It's not because I doubt that I don't feel safe in church, it's because I fear how the church will react to my sincere doubt and honest questioning.
I have been called a skeptic, cynic, heretic, rabblerouser (my personal favorite) and all kinds of other names. I have been asked to leave churches, asked to keep quiet, and more often than not, censored myself in "church settings" and around "church people." I have lost friends. I have alienated others and been alienated by yet others.
All for the "sin" of doubt.
In the tradition I was raised in, doubt was seen as the antithesis of faith. When I asked questions, both as a child and an adult, it was implied that even asking the questions themselves was "sinful."
"Why would you ask something like that?"
...because I don't find your answers to be consistent with the message of Christ.
"It would break Jesus' heart if he heard you say that."
...actually, I'm pretty sure His heart would break if He heard you say that. Jesus encouraged the asking of questions, and asked many questions himself.
"Don't be a doubting Thomas."
...I read the Thomas narrative a bit differently, in that it was only when Thomas fully embraced his doubt that Jesus came to meet him in the most radical way. Jesus empathized with the doubt Thomas felt, so much so that he chose to reveal himself to Thomas in the most intimate way.
I look at it this way:
Sound moves through the air.
Waves move through the water.
Doubt is the medium through which my faith moves, so stop calling me a sinner for it.
Doubt is how the Holy Spirit-in Her gentle, nurturing and comforting way-leads me into deeper relationship with God. So, when you discourage me from doubting, you are discouraging me from engaging God in a deeper, more meaningful way. When you try to turn doubt into a sin, you're trying to silence the voice of God in my life.
Here's the bottom line:
This is how I work out my own salvation.
There is much fear
There is much trembling
But in the end, there is always peace.