Uncertainty & Unbelief

In the church today, especially progressive wings of the church, it is all too popular to conflate uncertainty with unbelief. It all gets muddled under the word “doubt.” Christians these days like to say things like, “It’s okay to doubt. It’s normal and natural.” But do they mean, “It is okay to be uncertain?” Or do they mean, “It is okay to live in unbelief?”

Uncertainty is a normal and natural part of a life of faith. Unbelief, however, is a toxic poison to the life of faith. So what kind of “doubt” are we talking about? The Bible is really clear about the toxicity of unbelief.

In Luke 1, when Zechariah didn’t believe the word of God spoken by the angel Gabriel (who appeared to him in the Temple), Gabriel didn’t say, “It’s okay…doubt (meaning unbelief) is a normal part of the Christian life. I’ll celebrate your deconstruction process and give you space to find your truth.” Can you imagine?

Nope.

Gabriel was stern with Zechariah and said, “I am Gabriel. I stand in the presence of God, and I have been sent to speak to you and to tell you this good news. And now you will be silent and not able to speak until the day this happens, because you did not believe my words…”(Luke 1:19-20).

Unbelief is so toxic that Gabriel would rather silence Zechariah than have him spread his unbelief through his spoken words.