Questions and Doubts 1: Questioning with Faith

To be completely honest, dinosaurs provide a stumbling block to my faith.  We have these massive bones of animals said to exists millions of years ago yet there is the other belief, among evangelicals mainly, that the early is only roughly 6000 years old.  Having looked at the evidence, I am not entirely convinced.  Where are dinosaurs in the bible (and yes I know the three places they COULD be)? Where does the creation narrative fit in with the evidence of dinosaurs?

To be complete honest, I have questions.

… and that’s not a popular thing.  There have beenmany instances I’ve seen where people asked questions about their faith and were chastised for doubting, as if a Holy and Infinite God is unable to be asked questions about his very nature and person.  Where a person didnt understand or was looking to clarify their beliefs, the label of “Doubting Thomas” was thrust upon him and he was told “you just have to have faith.”  Suddenly, his whole faith was called in to question.

There is a deep seeded desire that we be viewed as being strong and secure enough in our faith that there is never any doubt.  Any questions go ignored and never answered because our faith is stronger than that.  Instead of invigorating our faith by removing even the hint of doubt or using our God-given gift of thought to invest time chewing on the sweet morsels of divine truth, we suppress the very things that we struggle with, never seeking for more understanding.  Our doubts becomes magnified and festers deep without our being.  Everyday we have questions about the nature of life, God, and everything in between. Yet for some reason, when we want to spend time thinking about the nature of God and the depth of his grace and love for us, we fear that thinking about it would be viewed as a kind of outcast for having questions.

Simply put, God is an infinite and all knowing God.  He exists in everlasting and is without end.  He can do all things, in all places, at all times.  God is confident, not needing to prove himself to anyone yet is still loving enough to reveal himself. Conversely, we are none of those things.  We are finite and know very little compared to God.  We are not everlasting and we are with an end.  We cannot do all things. We cannot be in all places.  We cannot be in all times.  Further, we are not confident.  We are none of those things apart from God.

So why are we worried that the whole of Christianity and our faith will crumble if we ask a question, admitting our own humanity?

Mark recounts the story of a father desperately trying to heal his son and understand who is this man The Christ.  Jesus had just healed a boy of an unclean spirit before the eyes of his father.  As his father looked at him, he saw his son as a new creation, healed and made whole.

Immediately the father of the child cried out and said, “I believe; help my unbelief!” – Mark 9:24

In that moment, the father didn’t understand how the miracles worked or understood the mechanics of the healing.  All he understood was that this man could save his son.  He understood how little he understood, Yet he still believed.

I don’t feel that God gets offended by us asking Him a question.  If God firmly wants to reveal himself and loves us, then He is fine with us coming to Him in order to know Him more. We are admonished to “approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” (Hebrews 4:16, NIV)

Doubt would look at the child and wonder if the healing was true and legitimate.  Questions would wonder what just happened and how it happened.  Doubt involves knowing the truth and refusing to believe it.  Questioning involves the humility of not understanding but wanting to know more.

So, be encouraged to think.  To ask questions about a God whose fullness goes beyond our understanding.  Seek out answers.  Explore what you believe like Lewis and Clark forging into new territory.  Think through your faith.  Ask questions about the things you don’t understand.  Seek out the truth from a loving God who wants to reveal himself.  God will not withhold his grace and truth from you.

“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.” – Matthew 7:7-8, NIV

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