It may have sounded like I’ve gone off my nut in that last post; people have been burned at the stake for less. Some may peg me as a heretic, others as a doubting Thomas. My faith is not so fragile as all that. In fact, it is my faith that allows me to ask those questions. I am not afraid to ask those questions; I must continue to go further and further beyond my self into the vast ocean that is God - rowing my tiny dinghy. I am compelled to do so. What lies out there in the deep? Mythological creatures? Giant octopi? Beautiful tropical islands with white sandy beaches? Sunken Treasure?
Sometimes Christians freak out when you start asking those questions. Picture this: you’re in a “small group” with ten Christians. You ask why God created man in the first place and you reject the one-dimensional answers out of hand. If you watch the faces you may see on one, fear; on another, withdrawal; on a third, defensiveness. Looking at the others you might see annoyance, a combative stance, pity, furtive interest, pride, and maybe even contempt. Does anyone display love and openness? Hopefully! Ideally! You know what? I’ve been in many of those people’s shoes, unfortunately. I used to think I had all the answers. The older I get the more I realize that I don’t know many of the answers at all. In the book of James, he admonishes believers to hurry up and listen [to quit rushing to get our own point across] and to be quick to shut our pie holes - and to stall on playing the anger card. (My paraphrase of James 1:19) If only! Dunno about you but I could use some duct tape at times. Dunno but what some others could use some duct tape too.
In any case, I don’t suggest that we should ask these questions lightly, and with no purpose.
But I wonder if some Christians think that they will become less Christian if they are around a person who asks such questions. If our faith is as precarious as all that now would be a good time to find out! If a few questions can overturn our relationship with God... well, it must have been teetering on the edge to begin with.I ask these questions because I must know more of God and less of religiosity. My faith is woven of sturdy stuff - not of flimsy thread and loose weave that will begin unraveling as soon as an edge is cut or a perforation is made. “I’ve based my life on order and reason in the universe… and a power of love behind that order and reason. I’ve had many a narrow shave in my day, but I don’t believe in the power of chaos.” (Mr. Theo in The Young Unicorns, by Madeleine L’Engle) I ask these questions because God said to ask. “…Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.” (Luke 11:9) If we want to know we have to ask.