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Saturday, November 12, 2005

journey

Some people fear questioning, I guess that it is a fear that this thing that they hold on to(religion) is not strong enough to support them, that if they dig hard enough, it will turn out to be a false thing. I lived a long part of my life not questioning things, just believing what was taught to me by my parents, or the church that I grew up in. I learned that I could not live that way. For me, and who I am, I have to question, I have to question everything, its just part of who I am. I feel that it is not a good thing to stop questioning. I guess that I have found in some religious circles, that if you question things, people get defensive. I was in a group of people, we were talking about something, and a friend of mine brought up a question about evolution, saying that she thought god could use evolution. Another guy kinda just jumped all over her, and started to spout out why this was a “literal seven days” and how wrong all evolution was. He did not answer my friends question, all he did was make her feel bad about asking the question, he pressured her into just accepting his explanation, he did not answer her question. I feel that this is a common trap that we can fall into, if we feel strongly about something, than we feel like we have to defend it, we have to prove why we are right, but this is not easy to do and still respect the other person. Especially in religion, it is an easy thing to make the other person feel bad because they ask a question, they can feel like they are not as good, or they can be made to feel that they are less of a Christian because they don’t know something, or are just unsure about something. So they might just accept what you say because they don’t want to force the issue. I guess that that is why I feel that it is so important to not only establish the friendship, but also support an environment that allows people to be comfortable enough to ask questions. If we are holding the foundational truth of the universe, that god really is out there and cares what happens to us, its truth, and truth has a way of just being real, it does not take a lot of polish on our parts to make it better, its truth. So we should not fear questioning, we should not just “answer” questions, we should journey with the people, be a companion on the path that they are walking, perhaps they need to ask these questions, to learn something, I am not saying to avoid answering, but to support the quest to find the answer. If we stifle questioning, we stunt growth, and all we are left with are short silent people.

Humm, well, this was just going to be a quick how’s the weather, but hey, it is all about journey right?

M@
"life's a journey, not a destination" ~Aerosmith

3 comments:

Patty said...

At first, reading what you had to say, didn't scare me because I might find out that I was in fact not a Christian, but that everything you wrote made me think and question certain things(which was not scary, but took some good thinking). When I was about 8-10 years old, I didn't believe that my best friend was a Christian. I don't know exactly what I tryed to say, but she was not interested. I accepted Jesus into my heart when I was almost 7 years old. So, I guess I was just so worried that whenever we died, I would not see her again, that she wouldn't have gone to Heaven. We still remained best friends until she moved away at 11. A couple years ago she called me and we started emailing each other. She said that she attended church. I responded, "Well, you know going to church will not save you, right?" She, as far as I know, knew that Jesus was the only way.

Getting defensive. Good topic. Evolution is false, yes, but I think it is good to talk calmly to a person. If you hurt someone's feelings or make them feel stupid, they will get turned off from what you are telling them and will not want to ask you another question. If there was only a short amount of time to talk, he should have given her his phone number to talk more on the subject or taken her aside to talk with her one on one, so she would feel more comfortable. A good example of the right way to handle that situation: My dad bought a bunch of dvds on evolution (explaining why it is false)while we were on vacation. We watched a lot of them in the hotels at night. They explained everything VERY well. My dad would have made your friend copies of those and she would be able to watch them at home(wherever). Many times I will be asking my dad questions about things(and we do talk) but if he has a tape/cd/dvd or book that can explain the question I'm asking better, he gives it to me. I am a Christian, but I still don't know everything and I never will have an exact answer for everything. I am glad I have parents who listen. But, still parents don't know everything, no one knows everything, that is why we will always have questions.

I was not implying that you shouldn't ask questions, Matt. I was only kidding about the weather comment. To journey with people, being a companion on the path they are walking, I like that, something to keep in mind.

I just have one thing to suggest. Suppose, you spent 5 years being a friend to someone you knew was not going to Heaven. They die and you wonder, why didn't I say something sooner, now they're spending eternity in Hell? You can be direct at some point to a friend and you might lose them as your friend or you can wait around for the right opportunity to share with them and they may die before you do so. Either way, they will have gone to Hell(if they were not saved). Wouldn't Jesus preach even when some would turn away and be lost forever? Would He stop preaching just because someone was offended or didn't believe? Just thinking. I'd like to know your thoughts on this.

Always great to talk. I'm glad I came across your site.

Emergingjourney said...

I think that I would object at the point of saying that I KNOW that they are going to hell. I dont think that it would change much of anything in my journey with them. I cannot change there heart, I can live my life, I can talk with them, I can LOVE them, the changing of the mind is something that the spirit will have to work on.

bleak said...

I find that Christians are very reluctant to judge. They say the bible says " do not judge" but I find that the passage only says becare full because you will be judge by the same standard. Indeed I find that the bible insists that I judge and if I don't I'm in trouble.

1 Cor 6:2-3
2 Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world? and if the world shall be judged by you, are ye unworthy to judge the smallest matters?
3 Know ye not that we shall judge angels? how much more things that pertain to this life?
(KJV)

I also find that many christians are hurt because people they care about reject them because they are christians. Yet I find it happens all the time, and that we are to expect it.
John 15:18-19
18 If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you.
19 If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.
(KJV)

I find that many christians say that love is their only guide, yet I find that the word says we are not to love the world and the things of it.
I Jn 2:15
15 Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.
(KJV)

Many take their christianity like a shopping trip - taking this and leaving that but I wonder if that is what God wants. Many will accept Christ as a savior and yet howm any will make Him Lord. Are you saved if you accept the salvation but reject the Lordship.
Part of the Lordship to me is in regard to sin... when I repent and confess I admit that God is right and I'm wrong. I make Him lord, I give judgement into his hand - I throw myself onto his murcy. If I practice idolity and do not repent of it, then I reject God as Lord - how can I then expect his murcy.