Sunday, February 24, 2013

Disavowed Unbelief

Peter Rollins teaches me with a blog post titled "The Problem with Unbelief is that it Enables Us to Believe Too Much."  The main point is that "unbelief ... supports and sustains belief".

We commonly think that unbelief is what prevents us from believing in something.  He points out that there are times that disavowed unbelief actually sustains belief. He gives examples from his earlier experiences in the fundamentalist community but points out that other groupings of people also practice it. 

Disavowed unbelief allows us to erect barriers to stop us from believing too much.  Examples of barriers are that what we need to do is pray more or leave it in God's hands or we lack understanding or the Devil is at work.  Barriers serve to prevent us from going too far and actually being true to expressed beliefs.  There are people who believe too much and they are the ones that can cause problems.   For example, Biblical Literalists who physically injure children based on perceived sanctions of that in the Bible.  Also, people who won't allow medical treatment of loved ones because they actually believe in  healing.  The "Faith" in the term "Faith Healing" is a barrier that allows one to believe that miraculous healing will occur if one only has enough faith.  This even though it only works about .001% of the time.

Now I should ask myself where in my life do I exhibit disavowed unbelief?  Do I only visit web sites that support my views?  Only watch news and other media expressions that give support and comfort to my feelings?  Do I go there because of insecurity in myself that needs bolstering? 

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