Laura and I officially joined our church, St. Thomas the Doubter, this past Sunday and I realized that I hadn’t mentioned it yet on my blog. The name of the church in and of itself seems to entice a variety of conversations – as well it should as it is a good synecdoche of who we are. We have already been slightly ridiculed for the name – saying that it is like naming your church ‘David the Adulterer’. The sentiment expressed: ‘why would you want to highlight the shortcomings of your namesake?’
First, I don’t see doubt as Thomas’ shortcoming. Skepticism can take the form of full blown rebellion but it can also express the natural internal conflict that comes when presented with two opposing but real worldviews. Christianity is full of claims that do not immediately and readily square up with what we observe about reality. Trusting these claims without asking for a bigger context is at best naïve and at worst deliberate ignorance.
The biggest context that Christ offers is that He is in the process of bringing peace to the world through His resurrection. This peace goes squarely against the history and tendency of violence that can seem so prevalent. This violence is not an illusion and doubt in its purest form is recognition of this competing reality with Christ’s ultimate restoration. As such the mission I am charged with is to recognize and promote the peace of Christ amidst the violence of the world.
Second, we are particularly interested as a church in those in our community who doubt. Doubting might have been Thomas’s weakness but it is a weakness shared by a great many in our society. It is also a weakness that Jesus dealt compassionately with.
Here is a link to the list of doubts and Christ’s responses to the doubts put together by our pastor:
Some pics of one of our services (we meet at the Plano Children's Theater - got to love their purple curtain):