Why can't we be doubting like Thomas?


#1

I was reading an apostate’s website and noticed an intriguing point he raised:

One story from the Gospels presents us with an interesting question. Why is the Apostle Thomas’ doubt indulged by Jesus and he later considered a saint whereas later doubters were condemned, excommunicated, and occasionally tortured and executed? Why are we not justified in saying that we will not believe until we can examine Jesus’ wounds ourselves?

What’s a good Catholic answer to this?


#2

There is a great distance between doubt and rejection.


#3

Jesus doesn’t condemn Thomas for his doubt. He’s just praising those that don’t need this proof.

Jesus tells of those that have greater faith than others throughout the Gospels. For instance, he says of the Roman Centurion in Matthew, chapter 9, “Never have I seen such faith like his…” (paraphrasing). That certainly doesn’t mean he’s condemning those whose faith is as great as the Centurion’s does it?

On a side note, Thomas holds a special appeal to me. While the rest of the Apostles are in the upper room “for fear of the Jews”, Thomas is elsewhere. It would seem that Thomas is not afraid to be considered a disciple of Jesus’.

Am I jumping to conclusions here? When Jesus tells of going to Jerusalem to die, Thomas resolutely says, “Well, we might as well go to Jerusalem to die with Him” (paraphrasing).


#4

AFAIK no Catholic has ever condemned, excommunicated, tortured or executed anyone for doubting Christ’s resurrection.

And Thomas’ doubt was not indulged by Jesus. Jesus encouraged him to overcome his doubt, and he immediately did overcome it, exclaiming “My Lord and my God” without examining Jesus’ wounds.Then he **later **became a saint.

Jesus told the Apostles “he who hears you hears Me”. He told us to have faith in Him as His Church teaches us. He didn’t tell us to invent a time-machine and go back to 30 AD and physically examine His wounds.

The whole paragraph is not “an intriguing point” it’s nothing but a collection of blatant lies.


#5

:thumbsup: Exactly!

Moreover, few people have the God-given common sense to look at that passage of the Gospel and see what really goes on. See if you can figure out why Thomas is a saint, (aside from the fact that he was martyred in India for the Gospel, that is).

[size=][FONT=“Palatino Linotype”]John 20:24 Now Thomas, one of the twelve, who is called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came. 25 The other disciples therefore said to him: We have seen the Lord. But he said to them: Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the place of the nails, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe. 26 And after eight days again his disciples were within, and Thomas with them. Jesus cometh, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said: Peace be to you. 27 Then he saith to Thomas: Put in thy finger hither, and see my hands; and bring hither thy hand, and put it into my side; and be not faithless, but believing. 28 Thomas answered, and said to him: My Lord, and my God. 29 Jesus saith to him: Because thou hast seen me, Thomas, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and have believed.

Verse 28 should be the tip off. :slight_smile: [/FONT][/size]


#6

Thomas gets a bum rap. Back up a few verses:

Joh 20:19 Now when it was late the same day, the first of the week, and the doors were shut, where the disciples were gathered together, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in the midst and said to them: Peace be to you.
Joh 20:20 And when he had said this, he shewed them his hands and his side. The disciples therefore were glad, when they saw the Lord.

So the rest of the apostles (including John, one assumes) didn’t believe, or realise it was really the risen Jesus until he showed them visible proof. And note that Thomas only asked for the same proof that they had been given.

Note as well that Thomas’s principle, that extraordinary claims demand extraordinary proof, is perfectly valid. Too bad he’s famous for applying it in a case where it was, um, inappropriate

What I hate is modern-day Christians counting themselves among those “who have not seen and yet believed”. What a crock!


#7

God is our father, and there is a lot that he understands, but which our minds can’t grasp or get around yet.

When we were about 2 years old, our parents had some good rules for us that we didn’t understand, but they were still good. Don’t suck your thumb. Don’t swallow your toys. Don’t tear the pages of the books. Don’t draw pictures on the wallpaper.

The rules since then have evolved some, becoming more complex as we become complex, but as long as we were children (and adolescents, to some extent), we needed them. As children, we might not understand the rules, so we might doubt them, but as long as we still follow them, we’re safe. The same is true for Thomas. He had doubts, but his heart had not rejected his God or Jesus’ teachings.

When a heretic believes and proclaims fervently that the true religion is wrong in various ways, his act is one of rejection, not doubting. He has gone beyond the act of the child who doesn’t understand his father’s instructions, and has chosen to actually reject those instructions and disobey them.

When a child willfully disobeys his father, his father must punish him for his own benefit. If the child doesn’t understand and has doubts but still obeys, he is being sensible (assuming, as a child, that one’s father knows more than oneself is logical, just as it is logical for us to assume that God knows more than we do) and stays in line with his father’s will. His father won’t punish him for doubting- only for disobeying.

A heretic is someone that espouses false doctrines, though, and/or rejects true ones. This person has gone beyond simple doubting of his Father and has chosen to actually reject his teachings. When this conflict comes to matters involving eternal salvation or damnation, and where it can involve spreading one’s false teaching and leading others from Jesus Christ, very stern measures may be required to put a stop to it.


#8

No, it’s a fallacy.

What I hate is modern-day Christians counting themselves among those “who have not seen and yet believed”. What a crock!

Why? :confused: Who else could Christ have been referring to?


#9

Wouldn’t that be describing all of us?


#10

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