Thank you for your two-times response.
Yes, I believe you are grasping my thought here.
On my part, since I wrote my initial reaction , I have also begun to apply my puzzler to my own enigmatic position. I’ve realized that the nuance I place between faith and belief should be more clearly explained. However, I’m not sure how I myself want to do this. There are indeed unresolved loose ends in my paradigm, which gives me doubts. Yet, what religiously interested introvert would have it any other way?
The truth is, for whatever reason, God is not making it easy for believers to believe.
Now, to speak to your queries.
The questions can be asked. All is right and good.
The beliefs can be held. Or not. All is right and good.
God gives and takes away. All is right and good.
But when the questions, the unbelievables, become a matter of qualified faithlessness — who determines these limits? Who says Samson’s heroic deeds are a good lithmus test for acceptance to God’s elect, or that belonging is a matter of the actions of Jerry Falwell’s son? Where do the gatekeepers get their authority? Who let them into your heart? When the arbiters have acted like dogs (let alone primates!), who is to remain faithful to their decrees?
I guess what I am trying to say is that doubt and belief may not need to be the principles that define the heart of the matter — and I’m putting on the armor of adherence. And if adherence demands faith, then to be faithful I ought to have it. I ought to at least acknowledge it.
Thank you for stretching my thoughts.