Christianity Isn’t meant to Answer Humanity’s Questions?! Say What?!

Shocked Man

 

Wow! You know how it is. Every once in a while something “leaps off the page” or is suddenly unveiled and thrills you and throws you off-balance at the same time! Like when my daughter and I thought we saw a new, unique and scary animal under the bushes in our yard, slithering around like a “ratty-looking snake-mole” kind of creature that ended up being a Wal-mart bag trapped in limbs and poor lighting! LOL! We were first thrown off and afraid to get out of the car, and then we were thrilled that the illusion was interrupted by truth unveiled (or bag blowing away in the wind! heehee…nothing funnier than true life!)

Another shocker happened to me recently when I read these words from Thomas F. Torrance in his book called “The School of Faith”: “Christianity doesn’t set out to answer man’s questions. If it did it would only give him what he already desires to know and has secretly determined how he will know it. Christianity is above all the question the Truth puts to man at every point in his life, so that it teaches him to ask the right, the true questions about himself…”

My reactions: “What the….?!?!?!?!” *Sputter..gasp…unique sounds issuing from back of throat* (This isn’t Pentecost Sunday on a Tuesday, is it?! LOL) “Wowsa!” Followed by LOUD RAUCOUS laughter! “Yes, Yes, YES! That’s what I’m talkin’ bout, but didn’t know how to speak as clearly before now!”

Now be honest, isn’t that what most people think Christianity IS, and is supposed to do? Isn’t that what YOU think? You’ve got questions, Christianity may have the answers, right?! Religious answers, or things you can do to?????? You know the ones: Why am I here? What’s my purpose? How can I be happy and blessed? How can I improve my marriage and relationships? How can I see my father and mother wounds healed? How can I overcome these generational dysfunctions and bless the next generation? How can I take so and so out of the picture with “righteous” indignation and “godly” wrath cause their messing with me and god’s religious system?! Haha!

Being a pastor and preacher, I know firsthand the kinds of pressures these questions bring to ministers preaching the Gospel; the pressure to be “need-oriented”, “practical”, “relevant”, or proclaiming to the people what they think they need and want. But I am also experiencing and understanding from the Father, through the Son, and by the Spirit, my need to proclaim God as being His own Gospel or Good News, Revealed specifically in Jesus! Being human and fallen ourselves, we preachers will tend to bend to the pressure of the people because they are so present and visible in human ways, and we need the people to stay visible and present so we can sustain a living for our families. I’m feeling you pastors!

What we pastors and people REALLY need, though, is the corrective offered by Torrance! Actually, as Christians, I believe we can only ultimately agree with what he wrote because it is both personal and biblical. Let’s look at a quick example from scripture:

Acts 9:1-6 New International Version (NIV)

Saul’s Conversion

9 Meanwhile, Saul was still breathing out murderous threats against the Lord’s disciples. He went to the high priest and asked him for letters to the synagogues in Damascus, so that if he found any there who belonged to the Way, whether men or women, he might take them as prisoners to Jerusalem.As he neared Damascus on his journey, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him. He fell to the ground and heard a voice say to him,“Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?”

“Who are you, Lord?” Saul asked.

“I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting,” he replied. “Now get up and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.”

Can you see it? Him? Jesus? Can’t you read this story and remember how you ACTUALLY came to be a Christian, if you are one? If you are not one, this is how Christianity looks and works in many ways:

 1.) v.1-2 You had your own questions about life that you thought were so right you might have killed to answer, defend, and fulfill them!

2.) v.3 As you journeyed in your own self-chosen way, you were met and confronted by Jesus, the Light, the Person, and He didn’t start with your questions but His own! He spoke clearly enough to you, clarifying that for you to go your own way and ask your own questions about “your” life was to be against Him, Jesus the God Man!

3.) v.5 As a result of Him questioning you personally, He caused you to question all your questions! Jesus helped you to see that it was Him, the Person, you were actually fighting. With His direct question to you about why you were rejecting Him, He caused you to ask a new personal question, “Who are you Lord?” Being the Truth in Person, Jesus put the right question to you that made you question your entire life and compelled you to ask what was REALLY correct. The correct question was one about HIMSELF and was given to you so that you could personally ask it AND He could answer it and show HIMSELF to you!

4.) v.6 Now He’s telling you where to go and what to do, and you’re discovering that He’s always right and never wrong! That’s union with Christ, or Christianity!

Like with Saul, you may be thrown and blinded by the Light for a few days! Jesus will, however, send others to encourage and confirm His leading in your life! Hopefully you’ll end up as thrilled as Saul and find yourself sharing HIM with all the world too, His chosen instrument, proclaiming and suffering in His name! And NO, Christianity doesn’t give you what you already desire to know and is not driven by your agenda, especially your sinful one. Neither does it give you what you want to know in the way you have decided you want to know it, with your self-chosen questions, especially in your sinfulness! You ask good and proper questions as Jesus confronts, summons and shares them with you, personally giving Himself to you as He and His Father have determined, in the Spirit!

By the way, I believe that Jesus is the Light of the World and we can and should talk about ALL things in the Light of Him, but be happy and not too discouraged if all your pastor can talk about is Jesus and the One God Being in Three Persons revealed in Him. With Christianity Jesus is always the main question and His main answer to you/us is always HIMSELF! Jesus is the Question AND the Answer!

 – tjbrassell

6 comments so far

  1. Deb Blagg on

    Amen, Pastor Tim!! Very “stop-and-think-about-it.” All glory to the Father, Son and Spirit.

    • Dyann Clark on

      Thank you, Pastor T. Can’t tell you how much I needed this today!!
      Dyann

      • tjbrassell on

        Dear Sis Dyann, You’re welcome! ALWAYS thrills me to hear of you receiving all that He has for you in His abundant, overflowing grace. And to think, we get to participate! Say what?! Incredible! Love and Every Blessing!

    • tjbrassell on

      Greetings Deb! ONLY God can breakthrough that fast, with that kind of clarity! It’s a joy to share in His gracious, relational glory and insight with you! Love and Every Blessing!

  2. Carrie Smith on

    Love this! (thanks for the chuckle about the “bag” animal 🙂 ) Always wonderful to gain a new perspective on the Truth of Jesus Christ. Thank you for sharing.

  3. tjbrassell on

    Hello Carrie!

    Always good to hear from and see you! No greater chuckles than living out this life with the Divine Comedian, huh?! I’m with you on the wonderful new perspectives Revealed in Jesus….like multiple facets blazing gloriously on the worlds greatest Gem when you look at it from different angles! 🙂

    Peace, Love and Every Blessing!


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