Posts tagged ‘Question Everything’

ABC Extra – Question Everything, Just Question It Correctly

In his 1963 short story, The Sky Is Gray, Earnest Gaines tells the story of a young man who interrupts a worship service, imploring those gathered to “question and question and question…Question everything.  Every stripe, every star, every word spoken.  Everything.”  When the preacher wonders if even God should be questioned, the young man responds, “Question Him, too…His existence as well as everything else.  Everything.”

This past weekend in ABC, I invited you to do what the young worship service crasher in Gaines’ story demanded:  I invited you to question everything. Indeed, I outlined three Greek words in the New Testament which are often translated as “question”:  Erotao, which denotes questioning with a desire to acquire new information, aiteo, which describes questioning with the purpose of acquiring divine help, and deomai, the word for “prayer.”  For prayers often consist of our questions.  The Bible, it seems, encourages questioning.  And we are free, it seems, to question everything.

And yet, even though the Bible encourages us to question everything, how we question everything can be just as important as the questions themselves.  A person can question sincerely, an activity which is encouraged, but he can also question cynically, an activity which is very dangerous.  This is the case with the first question in history.  Satan slithers up to Eve and asks, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’” (Genesis 3:1)?  Now, Satan knows full well the answer to his question.  Satan knows full well that God did not forbid Adam and Eve to eat from any tree;  rather, He forbid them to eat from only one tree – the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.  For if they were to eat of it, they would die.  Satan’s question really isn’t a question at all.  Instead, it’s a trap, designed to lead Adam and Eve away from God’s truth into confusion.

Sadly, these same kinds of traps, masquerading as questions, are still launched against believers even today.  To say to a Christian, “How could you believe what the Bible says when it was written by a bunch of male chauvinist pigs who had a mythical view of the world?” is hardly a question.  It’s a statement of incredulity.  Questions are good.  Cynicism is not.

Thus, I present you with this question:  How do you question?  With antagonism or with acquisitiveness?  With cynicism or with sincerity?  The preacher of Hebrews directs us:  “Let us draw near to God with a sincere heart” (Hebrews 10:22).  It is fine to question everything, even God, but we are to do so with a sincere heart.  How we ask is just as important as what we ask.  So be open.  Be teachable.  And prepare to be answered.  For God is not silent.  He answers.  I hope you’re listening.

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www.ConcordiaLutheranChurch.com
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May 30, 2011 at 5:15 am Leave a comment


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