A guest post by Heidi Dennis
I was watching CBS Sunday Morning the other day (I know, I know- I am secretly 90 years old on the inside), and I heard something that absolutely broke. my. heart. It was a story about Dan Brown, the author of the Da Vinci Code series. He talked about growing up in the church and having questions about aspects of his faith. He took those questions to elders in the church and was told, “Good boys don’t ask questions.” You guys, he walked out of church and never went back. It made me angry and it made me want to cry all at the same time.
Sadly, I’ve heard this type of story before. Why do some in the church see questions as bad? Are we afraid that it is a sign of falling away from your faith? Are we scared that we ourselves don’t know the answers? Are we afraid that God Himself will crumble if we ask too many questions or poke too many holes? I’m sure everyone would answer “Absolutely not!” to that last question, yet that is certainly how we act. Whatever the reason, I think that it is safe to say that the church has not done the best job at opening the door for questions. And many have stopped believing because of it.
But what if questions are a GOOD thing? What if they can be used as a means of deepening our faith instead of shattering it? When we ask questions in school, it is a means of growing in critical thinking and learning more about the subject matter. We shouldn’t be afraid of critical thinking in the church. God can stand the test of time (and our questions). In questioning, we can grow in the knowledge of why we believe what we believe. Are there questions that we don’t have the answers to? Absolutely! (I still can’t figure out why 200 foreskins were the price for a bride in 1 Samuel 18. Just register me at Bed, Bath, and Beyond. Thanks!)
When we don’t have the answers, that’s where faith steps in. But I think that asking questions can actually help our faith to grow. And, if you’re afraid that God will be angry with you for asking questions about Him, just remember that Psalm 139 tells us that He knows our thoughts BEFORE we even say it. Nothing will shock Him. Nothing will chase Him away. He just wants our honesty.
I was at a church service recently where the Pastor mentioned that we have a responsibility to question our faith. What a remarkable thought! It was in context of the Reformation where Martin Luther posted the 95 Thesis on the door of the local Catholic Church. This came directly from questioning his faith. I would also argue that had many not questioned their faith during Jesus’ time, they may have never followed Him. Think about it.
So, let me challenge you- you have a responsibility to question your faith. If your questions aren’t met with openness, then ask someone else that you trust. God is not going to crumble underneath your questions. He is the same yesterday, today, and forever. Instead, as you ask questions, you will grow. Your faith will deepen. Perhaps wounds will heal. So, what are you waiting for? Ask away!
What about you? What are your thoughts on questioning your faith? Is it dangerous or a good thing? Have you ever been turned away or discouraged from asking questions? Comment below!