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Ask an Evangelical: How do people deal with a crisis of faith?


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Ask an Evangelical: How do people deal with a crisis of faith?

Commentary by Scott McIntyre | FāVS News

The short answer, and I think the most accurate, is I don’t know exactly how to answer this question. I will provide an answer later, but first let me share the issue I had to deal with when presented with this question.

Some queries, like the three below, can be answered fairly easily …

  1. How many Psalms are in the Bible?
  2. What is a Church Pastor?
  3. Which day of the week are church services most often held?

It’s possible that some exceptions could be found to the answers I’m thinking of for these questions, and maybe some people might have to do a little research to come up with the right solution, but I don’t think many, if any, would find answering my first three questions, anywhere close to as difficult as these next ones.

  1. How can I find the right spiritual pathway for me?
  2. What should I do to heal the brokenness in my family?
  3. Which is the best way for me to manage my life?

What makes one group ‘harder’ than the other?  It seems like the basic difference between the two is the complexity of the issue, and I think today’s question fits in the more complex group of questions than the simpler ones.

With that said, how am I going to answer the question? Well, rather than applying at a theological university to begin a degree focusing on Christian spirituality issues, I went searching online.

Helpful articles

I found three articles, from organizations I either knew of or which seemed to be appropriate for Evangelical beliefs, and have listed them below. For each of them you’ll find links to the article, its author and the ministry they’re associated with and for the first two, short points of what to do during the crisis. The third article takes a different turn but more on that later. Here is the information I found that I hope will provide the answer I wasn’t able to give on my own.

Surviving a Crisis of FaithSuzanne Hadley Gosselin / Boundless (a ministry of Focus on the Family)

  • Reach out for support from other Christians
  • Remember where you’ve been
  • Trust God with your big questions

5 Ways to Handle a Crisis of FaithTim Madden / MaddeningTheology

  • Write down the ways God worked through your life in the past
  • Read some books on apologetics
  • Pray and ask God to strengthen your faith
  • Ask someone of strong faith to work through your faith with you
  • Ask someone else how God moved in their crisis

An article with a bit of a twist

To wrap up my suggested reading section, here’s the slight twist I mentioned earlier … an article covering several topics related to the question, including five things we shouldn’t do. It starts with a section on “What Is a Crisis of Faith?” and then moves through the following topics.

  1. 5 Things You Should NOT Do When You Are Having a Crisis of Faith
  2. 5 Things You Should Do When You Are Having a Crisis of Faith
  3. Bible Verses to Encourage the Person Having a Crisis of Faith
  4. An Honest Prayer for When You Are Having a Crisis of Faith

5 Things You Should Never Do During a Crisis of Faith / Pamela Palmer / Bible Study Tools

  • Stop attending church
  • Stop praying
  • Stop reading the Bible
  • Avoid other Christians
  • Believe God doesn’t love you

I sincerely hope, especially if our reader’s question was not just a random thought, that the information above will move whoever needs the answer in the right direction.

The views expressed in this opinion column are those of the author. They do not necessarily reflect the views of FāVS News. FāVS News values diverse perspectives and thoughtful analysis on matters of faith and spirituality.

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Scott McIntyre
Scott McIntyre
Scott McIntyre is glad his parents didn’t name him Vladimir or he’d be listed last on this page. While a long time California resident, he was the Oakland Spirituality Examiner for Examiner.com from 2011-12 and about the same time began blogging on several topics. The first, teaching Christians how to lovingly share their spiritual beliefs, emphasized skills that can benefit all forms of one-to-one interaction. He also writes on marriage, travel, downsizing, humor and the motive behind people’s words and actions. After retiring in 2016, Scott embarked on some major ‘R & R’ — Relocating and Rebranding. Following in his sister’s footsteps from the early 80’s, and later in the decade, his parent’s, Scott left the Golden State to become a Washingtonian in a small town just west of Spokane County.

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