What We Believe vs. Why We Believe It

I have long been a fan of comedians like Bill Maher and the late George Carlin. They are more than just funny guys. They are seekers of truth. They ask the questions no one else dares or even thinks to ask. It would behoove any Christian to listen to George Carlin's, "Religion Is Bulls**t," bit. Here is the link (language warning).

To be clear, I am not saying I agree with the late Mr. Carlin. In fact, I know why I don't agree with him. And that is the point of today's post.

I recently saw Bill Maher's movie, Religulous. I respect what he was attempting to do with this film. He visits all kinds of people from all kinds of religion seeking answers to hard questions. What struck me was that no one could defend why they believe what they believe. Now, I realize that Maher is a very left-wing comedian, and that he probably didn't ask the most intellectual people on the planet the tough questions so he could get laughs. That is, after all, his job.

It is clear, however, that Maher has struggled with his own faith since the age of 13. To make a movie like Religulous could be a hidden, desperate cry for help or for solid answers for difficult-to-understand dogma. No one in the movie, not even "Jesus (an actor playing him)" could give him what he wanted deep down. I believe I know why. They simply didn't know. Perhaps no one has ever asked them before.

Never before has it been more critical to know why we believe what we do. There are more people than Bill Maher seeking answers. Real answers. Authentic answers.

"Because the Bible says so."

"I was taught that in Sunday School."

"It has long been a part of church doctrine."

"I just believe what the Bible says."

"Be careful asking these questions. It is the devil working through you."

"Maybe you should just leave."

"Maybe I should just leave."

These are the types of answers Christians give when pressed for more substantial answers. Asking questions about God and the Universe is not a sin/ The very first humans, Adam and Eve, questioned God. Then they did what people still do today after questioning God or the Church, they isolated themselves. Asking deep theological questions and seeking authentic answers tends to be a lonely endeavor. My book, The Renewing of Your Mind, coming out on Amazon October 1st, is a conversation as well as asking modern questions to ancient answers. Shameless book plug aside, there are some wonderful authors who have dared to ask the hard questions: Matthew Vines, Sarah Bessey, Nadia Bolz-Weber, the late Rachel Held Evans, Brian Zahnd, Keith Giles, Brad Jersak, Jason Elam, Karl Forehand, and many others.

There is a wave stirring in Christendom right now. It is a wave of people who need answers. At least better answers. "Because the Bible says so," doesn't work anymore. We need to take our cue from the Millennials, who are pulling out of the church by in droves. In the last ten years or so, over 500 people have left the Southern Baptist denomination, including me. The "Old Time Gospel" doesn't work anymore. Guns aren't providing answers. Politics are devoid of answers. It's up to you to find the answers, Christian.

The writing is on the wall. People need answers, and we who know and love Jesus need to equip ourselves with knowledge so we can give stronger answers. If we don't, then it is quite possible in another decade or perhaps another millenia, no one will bother asking the questions anymore.

Ask yourself WHY you believe as you do. Examine every part of your belief system and take yourself to task. Seek the answers. It IS in the Bible, after all. Ask, Seek, Knock.

Building more church buildings is not the answer anymore. Instead, invest in people with questions. Jesus told us to "make disciples," not to make conformity drones who follow blindly.

Bill Maher didn't find his answers. But I believe you can if you will but ask.

Bright blessings,


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