So I come into my bedroom the other day and see a note that says, “Only for Matt Perry” written with a child’s handwriting. Turns out this was from my nine-year-old daughter who jotted down some questions from my sermon on May 26: “There’s Only One Way to Heaven? Why Are Christians So Exclusive?” Take a look at the questions. Keep in mind she’s in elementary school, spelling words phonetically in some spots. But she paid attention—and the more she paid attention, the more questions she had.
And that’s a good thing!
Many grew up in a church setting where you just do not ask questions. But the Bible is not only the living Word of God, it is the living Word of God! A book inspired by God Himself would be bound to awaken questions within us. Why? We are not God. We may want to be god of our lives, but we are not the God of the Universe, Creator of all things.
The Bible can handle any question you have. If those questions are not answered to your satisfaction, is it the Bible’s fault? Or can we attribute this to our own limitations?
Daniel Dennett, philosopher and atheist champion, wrote in the New York Times back in 2003:
The time has come for us brights to come out of the closet. What is a bright? A bright is a person with a naturalist as opposed to a supernaturalist world view. We brights don’t believe in ghosts or elves or the Easter Bunny—or God. We disagree about many things, and hold a variety of views about morality, politics and the meaning of life, but we share disbelief in black magic—and life after death.
Questions will arise. My daughter wrote this phrase, however: “You know He’s there even when you can’t see him. You know He’s there even when you can’t feel him.” But not everyone agrees with this. I do! How?
The Word of God gives testimony throughout history—but also with that perspective I can look back and see that, even in the darkest, most bleakest of seasons, God was orchestrating a symphony of my circumstances the likes of which a Mozart or a Mendelssohn could never compose.
Subjective? You might say so, but when at the time I could never feel God, and explored Scripture, questions arose—they never abated. And yet I saw from Scripture that God has a plan that He’s unveiling through His Son. And then I looked back as saw a plan unveiling that jibed with Scripture, but was also very personal to my situation.
Questions can involve surrender—or questions may bring a hardening. If you approach your situations with the mindset of, “God, you’d better prove yourself, or I’m out of here,” you will not be satisfied. Creation and the Cross and the empty tomb are proof enough! But if you approach your situation with, “Lord, you created all things, you accomplished my atonement at the cross and you sealed it with the empty tomb—could you help me out with this issue here?”, you will find that even though you may not ‘get it’ at the time, you will ‘get Him.’
Tim Keller notes in his book The Reason for God:
Faith without some doubts is like a human body without any antibodies in it. People who blithely go through life too busy or indifferent to ask hard questions about why they believe as they do will find themselves defenseless against either the experience of tragedy or the probing questions of a smart skeptic (xvii).
The more you listen, the more questions. Where will you go for your answers?