Once upon a time, I didn’t study (or regularly read!) my Bible. I didn’t ask questions. Maybe it was because I didn’t know what to ask or why. I believed that I just needed to believe in Jesus with no other relational or growth requirements. And no one challenged my resulting lack of faith, which, as it turns out, must be based on wisdom about God. So, my faith was blind and shallow. Then, the dam broke one day, and the floodwaters of grief, joy, and passion rushed in. “What happened?” you ask. Good question! Let your inquiry be the first of many to come.
Decades ago, a friend challenged my faith by bringing to light my lack of understanding about the end of the world and Jesus’ return … or anything else biblical, for that matter. He was right. But I decided to become ‘found’ by devoting myself and all I am to God and vowing to learn about His ways and teach others what I discovered. I learned during the process that we must challenge what we’re taught in church—especially where good biblical knowledge is lacking, or wrong, or things just don’t make sense. I suggest that discovering the source of church traditions is a great way to start. There are many excellent reasons to question these things.
First, blind faith can lead to spiritual death. On the other hand, asking questions can make us wiser and aid our discipleship. And a healthy fear of God is the beginning of wisdom. Why else would we go through the effort??
“Give instruction to a wise man and he will be still wiser, teach a righteous man and he will increase his learning. The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, And the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.” (Proverbs 9:9-10)
Second, our inquiries can hold Christian preachers and teachers, who God holds to a higher standard (e.g., James 3:1), accountable. Your questioning can help them focus. We learn of one group, applauded for doing this:
“The brethren immediately sent Paul and Silas away by night to Berea, and when they arrived, they went into the synagogue of the Jews. Now these were more noble-minded than those in Thessalonica, for they received the word with great eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see whether these things were so. Therefore many of them believed, along with a number of prominent Greek women and men.” (Acts 17:10-12)
Finally, others are probably wondering the same things you are. Your questions and correct answers can benefit many others too. In summary, wisdom about God and spiritual transformation is a matter of life and death. Questioning what you hear and asking new questions can aid wisdom, provide accountability, and benefit others. What’s next? I’ll explain why so many of my topics seem serious or hard-hitting in “That’s Heavy, Man!”
Blessings and peace,
Dr. Ron Braley