Freedom to disbelieve

Written by on February 22, 2011 in Faith and Spiritual Life, Notes By The Way with 2 Comments

I’ve recently been reading a blog by a former Christian, someone whose “evangelical credentials” were as conservative as can be. How does someone like that lose faith? Or has she? She’s gone off the beaten path and down the slippery slope, yet she’s followed a certain logic that she explains (prolifically). Here’s a question she asks.

So how do we figure out what we really believe and don’t believe? I think this can only take place if we sense an element of personal freedom. As long as we are slaves who must conform to some imposed standard in order to be loved, it won’t be easy to discern our subconscious mind. Do I really believe that or have I only been pressured, or enticed to believe that? We need to know that we’re going to still be loved (at least by our own selves) if we step over the boundaries.

Do you know what you believe if you’ve never felt a freedom to really disbelieve (i.e., without losing the love of God)?


About the Author

About the Author: Andy Gray is a writer and photographer living in Phnom Penh, Cambodia and working with Alongsiders International. You can find him puttering around the streets of Phnom Penh on his Suzuki Viva 125, running stoplights and driving on the wrong side of the road or on the sidewalks like a local. If you see him in a coffee shop, he'll be the one typing and deleting the same line over and over again. .


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    I empathize with the quote above in that how can anyone embrace a truth that was enforced. That is not the nature of God, if it were so, we would all know of his existence without any doubt. But instead He respects our dignity and allows us to choose what we believe. He calls us in the sunset, the smile of another,and the clap of thunder. We do a grave injury if we try to impress on our children what they must believe. As for me, we have loved our children and prayed they would find hope, faith and love in Jesus on their own.

  • -Nas

    @LA AMMON – You said, “That is not the nature of God, if it were so, we would all know of his existence without any doubt.” I wonder how you reconcile that view with the teachings about God in Romans 1 – “For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities–his eternal power and divine nature–have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.”

    Now, I think there is a level of disbelief that we are allowed, (see Mark 9:24) and needn’t fear God’s lack of love. But to think we can separate love from righteousness is folly.