scriptures lived in a Hellenistic society. It was a culture that despised Christian values. So, these ancient authors offer sound advice to us, who also live in a world where faith is “suspect.” They encouraged believers to put their faith into action. And, without exception, they extolled the benefits of living by your faith. Paul, John, Peter, and others appreciated the rewards God offered for loyalty, service, and integrity. There are benefits of faith in times of doubt. Do you know what they are?
Faith: Divine Persuasion
Christian Faith Series