Scared of the Questions. Terrified of the grey. Hostile toward the difference. Worried about the commonality. Hell bent on the answers. Refusing to feel doubt. Blind to contradictions. Eager to condemn. Stuck in the same verses. Hearing the same messages. Smeared with politics. Worshiping tradition. Forsaking the least. Afraid to step out of line. Drowning in it’s own cultures. Unwilling to hear from others. Threatened by the ‘other.” And utterly, completely, and totally convinced that this is right.
People are asking why Christianity is losing influence in society today. Why aren’t young people sticking around? Why don’t people attend church? Why don’t people tithe? Normally I raise the questions and bask in the effort to answer them, but today I feel like answering outright. I’ll tell you what I think. I think people are leaving the church because the “world” is more Christ-like than the church. I think that people don’t tithe because churches aren’t helping people like they used to. I think kids don’t stick around because they aren’t given honest answers to questions and are fed false and highly limited answers when they get them. I think people see a more consistent moral ethic outside of the church. I think people are tired of gossip. I think people are tired of hearing the same verses taught in the same way. I think people want their faith to be challenged.
As for those still there who say they have child-like faith to dismiss the questions: I think they’re scared. I think Christians who won’t ask questions and tolerate only answers are scared. They don’t want to test their beliefs, because they might not hold up. They don’t want to ask questions because they might be problematic. They don’t want to hear anything new and challenging just in case it pushes them away from how they’ve always seen God. But if God is truth, we’ve nothing to fear while asking questions. I’ve been there. I’ve been scared. I spent my freshman year studying theology terrified to see in another faith what I felt in mine, because I was worried that I might doubt. But to me now, doubting is asking in faith… I ask in the faith that my God will be up to answering, and that my faith will be proved true.
I remember sitting in some of those classes and thinking I knew nothing of God before I saw God in the eyes of unbelievers, and it’s very true. I had to be open to allowing these things in faith that what I have in my relationship is stronger than the questions. That what is really true will stick around.
So ask some questions. Dive in and study. And for God’s sake please be honest with your kids!