Jesus tells the story off two people: one who builds his house on the sand and another who builds his house on the rock. After the houses were complete a storm came up and beat against the houses. When the storm subsided only one house stood, the house on the rocks. Countless children sitting before a flannel-graph board have been told that the moral of the story is to build your house, your faith, on the rock that is Jesus.
That is true and it is a great lesson.
But I, and many children, were not told that what is also true in this story is that both people who built house experienced a storm.
Storms come in many different forms. Illness, death, pain (physical and emotional), abuse (physical, emotional, and spiritual), doubts, questions, marginalization, and death all constitute storms threatening to knock us off our foundation. While the storms come in many different forms, the reality is that in a broken world all of us will experience storms.
The church, by and large, is good at dealing with certain storms. We have done a good job with illness, death, and physical pain. But others have been swept under the rug.
I can’t help but wonder if questioning and doubting are storms the church has failed provide refuge for.
I can’t help but wonder if it has become unsafe for us to question. Or to doubt.
Enlightenment told us there had to be a reason for everything. Science, and the scientific worldview that so shapes our worldview now, backs that claim up. Truth is black and white. But what Jesus teaches us is that truth isn’t black and white. Truth is a person. Truth, in the case of Jesus, even changes his mind. In Matthew 15:21-28 Jesus changes his mind because a Canaanite woman wouldn’t let up. Apparently, truth changed his mind.
And that provides some problems for us.
It isn’t safe to question. It isn’t safe to doubt. At least that is what we experience. No one may say that, but those who question and doubt learn very quickly that they should keep those thoughts to themselves lest they be marginalized. We have forgotten that Jacob wrestled with God demanding God to bless him. It was then that God gave Jacob the name Israel (Genesis 32:28)
So here’s my offer. I want to create space to question and doubt and wrestle. In another post I wrestled with an axiom passed around Christian circles that is often passed off as truth, but is not. A lot of people found that helpful and I can’t help but wonder, “What other lies or doubts or questions are people carrying around that they haven’t felt able to share?”
Post your doubts, questions, or whatever in the comments below. On Wednesday’s I’ll respond to them as best I can. If no one posts a comment, this will be a short series. Otherwise, we will go until we run out of doubts or questions. Please keep from responding to posts in the comments. I want it to be safe for people to post. If you comment, outside of sharing a question or doubt, to another person comment I will delete it.