“Ehh how about you just shut up, do you think that is possible?”

is the feeling I sense from some people that I talk to, and I especially sensed it growing up. Growing up I was the kid who always had a question to ask, I do not doubt that I was the cause of more than one schoolteacher’s migraine (if one of you happen to be reading this, then I sincerely apologize). It wasn’t that I was trying to be annoying, I was just really curios. It was never enough to have someone just tell me something, I wanted to know “why?”, why I was being told this, why I should accept it, and why the person believed what they were saying, especially when it came to religious things. When I asked, sometimes the answer I received was kind and was informative, others times the answer wasn’t kind, it didn’t answer my question, and sort of made me feel stupid for even asking. And as a 21 year old, many things have changed, yet that isn’t one of them.

I don’t believe it can be pin pointed to one sole reason, that people do not like their opinions to be questioned, especially when it comes to their faith. I think a few stand out though

  • They’re giving you the response that they were given.
  • They’ve never really thought about it
  • They know their opinion is wrong
  • They’re offended that you’d even question them

None of those are good. The first one just shows a vicious cycle, someone responds sarcastically/ hatefully/pridefully to someone who will do the same to the next person, and so on. The second one is ignorance and laziness. It sounded nice enough to them, for them to believe it, so why can’t you just believe it. The third and fourth come from selfishness and pride, they’re either gaining from said belief and they don’t enjoy you making them feel bad or knowing, or they can’t believe that you’d think you know better than they do. All of these do nothing to help the cause that they’re fighting for.

Personally I find it funny how the church deals with different topics. There’s many subjects the church is quick to develop a dialogue on,but others not so much. When it comes to gay marriage churches either are quick to throw out the Bible verses that are against it, or quick to condemn it, but when either position is questioned, both sides look at the person inquiring and sort of ask “How about you just go along with what we’re saying”. The same goes for alcohol. Many churches are quick to condemn any consumption of alcohol, while others are just as quick to say drunkenness is the sin and not drinking alcohol itself and once either position is questioned, yep you guessed it. And the same goes for many other topics.

I believe this is very harmful, as a young christian it seems like a lot of times I’m being given an opinion, but no reason or evidence to support it and when it’s questioned, I am the one who is wrong (I’d ask them why, but that’d just lead to more why’s). And this wouldn’t be so bad if it wasn’t for the whole part of having to defend my beliefs to others. A college professor of mine, Dr. Pearson once said “It doesn’t matter what you believe, if you can’t defend it, your belief is worthless” and I agree. It doesn’t matter what my opinion on gay marriage, alcohol, evil, abortion, or even my opinion on God Himself is, if I can’t defend them, what good do they do in the grand scheme of things?

The solution is the church equipping believers with proofs, instead of just catchy phrases or ideas that easily gel with believers. And as believers it’s our job to know what we believe and why we believe it and to be patient with those who question us. Whether we are being questioned by someone who sincerely is curios, or being questioned by someone who just wants to make us look bad, our testimony is still on display.

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