questions can be very scary

"Scary Questions" cartoon by nakedpastor David Hayward

“Scary Questions” cartoon by nakedpastor David Hayward

Questions challenge the status quo. They upset the apple cart. They rock the boat. They inject uncertainty into certainty.

They can undermine our beliefs and disturb our faith.

Once you start asking them they seem to take on a life of their own. They can take over.

It can hurt. It can be frightening. It can feel like a nightmare.

Until you get to the place where you learn to live with them, befriend them, and even love them.

Questions are the pathway to wisdom. Questions can lead to peace of mind.


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4 Responses

  1. Adam Julians says:

    Hi Ducatihero here. I have decided to “come out”. πŸ™‚

    Agreed with the questions. I came to faith later in life and faced with questions I had about what went on in church, I just assumed that it was because I needed to “repent” and defer to others who knew better than me, having been around longer and knowing more.

    So when someone found something I said or did distressing, I did what I was told about distressing a brother being an act that is not loving and changed.

    Unfortunately it led to me losing a sense of who I am and becoming what the system was comfortable with me being. The wake up call came for me when I realised that it was the system that was causing distress, not me!

    Human systems and structures are good to have, without them, there would be anarchy, survival of the fittest. But no real security can be found in any human system, institution or ideology.

    People who are comfortable with their systems and structures find me threatening. I can find that kills creativity.

    I guess there must be some way of embracing both structure and creativity for the good of all.

    My “question ” would be, how do we go about that and wrestle with the challenges that represents. πŸ™‚

  2. Caryn LeMur says:

    Good points, Adam. And congrats for your bravery in using your real name on line. πŸ™‚

    In my opinion, I make room for those that love the sense of ‘anchor’. For example, the ‘anchor’ you mentioned in their ‘systems and structures’. If they need liturgy, it is ok. If they need a system of spiritual gifts, then Vineyard is ok. If they need the stricter community of Calvary Chapel (Costa Mesa style), it is ok.

    An anchor makes some people feel safe in a changing world.

    Creative people need very little anchor. Indeed, they must abandon the harbor and the static anchor in order to remain at high creativity.

    I am not sure there is a way to embrace both systems (institutional church and individual religious experience) without creating tension between the two systems: those that need a heavy anchor and safe harbor; and those that need only an emergency sea anchor and the open seas.

    For example, the church system would be fine by me, oh maybe once or twice a year. Yet, if I attend even a bit more, suddenly people want me to attend more, become involved, and enjoy the safe harbor concepts they enjoy.

    They imply that I need their anchors of doctrine – – that is, that their particular steel chain and recurved hand-forged weight on the end of that chain … is for everyone for all time.

    And, some church harbors are dying from lack of members – – and they know it – – and so, there is a sense of desperation in their pleas and offers to stay. Perhaps I can be that ‘breath of fresh air’ or the ‘attendee that makes a difference’… and the harbor will not continue to silt up and ultimately close down.

    In my opinion, the church is ‘looking out’ for the harbor community. In essence, even their good argument to be a ‘servant of Christ’ becomes (in reality) ‘you should be a servant helping the church members, first and foremost’. They align their choice of scriptures to fit that world-view.

    They are ‘evangelical’ in name only, because all your time can (and will) be consumed by the ‘needs’ of the church, and thus the real need for sharing the good news of Jesus with the non-believing community is given only lip-service. After all, I recall being too busy with my family, my work, plus elder’s meeting, plus worship service, plus home bible study…. I had no time left for the hungry, thirsty, prisoner, sick, homeless or helpless.

    The church system is designed to convert the open seas sailor into a man or woman that tends to the needs of the harbor.

    I think there is no way to embrace both their system, and the system that calls to our hearts.

  3. Adam Julians says:

    That’s interesting Caryn with what you describe as different kinds of anchor with either systems or creative people. Fowler does something similar with stages of faith. Perhaps you are familiar with that? I found it helped to be aware that some people would find my approach threatening with being creative and the earlier stages of maturity of faith more linked to an identity with one’s peer group.

    It resulted in me being a little more forgiving when I wasn’t given room to be creative or under pressure to conform or be cast out. I find I get by with being more guarded in some situations and discovering new ways for me for creative outlets, although it can be a lonely path.

    Thanks for the welcome out reception David πŸ™‚