Why don’t more Christians ask questions?

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It’s time we stop

Hey, what’s that sound?

Everyday look — what’s going down?

                    Stephen Stills

Yesterday I had a great session with Arnold. I had read him yesterday’s Catch about the cross, which he really liked, and then he asked, “Why don’t more Christians talk like this?” I think he was referring to the fact that I talk about biblical truth from the standpoint that I, myself, am struggling to understand it. I usually don’t have the final word on a subject; I’m in process, and I’m letting others in on the process and asking them questions to get them engaged.

I then launched into a long dissertation on the value of questions and of letting people think for themselves and come up with their own conclusions.

I talked about how Jesus taught by asking questions, not by giving answers. I talked about the Bereans, whom Paul commended for checking him out to see if what he was saying agreed with the scriptures. I talked about 1 John where John says we have no need for a teacher because the Holy Spirit teaches us, and how leaders of Christians need to have more trust in the intelligence and Holy Spirit in the people they lead. I talked about not telling everybody everything, but leaving room for their own thinking and their own conclusions. I talked about the Book of Job and how God “answered” Job’s over 200 questions with 78 more questions.

I then told him about Muriel, our eighty-something Catch member who wrote that the other people in her Bible class complain about how she asks too many questions and slows everything down, and how I told her to keep on asking; in fact, ask until they throw you out. Make a nuisance of yourself. They’re not interested in the answers or else they’d be asking, too. And I told him about the Doonesbury cartoon where a college professor was shocked to find a student who was actually thinking for himself instead of just taking down the prof’s words: “And I thought you were all stenographers.” Then when I had finally exhausted the subject, I thanked him for getting me on my favorite topic.

And now, as I write about this, I realize that in telling him all about the questioning process, I failed to ask him any questions. I violated my own point. I told him everything I knew. I proceeded to fill his head with a large amount of knowledge and experience that was mine, not his. Next time, I think I will ask him more questions.

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7 Responses to Why don’t more Christians ask questions?

  1. Sandie says:

    As Andre Crouch sang, “Jesus is the answer…” And the answer is found in the questions.
    BTW – if the Holy Spirit had wanted you to stop in your time with Arnold, you would have known it. I think he needed to hear all those biblical truths to embolden him to never be afraid to ask…maybe you needed it too.
    When I had my teen and CMA chapter groups, I always started with hard, maybe even controversial, questions, to fire up their critical thinking genes. The teens groaned and tried to dive in – with the adults, some never returned and gave me wide berth even though we were sharing the same ministry. The Holy Spirit makes us squirm sometimes, doesn’t he? Then I would share scripture and my experience, then guess what? MORE QUESTIONS!!!
    I add my encouragement, even exhortation, to yours…that Muriel would never cease from asking those questions. They don’t bother God – and if others don’t have the time or desire to delve into truth…let them leave. Believe me, the questions will ring in their ears and hearts until they honestly seek the answers.

  2. “The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existence. One cannot help but be in awe when he contemplates the mysteries of eternity, of life, of the marvelous structure of reality. It is enough if one tries merely to comprehend a little of this mystery each day. Never lose a holy curiosity.”
    ~ Albert Einstein (quoted from LIFE Magazine: May 2, 1955)

  3. Tell Muriel to keep asking questions. That is often where the meat of the revelation is. The fun thing is, often God has spoken to each person a little differently about the same scripture. So you end up with a wide enlightenment of what different meaning a particular scripture holds!

  4. Mark D Seguin says:

    One of my favorite verses: Matt. 7:7 Ask, seek & knock…

  5. Pingback: Everybody’s wrong | John Fischer The Catch

  6. Steve Bratz says:

    What would those questions be that you’d be asking him in the midst of the discussion??

    • Sandie says:

      Steve – I don’t know who your question is directed to, but here’s an example from my last teen group meeting before I retired:
      Is Tim Tebow a successful athlete because he’s a Christian, living by those principals? What about the Christians on the other team? Is he a better Christian than they are?
      I always admit that I don’t have the answers; these are in God’s mind and we can’t understand everything He does this side of eternity. Blessings

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