A few days ago, on a flight back home from a visit to the Northeast, a friend and I were engaged in a heated dialogue – well actually I was the one on heat – about Christian beliefs and doctrines. After much huffing and puffing, in an effort to diffuse the heat, my friend concluded with the following words…well nearly exact words:
“…..I take everything by faith and don’t question the origin of my beliefs….”
Those are very disarming words aren’t they? They kind of cut to the chase and put everything in perspective. Isn’t Christianity all about faith? So why question why we do what we do and how we do it. Simply have faith and that’s it.
Well not so for me. I’ve come to a point in my Christian journey where it’s not just enough to simply take everything and anything we do – hook line and sinker – in the name of faith.
“The Pastor said it, so it must be so” just won’t cut it for me…not anymore. I do not find satisfaction in simply gulping down every word that is dished out by our men of God. There’s restlessness within me, a hunger for the truth, and a thirst to test every word I hear that it conforms to scriptures.
I’m in a place I hate to be in and it scares the living daylight out of me at times. I get scared that I do not become a peddler of false doctrine. Understanding that these are perilous times and knowing the whole shebang that comes with these times of peril:
“..Forever learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth...”
You’ll understand my trepidation as I traverse this middle earth phase of my spiritual journey.
But before you begin to question whether or not I’ve gone over the deep edge already let me remind you that,
“Sopater, son of Pyrrhus of
You’re probably thinking, non sequitor. Relax okay! I’ve not at all gone meshugaas and I still do have all my faculties intact.
The Bereans were good people. Paul even described them in such glowing terms in Acts 17:11, as being
“…more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so…”
According to Strong’s concordance, the word “searched” in Greek is “Anakrino”. Here’s the entry:
1) Examine or judge
a) To investigate, examine, enquire into, scrutinize, sift, question
1) Specifically in a forensic sense of a judge to hold an investigation
2) To interrogate, examine the accused or witnesses
b) To judge of, estimate, determine (the excellence or defects of any person or thing
These guys respectfully listened to all Paul had to say, and with an open mind, engaged him in heated discussions. They questioned this “new and strange doctrine” he was preaching – which was contrary to what they’d always known, believed and practiced. They challenged Paul forcefully and sincerely, but they heard him out all the same and did not run him out of town – or label him as these that have turned the world upside down.
Afterwards the people of
We fail as Christians if all we do is soak in whatever is told us. It’s hard to imagine how we’ll ever live up to our God-given potentials if we don’t challenge our own beliefs, customs, and traditions. As long as we remain of lazy of minds and profoundly incurious – the earnest expectation of the creature will have to wait a long while yet for the manifestation of the sons of God.
The near total spiritual incuriosity I see in many believers scares me. It’s even more frightening in that it’s all covered up in a cloak of “walking by faith”. Brothers and Sisters it’s not a sin to think. God wants us to use our minds – that’s why He gave us our brains. If it were not so Paul wouldn’t have challenged Timothy to:
“Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”
So go on, don’t be scared, think for a change.