I don’t believe that struggling over a particular doctrine means you are not saved. This is what I was taught in my IFB cult. If you struggle to accept eternal security, you are not saved. If you got saved reading an NIV, you are not saved. If you don’t exhibit the fruits of the Spirit, you are not saved (and those of us who tend to be very introspective and honest about our failings suffer with this one big time). If you ever fall away, you were never truly saved. If you struggle with fear, you may not be saved (this certainly helps to alleviate your fears right? Now you can feel even worse about what you already feel guilty about). If you got a tattoo after you are a Christian, you were probably never saved.
It was doctrinal doubt that led me to abandon the Word of Faith charismatic church after my first child died despite efforts of the church members to raise her from the dead (she was born with birth defects). When the reality of a doctrine being false hits you hard in the death of your child, you are forced to reexamine your beliefs. Perhaps God does not want to heal everyone all the time after all, despite what I was taught?
Then I was forced to examine the teachings of Charity when I suffered from panic attacks, anxiety, adrenal failure, chronic infections, celiac disease, and a pulmonary embolism – at age 32. Lots of time to think things through when you are bedridden for 3mo. and chronically ill for 2 years. The exhaustion of trying to be perfect wore on me.
Then I “graduated” to the Plymouth Brethren, were I learned salvation by grace, and those that did not believe in eternal security were never truly saved. I learned I could not be perfect after all and embraced the grace of God. But I had to think my way through their exclusive doctrines about the plurality of leadership, etc, when the church fell apart (after 2 elders fell into adultery and subsequently divorced), leaving us looking for a church. All the churches had Pastors, which to a PB, is the epitome of evil.
Then I had to analyze Calvinist doctrines of election when my daughter developed mental illness after being tormented about her salvation – perhaps she was not one of God’s elect. It took 2.5 years and some research on neuroplasticity to free her from the pain of OCD.
After this I began to seriously take a good hard look at the fruit of the legalistic, fundamentalism, I had been involved in. I had to look no further than my friends. They were riddled with anxiety disorders, panic attacks, neurosises, children with mental issues, physical stress related health disorders, etc. Jesus said to examine a tree by its fruit. All I saw was a rotten, stinking mess. I have since come to the conclusion that extreme fundamentalism is dangerous and will make its adherents sick – mentally and physically. And quite honestly, I love and care about folks health and well being. And since Jesus came and healed diseases and bound up the broken-hearted, I figured somehow I must have missed something. The folks I knew that had not faired so well, genuinely trusted Christ to save them, yet their religion was killing them. So once again, I find myself in a place of examining things after leaving my IFB cult. Which was the worst church of all of them, despite the fact that they were doctrinally orthodox on the gospel. Never in my life had I witnessed such gross maltreatment of other human beings.
So that is why I question. I do not question Jesus, his diety, or his atonement, but everything else is up for scrutiny right now and will continue to be until I can come to conclusions that are tenable with reality.