It’s been roughly six years since I came to Christ. Not a long time by any means, but long enough that I’ve become comfortable enough in my faith to ask questions. Maybe it doesn’t take years for other people to ask the nagging, clawing questions inside their brains, maybe some people don’t even have questions about their faith. But I did, and still do sometimes.
Don’t misread, I believe Christ is our one, true savior. My faith is wholly in Him, but I do have questions.
When I was about seventeen I said, out loud and multiple times, that I didn’t believe in Christ. My unbelief was based on my feelings of being forgotten, and well, just not getting what I wanted.
When I sought out Godly relationships and a community in church I didn’t ask questions and I tried to mimic as best as possible what “good Christians” do. I volunteered, kept my house as clean as possible, (‘Cause that’s what matters and all.) cut out secular music and shows, disciplined my children like good, American, Christians should, and only recently did I consider that maybe, the front of being a good, American, Christian was just that– a fake exterior hiding real people, real sins, and an array of personalities, beliefs, and looks.
Questions were bouncing around in my head. Questions about why I chose to do things in the name of faith, questions about why I became a Christian in the first place. Questions about why I was so happy to blindly believe the things I read in the Bible without asking the big, looming question that I now realize isn’t a bad question.
Why God? Not, “Why are you doing this?”, not “Why did so-and-so do this?”, but the deeper almost taboo questions.
Why should I believe?
Why should I trust?
Why should I follow?
And, yes, I know I could find quick, one lined verses in the Bible that I could take out of context and apply to myself as though God is speaking directly to me, but let’s be real. The majority of the time He and the authors were addressing a person or a specific group of people. But, these stories are references of real people who sometimes asked hard questions and took the long way around, to get to God, providing insight and guidance for our trip.
So, in the midst of my months of questions, I was afraid to voice aloud for fear of angering God or asking someone who would be ready to judge me for my need to seek answers, I was asked to lead a Sunday School class using Beth Moore’s, The Quest. Now, I don’t particularly enjoy Beth Moore. I have a hard time listening to her or reading the things that she writes and I wasn’t convinced I’d get much out of it, however, this entire study is on asking questions that aren’t normally asked.
Ya, know, like a slap in the face. “Hey! Wanna know what I think about you asking questions you’re too afraid to actually ask out loud or in prayer? Ha! I gotcha now!”
At one point in the videos a woman Beth is speaking with asks if it’s okay to question God or only your personal faith? Beth venomously says no, that you shouldn’t question God.
So I can only ask nice questions or questions that are kinda hard, but not really hard?
I think anyone with a working knowledge of the Bible knows that hard questions are asked in the Bible and probably so we don’t have to ask them, but…
So I started to ask the hard questions. Questions like, “If God is perfect, why does He have emotions? Wouldn’t perfection equate the ability to not get angry or sad?” Maybe in our world of sinners, and my pastor quickly pointed out that I’m projecting what I would consider perfection onto God, who, is already perfect and tells us emotions aren’t sinful, rather our reactions are.
And other questions like:
Why do I do this? Why do I get up on Sundays and fight with the kids?
Why do I sit in a pew and remind them continually to be quiet if I could be home, letting them run around outside while I enjoyed my Sunday?
Why do I spend countless hours teaching other children when my life could be easier without Wednesday evenings and Sunday mornings?
Why do I have to feel called to these things?
I asked the questions, realizing, that it’s okay to ask God ANY questions, so long as you realize you may, in turn, get a harsh answer.
Like so many examples in the Bible. But, one of the most powerful is in Job, when the people in his life question God, and his motives.
Tell me, where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth?” Job 38:4
And that’s where it starts, the harsh answer that is, that is really answering a question with many questions, and while God specifically answers Job (Even though he’s not the one that asked the question.) it’s quite an answer that’s given in roughly four chapters starting in Job 38. God’s answer comes across as almost sarcastic, “WHERE WERE YOU?” So THAT’S where I get it from!
You wanted to argue with God All-Powerful. You wanted to correct me and prove that I was wrong. So give me your answer!” Job 40:2
The answers to my questions aren’t “because it’s the right thing to do” or “that’s what good Christians do” like modern Christianity would like us to believe. My answers have been the realization that this isn’t about me. It’s not about how I could make life easier, not about having a perfect relationship with his people inside of my church. It’s about His love, and how I choose to share it with others.
It’s about asking the hard questions that feel taboo so I have the answers I seek and the ability to use them to further my faith and others and to understand my faith to the best of my earthly abilities and be able to share my testimony.
Eves need for answers to questions drove her from the garden, but that’s a pivotal moment for Christians and an example that God will answer all of our questions good, or bad.
Don’t let your fear of judgment from others or societies view of Christianity stop you from asking hard questions, so long as you’re asking them with an open heart, willing to receive whatever answer God has for you.
Without questioning first God’s existence, and then my faith I wouldn’t have the answers to why I chose to believe and follow Christ today.
Do you ask God tough questions? Or question your faith or the things you do for your faith?