‘sean’ commented on my post about middle schoolers and doubts with this great question:
Is doubting your faith or your parents faith system necessary for spiritual growth? I ask because I have a few people, after reading your article, tell me that they have never gone through this. One is my senior pastor. They took offense to the notion that they must have a stunted or childish faith. Personally, I went through this, and I’m a stronger believer for it, but I can see my pastor’s point. Is he lying to himself? I don’t know. You got anything?
here’s my response:
good question, sean.
a couple responses:
1. yes, i think it’s essential. and i think it’s more likely that your pastor and other adults just don’t remember that they went through that process. it may not have been dramatic (which could be part of why they don’t remember it — combined with the fact that MOST of us don’t have many memories of the young teen years).
2. part of the rub could also be a definition of “doubting”. i’m really talking about a re-evaluated faith system — a decision (or more likely, a series of decisions) to take responsibility for a faith that had previously been inherited. maybe, in the case of your pastor and other adults (the minority, i would venture) it would be better to think of this process in ‘ownership’ terms, or ‘identity’ terms, rather than doubting. but the point remains: young to mid-teens need to go through a process of evaluating their faith (this is often not a process they are fully conscious of) and re-staking the ground of their own faith system.
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