Friday, October 27, 2006

Thinking = sin?

Wow. I was reading some past posts on another blog today. The author was asking hard questions about God, wondering, thinking, trying to get a handle on her beliefs. I don't know that I agreed with everything she said, but I believe she had the right to wonder, to think, to ask questions. For years I have been afraid to do that; mainly because of my strong evangelical background. Not that I didn't want to - in fact I questioned silently - never expressing the things that bothered me. Never talking about the things I didn't agree with, the things I had serious questions about. Why the fear, you may ask? Because of precisely the attitude I saw in this comment responding to her seeking.

"I think you people need to get prodigal, return to the fold, and allow God's Word to be your guide. You guys think too much - just trust your local preacher at a Bible-based church.

Please understand this was written in love, the love of Jesus Christ, so you can repent of your selective unbelief. My prayer group and I will be praying for you!"

I don't know this gentleman, but he followed this comment with a couple more. I am not shocked - as I said, this is why I never talked about my musings. But I am saddened that there are still people out there that don't allow others to wonder, and learn and grow. That don't understand that we are free to wrestle with the hard things - not trying to break free of God, but to understand that he give us room to push the boundaries while still holding us safe in him arms.

To blindly follow a local preacher is to not use the intellect God gave me. To blindly follow is passive, comfortable and stupid. I will never own my faith that way. I will never internalize and make it my own. It will never truly be mine. I will never understand why I believe what I believe. People like this man are the reason we are finding such a crisis with our churched youth today. This is why we are losing the young demographic at an alarming rate. Rather than teaching them to blindly trust us and the rules and regulations that may or may not be right, we need to give them the basics, the underlying principles, and then encourage them to think, and make their faith their own. To make their own decisions about why things are right or wrong. To understand the reasons for the directives God gave and then apply them to their lives. Without the struggle they will never be a truly developed child of God. Do we want them to be a caterpillar, chrysalis or a butterfly?

OK - off my soapbox. Sorry, this person just hit me way wrong this morning.....

6 comments:

Kevin J. Bowman said...

I have a certain level of respect for the simplicity of simple people... However I wish they were not so simple in their understanding that MANY of us (like you, I, and this blogger) see nothing in simple terms.

Have you seen Stephen Schwartz's "Children of Eden"? Act 1, which is the most amazing piece of theater that has ever been written, pits Adam and Eve as these two characters. Adam represents the commenter on your friends blog, and Eve represents us. In the end of the Act, Eve comes face to face with "The Father" and just collapses weeping into his arms and he carries her up the stairs and off stage to his home.

I don't think my description did it justice...

April said...

I am at a loss for words...one of my co-workers said pretty much the EXACT same thing to me today. He said that, "I think you think about things too much, which makes you doubt."

Maybe he thinks me asking so many questions is doubting and I should correct him, but me asking questions is not about me doubting God...I guess I don't know what I'm trying to say, just that this blog could not have hit any closer to home today...

Mike Clawson said...

To tell someone not to think so much, to not ask questions, sounds to me like telling them not to pursue truth, not to pursue God.

Jemila Monroe said...

Doubts are the ants in the pants that keep faith moving.

- Frederick Beuchner

gerbmom said...

Hey Jemila! Thanks for stopping by, and thanks for letting me vent about the quote I found on your blog!

Jemila Monroe said...

Healthy venting is a beautiful thing, like asking honest questions and knowing God is big enough for all of it.

BTW, I hope you feel better. Vent on my blog anytime you feel like it.