Is there room for a person of faith to have doubt in their life about God and their spiritual journey, particularly in the Church of God? Because the church dealt in absolutes and had to have the answer to everything, there was not much room for doubt to find fertile ground to play around in. Questioning and inquisitiveness were frowned upon. To do so was to question the leadership of the church, Herbert Armstrong, the ministry, the Bible and ultimately God. To try and solve that "problem" the church had hundreds of books, booklets, articles, and videos explaining everything imaginable. Because the church was God's specially appointed tool of "truth" it could NOT be questioned. To do so was sin.
As children we were encouraged to be inquisitive and questioning, but as adults we are told to stop doing that. As a person of faith in the church one must never doubt or be inquisitive, at least in the words of "wisdom" of the leadership. The problem this creates is that with certainty there is no room for faith to flourish.
At the church I attend I work with new members seeking to join. We meet for 6 weeks two hours a week listing to stories of staff telling their journey's of faith and doubt. Then we break into small groups were we share our personal stories. Many have come from abusive churches and are seeking a place of refugee. The interesting thing with so many, including myself, is that in spite of all the spiritual abuse and sometimes physical abuse, there is something that keeps drawing them and myself back to the church.
Here are some screen shots of the meeting we had last week that centered on faith and doubt. Things like this would NEVER have been encouraged in the Worldwide Church of God, nor will it be in any COG today.
“Take faith, for example. For many people in our world, the opposite of faith is doubt. The goal, then, within this understanding, is to eliminate doubt. But faith and doubt aren't opposites. Doubt is often a sign that your faith has a pulse, that it's alive and well and exploring and searching. Faith and doubt aren't opposites, they are, it turns out, excellent dance partners.”
― Rob Bell,