Anybody who has spend any length of time with a young child will know all about questions. “What is that?” “why is it there?” “Who made it?” “how does it work?” . Inquisitive children are so eager to learn about the world that questions come in rapid succession. It is both a delight and a challenge to patiently answer them all.
Sadly, as the years go by humans usually become less inquisitive. We can be so rushed that we are simply getting on with living rather than asking why things are like they are and how could they be different.
Many of us, however, still have questions inside us but we stop asking them out loud for fear of seeming foolish. Just as a child grows in knowledge when she or he asks questions the same is true for an adult. The best learning always occurs in a safe environment where both expert and student ask questions and seek answers together. If we want to have a community and a world that keeps developing we really do need to keep asking questions.
In the realm of faith, sometimes the impression is given that people of faith must keep a lid on their big questions. It can seem as if they must blindly accept things as they have been presented without questioning them. There is a lurking fear that asking tough questions can make us seem unorthodox and that asking one question too many cause cause one to end up losing our faith. In Bible times people were not afraid to ask big questions when they encountered difficult things that they did not understand. There are plenty of examples in the Psalms, Job and Ecclesiastes. After much wrestling with issues most emerged with a faith that was stronger.
The truth is that if a question is within us then it should be asked. If you have big questions about suffering, judgement, other religions, human sexuality, AI or whatever is concerning you then you must ask it! At St Francis Church we regularly run Alpha and other courses where the asking of big questions is actively encouraged so get in touch and sign up. If you have a big question and you feel that you cannot wait for the next course then get in touch with us and one of us will explore the question with you. We won’t guarantee a neatly packaged answer but we hope that we will help you to see that your question is valid and there is help and insight to be found in the Bible and the writings of theologians.