Friday, July 26, 2019


Yesterday, I said that we have to be careful how we handle our questions, that we cannot make our questions into truths. But questioning is one of the most valuable things we can do for our faith. 

I can't tell you the number of persons I've met who have wept over feeling like "bad Christians" because they've had questions, who have been taught their whole lives that the hallmark of "true" faith is never having any questions at all, who have been led to believe that the real Christian life comes in knowing for sure and never wondering or wandering. This breaks my heart. 

If you never have any questions, how is God ever supposed to answer you? 

You can't ever learn anything new about God unless you are in a dialogue with Him, and there's nothing to talk about if you already know everything. You've probably met someone like this in your life - most likely a child; someone who is certain they know everything and is quick to tell you all that they know. If you try to tell them something they don't know, they'll just tell you how wrong you are and insist that they are right about everything. It's frustrating, and you wonder how they're ever going to make it in the world if they don't set aside their arrogant insistence and open themselves up to learn something from someone who might just know better than them.

And yet, this is exactly what we do to God. We come as arrogant little children, unwilling to believe there could be anything we don't know. We think He requires that we know everything with certainty. We think that what He wants from our faith is that it would be so sure that it doesn't have any questions, but if it doesn't have any questions, it will never grow. If we already know everything we think we need to know, we won't be curious. And God Himself won't be able to tell us anything new about Himself.

That is extremely dangerous because for a lot of Christians, this mindset came on early - somewhere just after preschool, somewhere very young. That means that for a lot of Christians, their entire faith rests on "Jesus loves me," "Father Abraham," and "Arky-Arky."

No wonder our faith sometimes seems like nonsense.

This kind of very basic understanding, this limited insight, doesn't lead to the kind of dynamic faith that living in a fallen world requires. You can't face the troubles and trials of life with some blanket declaration that Jesus just loves you. What does love mean? What does it look like? How does it function in a place like this?

You would not accept a marriage where the only time you heard, "I love you," is at the altar and then you merely lived out your days side-by-side with one another, without any other tokens of affection, without any deeper conversation, without any reminders of the commitment you've made. Yet this is what we expect our faith to be - a one-time declaration of belief followed by a silent side-by-side with the idea of God.

Worse yet, this is what we convince ourselves God wants our faith to be. Lest we "bother" Him with all the questions that we have along the way. Lest we "pester" Him with our constant need to be reminded what His love is.

If we believe, that's enough, isn't it? Why would it be - when it is not enough in literally any other area of our lives?

Our faith is not one that has no questions; it is one that knows where to find the answers. The more we ask, the more we discover. The more we knock, the more doors that open. The more we seek, the more we find. At every turn, our faith has the chance to grow stronger, deeper, more authentic and real and meaningful. But it doesn't just happen because we will it or want it; it happens when we pursue it, and we pursue it through asking.

Not because we doubt, although sometimes that's the case (and that's okay). But because we long - we long for more, and God has promised to give it to us.

If you never have any questions, how is God ever supposed to answer you? 

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