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Is it okay to ask questions about what my church teaches?

One of the best teachers I ever had told me that there is no such thing as a dumb question. The only dumb thing, he said, is not asking questions when we have them. That's how we learn. When things don't make sense, we ask until we have enough information to decide for ourselves.

I guess that’s why I had such a hard time in church when I was a kid. I was told not to ask questions—just to accept what I was taught “on faith,” and defend it as the truth. “The Bible says it, I believe it, and that settles it.” We were told that questions were signs of doubt; signs that our faith wasn't strong enough. So we acted as if we always knew what we were talking about, and pretended we were satisfied.

But I certainly wasn’t! Fortunately, as I grew beyond my initial experiences with church, I found people of faith who encouraged me to ask my questions. I discovered Thomas Aquinas, who taught that since God made everything, whenever we learn something about anything, we learn something about God. I discovered thoughtful writers such as C.S. Lewis. I discovered a denomination­the American Baptist Churches, USA-that prizes “soul liberty” and values diversity of thought and opinion.

So please-ask your questions! Think about the answers you get. Think for yourself. In weeks to come, this will be a place for you to ask honest questions and get honest answers.


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