A pastor once asked, upon seeing my eyes ask deep, difficult questions week after week, if I “was questioning my faith”.
He asked in a tone that suggested, to my insecure, young-adult self, that questioning one’s faith was a dark, sad thing. I immediately responded, “no”, not only to avoid a conversation I didn’t want to engage in, but because I somehow knew it was the only acceptable answer.
“Real Christians”, didn’t question God or faith. Real Christians made wise decisions, walked straight paths in life, praised God for good and bad things, and knew that they were “sinners, saved by grace”. No questioning needed to happen, because truths were laid out right in front of us, in church every Sunday and (supposed) daily Bible reading. God was black-and-white, not in skin color, but in rule books or moral codes. God was to be trusted at all times, with no exceptions.
Real Christians also didn’t lie, and tell their pastors “no”, when they really meant, “absolutely I’m questioning my faith, along with everything else I believe. Aren’t you?”
With my mind full of questions, I didn’t own the courage that day to tell the pastor a thought or two. This post isn’t a confession, but an acknowledgment of questions bigger than myself.
I’m continuously wrapped in questions about the goodness and faithfulness of God. Whether or not God is trustworthy, and whether I believe the people who assure me that s/he is. Questions asking why I can afford to live with a car, plenty of food, a home of my own, and running water when so many people – of God’s creation – live without any of the above. Or seeking the difference between spirituality and morality. Why do we so often confuse the two?
After dozens of questions, I inevitably arrive at my favorite: Why can two people, who both say (and believe) they are following God with all of their heart/soul/mind, come to entirely different conclusions? Who is right? Is there a “right”? If someone answers “yes” to the latter, I tend to believe they’re either arrogant or ignorant. Arrogant to think that they’ve been the person to discover ultimate truth, or ignorant of a multitude of ideas and perspectives from around the world – something I would never fault someone for but only encourage more education.
A philosopher by nature, my thoughts continuously swirl with question after question, knowing fully well that at some point, I just have to pick a side and go with it. Then, I start the question circle all over again with new twists, turns, and colors. I think this is my life’s journey. Always asking, always searching, refusing satisfaction with easy answers.