Source: Huffington Post – Lisa Hickman
Thomas is permanently labeled a “doubter” by two millennia of history books, sermons, cartoons and theological treatises in the Christian tradition. A cartoon by Joshua Harris has Thomas crying out, “All I’m saying is we don’t call Peter ‘Denying Peter.’”
Thomas is not to blame for this label. He made a reasonable statement in an unreasonable, once-in-a-lifetime resurrection situation. What’s fascinating is how comfortable we are in letting Thomas be so trapped. We might need his doubt to make sense of our own. But when we let the story end with a label as easy as, “Doubting Thomas,” we let ourselves reside in disbelief as well.
Recently, David Brooks of the New York Times criticized YouTube phenomenon Jefferson Bethke for just this. In a public display of doubt over institutionalized religion, Bethke’s rebellion resonated with more than 20 million viewers who watched his lyrical lament, “Why I Hate Religion, but Love Jesus.” With statements like, “The church should not be a museum for the good, but a hospital for the broken,” his message is balm to a century disheartened by the institutional church.
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