…my people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.Hosea 4:6a NIV
We have may have trouble remembering when we were annoying? Perhaps I can remind you. Your mom or dad would state the simplest thing, like, “You are too young Bradley to stay up until 10:00 on school nights?” Immediately, we would ask “Why?” Then we would add, “Jimmy’s dad lets him stay up until 11:00!”
After several more “Whys,” your frustrated Mom or Dad said firmly, “Because I said so, that’s why! GET YOURSELF TO BED NOW!”
However, what if the question is an attempt to understand? Is Jimmy’s dad wrong or is mother being too strict and, therefore, unjust? It would be best to table the discussion until the next day, not press it at bedtime.
Next, Bradley is in college. His professor states that religion is for the weak. He goes on to say that Christians are repressed, and try to impose their values onto society. The professor has his Ph.D. and teaches a course in which the ambitious Bradley needs an A. He is likely to earn that same angry stare he saw as a child, but his hand is raised and the questions are asked, “Sir, why take that position? Are you downplaying the value of morals to a society, and what of all the good that men and women of faith have contributed?” What if Brad had not ask for a further explanation or clarification? The professor’s anti-religious claim would stand.
A few years go by and Brad is the new man in town and attending Sunday services. His pastor (beloved by all) includes in his sermon the declaration that Jesus died for the sins of the world, and that includes Muslims and Buddhists, so who are we to judge and say our faith is better than theirs?
The inquisitive Bradley notices his right hand wants to go in the air, something he had never seen in church. The pastor has all the degrees and years of experience as an authority on the Bible, so what if the new guy challenges him?
The hand goes up. Brad has a question. He is recognized and stands. “I intend no disrespect but you made a statement that no real Christian can argue with, like Jesus died for Muslims and Buddhists–Yes, Jesus died for the whole world, we all agree, but then you followed it with an error of logic. You said that His death and resurrection shouldn’t have an effect on religious Muslims, Hindus or Buddhists, some of whom, by the way, are persecuting and even killing minority Christians around the world?”
There goes the church welcome packet with the free pen, but do you see the benefit of Brad’s intelligent questioning. It casts a light on dubious statements that might otherwise pass for truth.
As a trained pastor, I have been challenged. One came when I was fresh out of seminary. According to the tradition to which I belonged and my seminary training, I accepted a church family’s request to baptize their baby. After I was challenged to defend infant baptism, I did what the confident student suggested and read the Scriptures on baptism. As a result, my first infant baptism was my last. That began a series of other questions that resulted in an early departure from the denomination.
So here is the point: Question everything that does not square with sound Bible doctrine and all things illogical. Question everything where evidence is lacking. Question what someone is trying to push as an agenda and question what you believe is false. Know this: God is true. Always yield to His truth and to grace, make allowance for what might be done in sincere love. As for human wisdom and pride, suspect the lie (cf. Romans 3:4) Question everything, and, if you must, do it publicly.
In this age of deceit, we should question the experts, the scholars, the scientists or the academics. Some will earn our trust by their response and as their answers stand up to scrutiny, but be determined to get at truth.
Now the Bereans were of more noble character than the Thessalonians, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.Acts 17:11
As to my books on prophecy or posts, question what I write! Do so in the manner of the Bereans. I have been wrong in the past and will probably have facts wrong in the future. I make no claim of infallibility, but strive for truth and fill my pages with Scripture. Re-examination may result in affirming or correcting, but always through the prism of rightly interpreted Scripture. No angry stare from me, but a “thank you” for the question. For the questioner, there is the opportunity for greater understanding. For the Bradleys out there, there is an opportunity to gain their ear.