Posted by: thewhitesintokyo | September 13, 2009

Doubting Thomas

Every so often, it seems like life, or God, points you in a specific direction.  Last spring, our pastor and friend, Matt, gave one of his first sermons after joining our congregation about “Doubting Thomas.” His insightful sermon was entitled “Did Thomas get a raw deal?

Soon afterwards, our Tokyo folk band was performing covers from a band named Nickel Creek, and I had been listening to their album quite a bit.  Nickel Creek’s song “Doubting Thomas” stuck out to me even more after hearing that sermon.

Last, at a friend’s home a few days later, we had a great conversation lasting several hours that touched on many points, but most markedly for me, on the subject of understanding faith, doubt, and morality while living in Japan.

I feel like I could write a book about this as I’ve think, pray, and read about it often, but it’s something that comes to mind often in Japan, so I’ll try to keep it to the point.

These days, we live in country where there are a lot of very good people, almost none of which know anything about Jesus or the faith that guides my life and moral thinking.  They make decisions using what they know and understand, and often make great decisions that show a great deal of care for their families, neighbors, and the planet on which they live.

So far, I’ve come to two very different faith responses to living in non-Christian Japan: Hold my faith even closer to compensate for its absence in the general culture here, or question and distance myself from it.  These questions have been a part of my faith journey my entire life, and I doubt they’ll ever go away.  But living here certainly presents its own set of challenges to some of the beliefs I hold on to most dearly.

In the words of that Nickel Creek song:
Can I be used to help others find truth,
When I’m scared I’ll find proof that its a lie?

Doubt is an acceptable part of the Christian faith, but it certainly doesn’t make things easy!



  1. “Faith is a knowledge within the heart, beyond the reach of proof.” …Kahlil Gibran

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