Skepticism, cynicism, and disillusionment

I’ve been picking up a vibe lately. Well, it’s actually been a lot longer than just lately, but I’ve really been thinking about it a lot lately. Is it ever alright to be skeptical? Cynical? And just to further add fuel to the fire, what happens when a person becomes jaded? Disillusioned? Disenchanted? More specifically, what happens when any of these states of mind creep into our Christian life and walk, into our churches, into our testimonies? What causes them? Are they good or bad? If they are good, how do we take full advantage of them? If they are bad, how do we correct them?

Just for kicks, I actually went out and looked these words up. Here ya’ go:

skepticism:
1. A doubting or questioning attitude or state of mind; dubiety. See Synonyms at uncertainty.
2. Philosophy.
A. The ancient school of Pyrrho of Elis that stressed the uncertainty of our beliefs in order to oppose dogmatism.
B. The doctrine that absolute knowledge is impossible, either in a particular domain or in general.
C. A methodology based on an assumption of doubt with the aim of acquiring approximate or relative certainty
3. Doubt or disbelief of religious tenets.

cynicism:
1. An attitude of scornful or jaded negativity, especially a general
distrust of the integrity or professed motives of others: the public
cynicism aroused by governmental scandals.

2. A scornfully or jadedly negative comment or act: “She arrived at a
philosophy of her own, all made up of her private notations and
cynicisms” (Henry James).

Since the word ‘jaded’ was referenced in this last definition, I had to look it up.

jaded:

1. Worn out; wearied: “My father’s words had left me jaded and depressed” (William Styron).

2. Dulled by surfeit; sated: “the sickeningly sweet life of the amoral, jaded, bored upper classes” (John Simon).

3. Cynically or pretentiously callous.

And since I’ve been seeing a lot of disillusioned Christians, I felt obligated to look this one up as well.

disillusioned:
1. The act of disenchanting.

2. The condition or fact of being disenchanted.

Don’t you just love when a definition doesn’t really define the word? Try this. I think you might be surprised:

disenchanted:
To free from illusion or false belief; undeceive.

I don’t think most of us actually use the word ‘disenchanted’ to mean this, so I was surprised when I actually looked it up. Sadly, I fear that there are many Christians who believe there is a need to be ‘freed’ from Christian beliefs.

As always this post is mirrored over on my forum, so please feel free to mirror any comments there, as well.

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