"I'm not sure I believe this whole thing about God making everything in the universe."
Wow. What a tough question. I can only imagine as a parent how scary it is to have to "face" such questions that your kids will bring. I might not get those tough questions as much as parents might, but I sure do get some of them from the kiddos and youth at church. Moreover, every adult can also appreciate the good ol', "Why? Why? Why? Why? Why?" scenario from any child or youth.
At our church we offer for our children a ministry of worship called "Children Worship & Wonder," where children are allowed to ask these tough questions. And while it may seem like I'm simply standing on my soap box for a particular program we offer at church, really I'm MOST supportive of the theology and the explanation behind this program. But unfortunately it seems as if the only place "we" as a church are allowing this to happen is in our children's ministry. Wonderful for the kids, sad day for the adults that are missing out.
More often than not I hear parents of teenagers commenting on the difficult stage of when their children are asking questions. It appears as if the most difficult part of this "stage" is that parents themselves are not even comfortable with the questions or with their own answers. I don't mean this as a way to chastise the adults, rather as a commentary on the culture of our church, and the state of faith in our society. Are questions ever really SO difficult that we cannot work through them together in a community of faith? Why are questions so scary to many? Why can we not welcome those who question with open arms as we discover the answers together?
Questions make us vulnerable. When we are at an interview and we are asked a tough question, we are made vulnerable as we are forced to process the question and search quickly in our minds for the "right" answer. Questions that seem obvious are easy, and allow us to make declarative statements without vulnerability. "Is it raining?" "Yes" or "No." We can answer with certainty and assured or our own answer. However, questions that force us think a little more, to process and to determine our own answers seem scary, like worse than The Poltergeist scary.
What is it about the tough questions that leave us so scared? What is it about the tough questions that push us to whatever assurance we can cling to, even if it is not really what we believe? What is it about the questions that are so scary?
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