When I started blogging a couple of years ago, it was because I had questions, and no one wanted me to ask them, and I wondered, “why?” Why were my fellow Christians so afraid of the questions I was asking?
At first I thought it was me. I thought I was startling people with my questions because they were afraid I had “gone off the deep end.: When I saw the looks of shock, dropped jaws, when I heard the stutters and then the scrambles to provide me with pat answers, I thought I was doing something wrong.
But now I know better.
Those Christians weren’t afraid for me. They were afraid for themselves.
See, Christian culture (at least, the parts of it that are afraid of questions) has fragile faith and it’s our own fault. We hide our faith away in a sterilized environment, sheltered from all the “diseases” of the world. We think this will make it strong, but in actuality, it makes our faith sickly and vulnerable. Questions become threats that could wipe out its existence.
We use trite phrases like, “love the sinner, hate the sin,” or, “God’s ways are not man’s ways,” or “The Bible is clear…” to shut down conversations.
We cling to fallacies and derailing techniques, using them as weapons against anything we perceive to be intruding on our beliefs.
We paint those who question as weak in the faith, as bitter rebels who are trying to pick fruitless arguments, or even as messengers of Satan sent to destroy us.
It’s because we’ve sheltered our faith so much that it is weak and we are afraid that if we let the questions in, our faith will shatter. And you know what? We’re probably right.
If our faith is at the point where it is not truly living, but a vegetable that can’t survive without a constant connection to the things that we’ve always “known” to be true, maybe it’s time to pull the plug. Maybe it’s time to let our sickly faith die in peace.
If we are so afraid of questions that we can’t help people who need our help and love people who need our love, then our faith isn’t really alive anymore anyway.
But, as I learned when I finally let questions into my life, sometimes when you let your faith die, you find it again. Sometimes, when your fragile faith crumbles away, you dust away the debris and find a small remnant of life and strength that you forgot was there.
Sometimes your faith has to die so that it can live.