How many young people do you know who have lost their faith in God? How many adults? How many of those decided against their faith after carefully examining all the evidence, having all their questions answered out loud in church and finding the answers lacking? No, we all know that’s not how it usually happens. People don’t generally lose their faith because they have weighed the evidence. They drift away from a faith they come to assume doesn’t have the answers, and they assume that, not because of difficult conversations that do happen but because of those that don’t.
So where do we start? Almost anywhere. We need to be willing to talk about the very things we tend to avoid. Bringing up hard topics won’t shake people’s faith. Avoiding them will.
So, let’s start talking about the things we don’t talk about. Let’s talk about everything from science versus the Biblical version of creation to why God seems to care so much about our sexuality and sexual choices. Let’s have a conversation about why God allows evil things to happen to innocent people, even children. Why God seems not only to have allowed, but at times to have commanded the killing of women and children in the Old Testament. Why God did not condemn but clearly allowed slavery when virtually all Christians now agree that slavery is wrong. Why some parts of the Bible seem to contradict others. Why God killed David’s son for David’s sins when He elsewhere made clear that children aren’t punished for the sins of their fathers.
I described in “10 Reasons I Believe” the reasons I do believe in God. That belief came as a result of years of study, tremendous digging, and agonizing soul searching. It is not my desire to tear down the faith of anyone else. But the fact is, if God is who we believe Him to be, our belief in Him will only be stronger as a result of examining the difficult and challenging questions head-on.
So let’s open up discussions without fear of where the conversations will take us. One topic at a time. I look forward to your thoughts. If you have any topics to add, any questions, any concerns, any challenges, just jump in.
To begin this next step in our journey, let me ask you a question. What exactly do you believe about creation? How do you believe the world, and life came into existence. How did human life come to be, well, human? For some of you, this is a very simple question with a simple answer. For others, it’s a question that sparks a quiet struggle, even doubt, about the Bible as a source of knowledge and truth. So it matters that we take the time to talk about it.
If you want to follow the conversation on a regular basis just sign up at the left or at the bottom of this page to follow this blog. I look forward to taking the journey together.