Sixth grade was the first time I ever questioned the Bible. Up until that point, I was immersed in a childlike faith. No questions. No hesitations. Just a full throated embrace of Christianity.
I distinctly remember sitting in Sunday school at my church in Tacoma, WA, hearing the Bible lesson, and having an unwelcome thought intrude into my head.
I wonder if that’s true.
That question left me reeling. For the first time in my life, the possibility that something from the Bible may not be true had entered into a realm of possibility.
When a question about God or the Bible finds us, we have two options. One option will hinder your faith. The other will actually encourage your faith to grow.
Option 1: Stuff the question deep down and pretend you never wondered it. This may be tempting, but is ultimately unhelpful. Unanswered questions have a way of festering.
Option 2 (the one I recommend): Begin a journey of seeking answers.
This is what I did in sixth grade. I embarked on a spiritual journey of diving deeper into my faith, deeper into the Bible, to learn all I could. My faith benefited tremendously from the process of asking, searching and praying.
Several weeks ago I attended a Christian Writers Conference held at Billy Graham’s Training Center in Asheville. On the bottom floor a series of displays told the story of Billy’s life. One display quoted Billy Graham early in his ministry when he dealt with doubts. Here’s what he said:
“Suddenly I wondered if the Bible could be trusted completely. Jesus Himself had said, ‘Heaven and earth shall pass away but My Word shall never pass away!’ And Paul had said, ‘All Scripture is given by inspiration of God.’ That night, with a heavy heart, I took a walk in the moonlight, stopped, and opened my Bible on a tree stump and said, ‘Oh God, there are many things in this Book I do not understand. But God, I am going to accept this Book as Your inspired work— by faith. From that moment on I have never doubted God’s Word; when I quote the Bible, I believe I am quoting the very Word of God and there’s an extra power in it.”
Maybe you can relate to Billy Graham. Maybe there’s been a moment when you’ve wondered if you could trust the Bible completely. My prayer is that you can believe it to be God’s Word— by faith.
When I made the choice to fully believe and embrace God’s teaching through Scripture in the years after sixth grade, my life changed forever. Suddenly I had a living Word to guide me through my years. To this day, I find that God speaks to me most clearly through the inspired Word. The collections of stories and teachings have become a tremendous blessing in my life— and I hope yours too. I can truly affirm Psalm 119:
Your word is a lamp to guide my feet and a light for my path.
I mentioned on Sunday that we are beginning to plan our summer series— A Summer Of Questions. Each week we will explore one question that has been brought to us by a congregation member. Now is your opportunity to submit a question.
These questions should be anonymous. And they can be about anything that relates to God, the Bible or faith.
Pastor Dana and I don’t have all the answers. But we will commit to studying God’s Word and offering as much insight as we can muster into your questions. Because I believe that we grow in our faith by asking questions and then searching for answers.
Let us search together.
You can ask your question here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/7SX67JH
This Sunday we will continue 40 Days Of Abundant Life with a rousing debate found in John 8. See you on Sunday!