What do I do? I am 19. I have been a Christian for 3 years now and just recently I have started asking myself some very tough questions which in turn has left me very doubtful of my faith and left me oftentimes in despair. The questions include: Couldn’t God have saved us another way? Why did God allow evil to enter the world? Did God create evil? These question have left me paralyzed and in despair. I question my faith, and that leads to anxiety and deep sadness. I don’t want to fall into indifference and give up. I even wonder if I am elect because I am even asking these questions. I fear that through these thoughts I may lose my faith completely but I keep asking for grace and understanding. I don’t expect these questions to be answered but it would be nice to know if anyone else has gone through this and what I should do to get through this season. Is it wrong to ask these questions? The fact that I have pondered these questions amongst others so long has led to a spiritual apathy. I love God but I find it increasingly harder to stay in the faith. I can’t even approach the Bible anymore because my mind is so tainted.
I am glad you wrote. First of all, there are excellent answers to all your questions. In fact, all of these have been answered at my web site and you can find the answers for yourself by doing a search.
Second, it is definitely not wrong or sinful to question your faith. One important way we grow in our faith is to question it. The Bereans (Acts 17) questioned what Paul said, to see if it was true. The doubts you are now having, though scary, are necessary to your long term growth as a believer in Jesus Christ. Please do not give in to fear, but face your questions (which seems to be what you are doing).
Third, you are apparently from a Calvinist background, in which you were taught some sort of predestination and election of the saints. I would suggest to you that you might want to question this teaching, which I believe is not Biblical. God wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth (1 Tim 2:4). The question is not whether you are of God’s “elect” but whether you will choose to put your faith in him. I believe you can. All are “predestined” for salvation. The question is whether we will accept that predestined place in heaven and choose salvation over rebellion against God. I will suggest some material on this topic below. Please do not take my word for it on this one.
Let me get you started on finding answers to your questions. First of all, there is a book I published titled “Field Manual for Christian Apologetics.” It is available at www.ipibooks.com. You might want to pick up a copy. Second, there are notes, power points and audios at my web site on this topic which I believe will be helpful. Let me suggest you go to the power point section of my web site and look for two power points. One is titled “Answering the Hard Questions.” The other is titled “Power Point on Christian Theology”. Also, there is the power point “A Defense of Christian Theology. I also suggest the power point and notes on Preservation and Predestination. If you go to the ARS store (link on the front page) you will find an audio series on Christian Theology as well as a lesson titled Answering the Hard Questions. I believe these will get you started on most of the questions you raise in your question. Please do me a favor. Check out some of these materials. I am guessing that they will not answer all your questions. After doing this, please come back to me with the two or three questions which are still nagging you and I will deal individually with those questions.