I had an interesting conversation recently. It was with someone I never talk with and have almost never talked with, period. The conversation indicated more of what I had come to suspect, based on hearsay and second-hand or public information: that the woman’s faith has been, and is, in question. In other words, the kinds of comments she was making, and the kinds of questions she was asking and appearing to enjoy, manifest that her basic faith is in question.
We can legitimately ask all sorts of questions — about
- ecology and election and eschatology
- guns and grace
- denominations and divorce
- handbells and healthful foods and the Holy Spirit
- animism and animal rights and abortion
- politics and premillennialism and pentecostalism
… and many of these questions offer worthwhile pursuits. Having faith doesn’t mean we can’t ask questions. But in the end, the Bible is the singular, tangible source. The Bible is authoritative. The Bible is not God; it is but a tool of God. But it is of God, and for those of us who believe that, the Bible must be appealed to as a source in the pursuit of answers to our questions. Some of our answers will be different from what we’ve always been told, and other answers may never come in this life … but knowledge is not all it’s cracked up to be, anyway.
The questions some ask are great questions. Intriguing, insightful, and important questions. But for the person who professes faith, any answers we perceive and attempt to legislate should be based on God’s work through scripture. Does He, or does He not, speak His will in and through scripture? And what do we do with that expressed will?