Have you ever had a serious faith-related question, but were afraid to ask it? Many Christians have their curiosity kick in, while at other times, the way something was explained raises more questions. Do you dare ask it? Do you raise a question that deals with a matter of…faith?
I had the privilege of growing up in a family where I could always ask questions, even questions that were related to faith. Admittedly, some of the questions asked made heads turn (no wonder I’m now a Ph.D. student in Theology); other questions led to answers of “I don’t know.” In either situation, this provided the opportunity to read, study, and journey together in a process of discovery. Questions concerning the age of the Earth, the eternal state of those who never hear the Gospel, and from where the spouses of Adam and Eve’s children came all serve as samples of the many questions on the minds of people of faith—questions that many are afraid to ask.
Admittedly, some will argue that such questions are a source of weak faith or a lack of genuine faith. I strongly disagree. If anything, these questions stem from a heart seeking to learn more about the God they serve and the world in which they live. Just as I remember being told, “I don’t know.” I also remember, “…but we can study together and see if we can find some answers.” That attitude has aided me in understanding the importance of asking questions. So from where does the fear of some come? Some fear that the Bible (the written standard of their faith) might be proven wrong or that their entire faith is wrong because they come to understand that one thing they believed was incorrect. I can say that my thoughts have changed on some issues, and I find this experience has actually strengthened my faith.
I encourage you to ask your questions and grow in your faith. God is big enough for your questions. He isn’t afraid of them; you shouldn’t be either. If you choose to ask some of the “hard” questions of faith and explore them with others, there is no guarantee or requirement that you all come to the exact same conclusion. That is okay. The beauty of faith is that we can have unity on the essentials, liberty on the non-essentials, and love in all things. Remember to remain humble on this journey and be open to the thoughts of others.
As a final note, be warned that there are some things for which you will not obtain a solid answer. Use these opportunities to embrace the mystery of the God of the universe. I mean, if you could really figure out everything concerning God—an omnipotent, eternal being—he wouldn’t really be God, now would he?
Dan Morrison is enrolled in the Doctor of Philosophy program at McMaster Divinity College in Hamilton, ON. When Dan is not reading or doing research, you can usually find him working out at the gym.
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