Tips on what NOT to say to someone struggling with their faith

Minty Dave the early Years

Neal Fowler via Compfight

Here’s a post from a year ago from Elizabeth Esther on What NOT to say to someone struggling with their faith. Historically, the church has been a very unsafe place for people expressing doubts or struggles. Let’s be safer than this.

From the blog post:

  1. “Don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater!” This nice little cliche manages to be both offensive and dismissive all at once. It assumes the listener has abandoned important aspects of their faith and belittles the honest struggle of re-examining once dearly held beliefs.
  2. “When’s the last time you read your Bible?” This question is used as a litmus test; ie. if you haven’t been reading your Bible daily, well, OF COURSE, that’s why you’re having problems. This question exposes a dualistic mindset that seeks easy answers to complex problems.Not only is this question hurtful, it presumes every spiritual struggle can be simply diagnosed and resolved with a few predictable, formulaic steps.

 

Check out the blog post to read the other eight points.

Related Reading

Leaving Westboro Baptist: Damsel, Arise

Burstein! via Compfight A reader pointed us to this fascinating article about the defection of Megan Phelps-Roper from the notorious Westboro Baptist Church (Thanks Rocky). She’s the granddaughter of the founder and preacher Fred Phelps. It’s an amazing story of how sometimes doubt can lead to grace and courage. From the article: In the fifth…

According to Your Faith

In his sermon from this last weekend, Greg deals with Scriptures that have created some misunderstandings regarding the nature of faith. He shows how we can replace the gimmickry we normally associate with faith with something much more beautiful and lasting. You can download the sermon here. How have Greg’s thoughts on faith impacted the…

Tags: ,

Drumming, Openness, Providence and Whatever

Here’s one of four arguments I offer in this essay against the view that an omniscient God must by definition know the future exhaustively as a domain of eternally settled facts.

Topics:

Making Room for Doubt and Questions in Our Youth Curriculum

This article from a Christianity Today blog was sent to us from a reader (Thanks Laura!) reflecting on the need for making space for doubt and questions in our youth curriculum. From the article: In our Sticky Faith research, geared to help young people develop a Christian faith that lasts, a common narrative emerged: When young people asked…

Tags: ,

Lighten Up: Fatalism and the Seeds of Doubt

Are You a Church Misfit?

Romain Guy via Compfight Here’s a lovely reflection from Rachel Held Evans on the experience of finding that your questions are unwelcome in church. Evans is bumping up against this material as she reads Barbara Kingsolver’s Flight Behavior. I suspect this kind of experience is much more common that we’d like to admit. Can you…