Thursday, January 15, 2015

Asking difficult questions

Last night I started re-reading a book I finished only a few months ago. It is called "Faith Unraveled: How a girl who knew all the answers learned to ask questions." It is so good! SO GOOD! I don't necessarily agree with everything she says but I love how she wrestles with issues and asks difficult questions. I love how raw and honest she is. Reading her book makes me feel as though I am engaged in the conversation of a lifetime. The sort of conversation I have been longing to have for ages. The kind of conversation that most Christians shy away from. It is a conversation that thrills and terrifies me. There are so many passages in this book that echo the ponderings of my own heart and mind.
"No longer satisfied with easy answers, I started asking harder questions. I questioned what I thought were fundamentals - the eternal damnation of all non-Christians, the scientific and historical accuracy of the Bible, the ability to know absolute truth. and the politicization of evangelicalism. I questioned God: his fairness, regarding salvation,; his goodness, for allowing poverty and injustice in the world; and his intelligence, for entrusting Christians to fix things. I wrestled with passages of scripture that seemed to condone genocide and the oppression of women and struggled to make sense of the pride and hypocrisy within the church. I wondered if the God of my childhood was really the kind of God I wanted to worship, and at times I wondered if he even exists at all.
 But rather than killing off my faith, these doubts led me to a surprising new birth. To survive in a new, volatile environment, I had to shed old convictions and grow new ones in their place. I had to take a closer look at what I believed and figure out what was truly essential. I went from the security of crawling around on all fours in the muck and mire of my inherited beliefs to the vulnerability of standing, my head and heart exposed, in the truth of my own spiritual experience. I evolved, not into a better creature than those around me but into a better, more adapted me- a me who wasn't afraid of her own ideas and doubts and intuitions, a me whose faith could survive change.
While evolution on a broad, historical scale happens every now and then, evolution within the souls of individuals happens every day, whenever we adapt our faith to change. Evolution means letting go of our false fundamentals so that God can get into those shadowy places we're not sure we want him to be. It means being okay with being wrong, okay with not having all the answers, okay with never being finished" - Rachel Held Evans  from the book "Faith Unraveled".
What sort of response does this invoke in you? How does it make you feel?

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