“Do I trust the message of the Bible? Even if I do, can I worship the God I find there? Does this message make sense? Demons, devils, destiny… quite a lot to take in. And this God doesn’t always seem to be so loving. All of these rules and regulations, even as invasive as those on sex life. For all that, this God doesn’t seem to “keep very good score.” Bad things happen to good people every day. If God doesn’t seem to play fair, why should I follow the rules? Am I really supposed to believe that this God has a positive plan for my life?”
These questions can make us feel like inauthentic believers—does having these questions simply mean I don’t have enough faith? One might even hear from other people who believe that these questions are inappropriate. And so, we sweep them under the rug, and though many ask the same questions, we are all left wondering, alone.
A Transformative Process
The truth is, God invites us to bring our qualms and questions openly to the conversation table. “Come now, let us dispute together,” says the Lord. “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall be as wool.” (Isaiah 1:18) He invites us, not with a challenge that our objections will be crushed, but with the promise that we will be positively transformed by the experience. And many famous believers have done just that.
In John 20, the disciple Thomas questioned the reliability of the message of the resurrection; he desired more evidence, and would not believe until he could reconcile this message with the rest of his understanding of the world.
In Acts 10, the Apostle Peter questioned God when his faith appeared to conflict with what he had been taught by his culture. He grew up with one definition of appropriateness (in this case, related to diet), and had to reconcile with the fact that the cross meant he had to change his understanding.
Throughout the book that bears his name, Job questioned the justice of a God who let bad things happen to good people. Through a series of tragic occurrences, he lost his children, his employees and his livelihood within the span of a single day. Then later, Job lost his health, though not his life. While his friends kept arguing that Job must have done something to deserve the calamity around him, Job maintained his innocence and integrity, and continued to wonder why these things had happened.
And in the book of Jonah, we find a prophet who didn’t even want to share the Lord’s message because he had problems with God’s character, and who God chose to forgive. After a rather harrowing encounter with a fish, Jonah too brought his questions to God’s discussion table.
A Seat At The Table
Apparently, when people question God, that’s not something to brush under the rug. Each of the stories above became scripture. Each of these questioning believers (even Jonah!) found answers for their questions. Some answers provided more comfort than others. But either way, because they asked, explored, and questioned, these believers were equipped with clarity that enabled them to serve the Lord and make a difference.
Our current series, “Question Everything,” intends to create space to go ahead and ask the questions that slow us down. Rather than ignoring them, God tells us and has demonstrated that directly encountering these questions can be a powerful, life-changing process.
Remaining Topics include:
- April 14th & 15th - How can Christians believe a 2,000-year-old document is the Word of God?
- April 21st & 22nd - Why does Christianity have such a restrictive view of sexuality?
- April 28th & 29th - Is there really such a thing as the devil and hell?
- May 5th & 6th - Does my life have purpose?
After each message, the following Sunday will include a pastor-led open discussion on the previous week’s message during the 9:45 hour. Rather than sweeping them under the rug, let’s bring these questions to the table. Only then can we be transformed. If you’d like to attend the message or the conversation, get all the details here and then get some answers.