I know I promised a book review for this post but something else has been on my mind lately so the book review post will come on Friday.
Is it OK to question things about your faith, your religion, your theology, or must you take everything at face value with the so called “leap of faith”? To me, that is a very important question. I seem to be saying “Why” a lot the last few years. That even seems to be the reoccurring theme of this blog. Some think I am reverting back to my childhood 😉 . I don’t remember what age it was but, like most kids, I probably had the word “why” in every other sentence way back then. I went on to be an engineer so I guess I have been saying “why” or maybe “why not” probably my whole life but it has become more pronounced lately. I get the feeling that when I say why when referring to theological or biblical matters some look at me in a strange way! They seem to be thinking “how can you be questioning God?”. I don’t see it as questioning God so much as questioning man’s interpretation of God.
Paul, I think it was, told us to question everything but I think that had to do with weeding out false prophets. But, in a way isn’t questioning theological matters and even our belief system the same as weeding out false prophets? Obviously thelogians, past and present, can’t seem to agree with each other on much of anything. It seems therefore that we must always be questioning their interpretations of God’s word. So I think it is very appropriate for all of us to have our own questions. After all theologians don’t have a lock on this any more that the Pharisees of Jesus’ day. I just had to get this off my mind. Thanks for listening and if you feel like it add your two cents here.
3 thoughts on “Why???”
Oh, keep on asking the question, RJ! Too few do!
I listened to an excellent sermon recently (preached last May, I believe) by John Oertberg of Menlo Park Presbyterian Church here in the Bay Area. He pointed out something obvious that had not occurred to me. . .when all doubt is removed and you have evidence to prove your point, that’s not faith, it’s knowledge.
God knows I still have doubts. As sure as I am that Jesus’ way is the right way to live, and as (pretty) sure as I am that all those first-century Christians wouldn’t have gone to horrible deaths without firsthand knowledge of what they were dying for, I still catch myself wondering if I’m just chasing shadows. This struggle is particularly difficult for me when I look at my career path, in which I am unable (too blind?) to detect a whiff of usefulness or significance in what I do to keep bread on my family’s table.
I think that dad in Mark 9:24 said it better than I ever have: “Lord, I believe; help thou my unbelief.”
Dan, you are in good company in having doubts. I recently read that Mother Teresa frequently had doubts about what she spent her life doing! Like you say it is those who blindly follow something that I have the most concern about. I truly believe that Jesus meant us to do a lot of studying and struggling with his words. Since he was speaking for eternity but living in a very primitive time he had to somewhat cloak his meanings. I think that lack of understanding this is a stifling point to many including many theologians.
As to your career path, I wish I had some of the experiences you have had in your life. A missionary in a foreign country! I would have loved to have that experience. There is nothing wrong with putting bread on the table! When people ask me “what are you?” I always try to put God first, family second, and myself last. As you said I put bread on the table but that is not who I was. Volunteering now in a homeless shelter/soup kitchen I have had several fleeting minutes that more defined me than all those years “on the job”.
If I can’t question and discuss the word of God openly and without reservation, I die spiritually. It is very difficult to find anyone who wants to closely examine the word of God, especially of the female gender. They perceive this questioning attitude as a lack of faith. For me it is the exact opposite! I wonder about such an amazing creator. He is wondrous to me and I want to know him better just like I want to know the love of my life deeper and more profoundly.