Question Your Faith

I was inspired by these gut-level questions.

Deborah writes in a post entitled, “Your opinion matters…” that these 3 questions were recently asked of her:

  1. Why was little or no faith needed to believe in God during Old Testament times (God appeared to humans regularly) yet today Christians have to rely on 100% faith for their belief?
  2. What is the difference between a dream, or hallucination, and a vision from God?
  3. Why is your God the only valid God?

Often times I find myself asking questions like, “Should I be playing my electric or acoustic guitar in worship?” It’s a good question that seems to cause much controversy among church people, but are we also asking the questions that non-church people ask?

And do we have succinct answers for them?

5 Responses to “Question Your Faith”

  1. 1 mwarnock37 November 10, 2007 at 4:08 pm

    To questions of the weight and importance of these, there aren’t succinct answers. There are lengthy, detailed and in some cases nuanced answers. The question in reply sometimes needs to be: do you want a pat answer or a real answer?

    My most recent occasion for this was with a guy re-discovering faith. He asked me about the reliability of the Bible. I asked him if he wanted a real answer. He was game, so we took two hours to go through the internal and external evidences for the reliability of the Scriptures. I taught him the fundamentals of textual criticism, the major textual problems with the New Testament, and how they did not affect Christian doctrine, and how far superior the attestation is for the New Testament than for any document of antiquity.

    It was a real answer, but it was NOT a succinct answer.

  2. 2 Sarah Chia November 10, 2007 at 8:34 pm

    I agree that we don’t necessarily need succinct answers. If someone is looking for answers, then they will be willing to hear real ones.

    Jeremiah 29:13 says, “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.”

    While that was aimed at the Jewish nation, I think the same is true for non-Christian seekers. If a question is asked in honest seeking, a person will be willing to listen to more than a sound byte.

    If they don’t have time for an answer, they really don’t have a heart for one, either.

  3. 3 Billy Chia November 12, 2007 at 8:46 pm

    You are both right. I should have said, “articulate” rather than succinct. Loving people long enough to walk through the tough questions is the way to go.

    Although at times we can get convoluted with our explanations becuase we personally haven’t wrestled with the answers. Brevity comes when we know how to explain complex things in simple, understandable language.

  4. 4 jordan fowler November 13, 2007 at 11:24 pm

    Easy to believe in God in the OT? We are discussing prayer in our Team (small group) and we talked about if it was easier to pray and have faith in the OT with Pillars of fire etc or in our time with the Holy Spirit. One team member pointed out we think God did so many miraculous things back to back in the OT but we forget that the OT is compressing time to pick up highlights like crazy. You have several miracles and then 400 YEARS of silence when the Israelites were slaves in Egypt. That is almost twice as long as the US has been a nation. Tons of praying by the Israelites and nada. No answer, no speaking, just more bricks. We sometimes over-glamorize the OT experience of because we read ourselves “into: the story as the hero (b we see ourselves as Noah, Joseph,etc.) We only teach the highlight stories and don’t read the text against the grain very often.

  5. 5 Billy Chia November 14, 2007 at 10:31 am

    Great call on the OT.

    Many “questions” unbelievers have exist becuase they have misunderstandings about faith and the Bible. They come with wrong assumptions like, “It was easy to believe in the Old Testament.”

    Mark is on point in that our job isn’t simply to correct someone’s misunderstanding – but rather to take the time to love them through it.

    People who are seekers will seek information. We live in an information rich culture – there’s no lack of answers or information for those seeking.

    What does lack are mature Christians who will lower themselves enough to wrestle with the questions that unbelievers ask.

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