I know from personal experiences that saying you doubt something in your church can get you in some pretty serious trouble. I will make a bold statement for you. I am sure you have doubts, probably even serious doubts, about what you are told to be facts in your church too. Even Mother Theresa had them so don’t even bother to deny it! But, all of us also know that there is an unspoken agreement that we will keep such doubts to ourselves. We won’t bring them up because it might create tension during Bible studies and other “safe” places. We won’t bring them up because it might spark controversy among our fellow believers. Church is supposed to be a place where none of those stressful things in life happen. It’s supposed to be a happy place where we gather every Sunday.
Instead of voicing our doubts we are supposed to pretend to be fully comfortable with everything we are told to believe. I made the “mistake” of voicing some of my doubts. What came as a result was a flurry of text and email telling me that many of my fellow believers agreed more with me than the clergyman told them to believe as a child as Jesus told us. But, none of those messengers had the courage to voice their opinions as I did. I can certainly understand why.
I am going to change gears now to cover the second major topic of this particular post. But changing gears doesn’t mean that it is a different topic. The Pharisees in our church who make up all the rules tell us that to believe as a child means that we are supposed to take everything they tell us as fact. Don’t bother to ask any questions.
But, to me being a child means that we are supposed to ask questions. When I was a child the most common word out of my mouth was “why”. My brain was like a sponge that sucked up knowledge wherever I could discover it. Sometimes the questions were pretty uncomfortable to the grown-ups around me, but I HAD to ask them. So, to me to believe as a child means to question everything. 🥸 It means to ask the uninhibited questions we did as a youth.
That, of course, brings up the graphic at the top of this post. The logic of that kid brings up questions that should be addressed in EVERY church. It brings up the basic difference between the Old and New Testaments. Is God a god of wrath, or a god of love? Logically he can’t be both without some serious twisting of truth. God, via Jesus, told us that the two most important things in life are to love Her and to love each other. But the god of the Old Testament was a very vengeful being who didn’t tolerate any disagreements. He not only doesn’t love us in return, but actually despises us for not loving him enough. Is this a case of “Don’t do as I do, do as I say”?
It’s time for Christian churches to treat the Old Testament and its many myths as NOT from the God who has agape love for all his creation.