Ask: Questions of Faith

God Welcomes Questions

Let’s just get right to the point: your questions are not only welcome but encouraged. The questions of your family, of your friends, of your neighbors, of those who don’t necessarily believe are welcomed by God. In fact, He invites our questions over and over and over again. He proves it all throughout the scriptures. For example, in Exodus 3  Moses has a lot of questions for God. With each question Moses asks, God reveals a little bit more of who He is, what he was going to do and how he was going to do it. Likewise, we hope you feel the freedom to ask your questions because we need to ask questions. Questions are how relationships grow.

Maybe some of the questions you’re asking are listed below.

If you’ve got questions about what to expect when you gather to worship, grow in groups or go and serve with us, we’ve answered some of them here: What to Expect

If you’ve got specific questions about Jesus, we encourage you to Start with Jesus

And if you don’t see your question in any of these pages, let’s talk. We’d love to have a conversation and try to help you find the answers you seek. Call us at 732-349-1331 or email [email protected]

Questions about Faith

Q: Isn’t Faith Irrational? Hasn’t Science Disproven Christianity?

A: It can feel like there’s this dichotomy that you can either believe in science or you can believe in faith. That you must choose sides. Many wonder, “Isn’t faith irrational? Because hasn’t science disproven Christianity? In Acts 17, the Bible provides some insight to this. In these verses, Paul tells us that all science, all history, all philosophy, all knowledge is intended to move us toward God, to seek him. In other words, don’t leave your mind behind. Use your thoughts. Listen to more here: Irrational

Q: How Can Christians Claim to Know the Truth?

We live in a culture that says we can claim our own truth. The problem with that statement is that it’s self-contradictory. Because what it’s assuming is that you must accept “my truth” as true because it’s my truth. In John 8:31-38, the Bible tells us that the truth is so much more than just abstract principles. Personal truths, societal constructs, and even moral principles can fall short in providing true freedom. Yet, there is an absolute truth embodied in Jesus Christ that offers us genuine freedom. Listen to more here: Truth

Q: How Can There Be Just One True Religion?

A: Culturally, we prefer not making exclusive claims about life and faith. We know that it often leads to conflict. For many this idea of the exclusive claims of religion have led to many people questioning the Christian faith. In John 14:5-6, Jesus tells us, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” Jesus is saying so clearly in this passage that He is the way. not a way. And here’s what he doesn’t say. He doesn’t say, do what I say, follow my teaching, and that will be the way that you get to heaven. He doesn’t say, if you are good enough, if you take my principles seriously and you put them into practice, then that will get you to heaven. No, he says, I am the way. Listen to more here: Exclusivity.

Q. If God is loving, Why Do Bad Things Happen?

A: We are made to love and to worship God. We were made to have a relationship with our Creator, a relationship where we are loved by Him and we can reciprocate. But love and authentic worship must be given freely. In that vein, suffering is a consequence of free will and the choices we make, including sin. However, God can use our suffering to refine faith, much like the way we refine gold. It squeezes out imperfections and strengthens faith. The greatest suffering in history was experienced by Jesus, who willingly suffered and died on the cross to demonstrate God’s immense love for humanity. Christ’s resurrection gives us the living hope that suffering is not the end, and salvation and healing are possible. Listen to more here: Suffering

Q. How Can a Loving God Send Anyone to Hell?

A. For some who struggle with Christian faith, it may be partly because they’ve met Christians who have crammed hell down their throat. The reality is some so-called Christians delight in the doctrine and reality of hell. But God takes no pleasure in the death of anyone, and neither should we. hell is a consequence of disordered loves and inordinate self-love. However, it also reveals the extent of God’s love, demonstrated through Jesus’ sacrifice to spare humanity from the agony of hell. Listen to more here: Hell

Q. Can we Trust the Bible?

A. God gives this gift that is the Bible. And we can trust it. We can trust it because it’s historically reliable. We can trust it because it reinforces its own statements: it gives its own proof with internal consistency. We can trust it because of its impact on individuals’ lives, particularly through the fulfillment of prophecies. Listen to more here: Trust the Bible

Q. Isn’t Christianity and the Bible Racist?

A. Actually, The Bible doesn’t talk about race. The term race being applied to humans as separating us and categorizing us based on the color of skin didn’t even exist until the late 16th century, over 1,500 years after Jesus. Genesis 1:26-28 tells us that God created humanity in His own image. God has made humans uniquely and wonderfully, crafting each and every one as an artist, taking attention to every meticulous detail, giving each inherent worth, inherent value. Listen to more here: Racism & The Bible

Q: Who am I? Why do I matter?

God made a choice to create humanity. God decided He wanted Adam. He wanted Eve. God wanted Noah and Abraham and Isaac and Jacob. God wanted David. All of the people who have ever been throughout history were made by a choice of God because He wanted them. And if you take nothing else away from this Q& A page, take away this: God wanted you. God chose to make you. You are not an accident that happened, but a choice of the creator of the universe, of the almighty God. He chose to make you.

Listen to more here: Life By Design: A Spitting Image

Q. Why can’t I overcome my anxiety? Is peace possible?

A. We don’t know anybody who has chosen to be anxious on purpose. Feeling anxious all the time isn’t necessarily a choice. And yet, many do feel anxious, overstressed, and overwhelmed. Anxiety is a real feeling, but it is also one we can move away from. We can fight it so that it doesn’t become our default. Part of how we can do that is with prayer and petition and in thanksgiving. Prayer is a space to engage and encounter God where He can speak and move. In prayer, He’s going to be active working in us. It is in this prayerful meditation, that we can create a space in our lives to meet God. (You can explore more on this and other practices to help manage anxiety in our podcast episode: Renew Your Mind

To the second part of this question: Yes. Peace is possible. The peace of God that transcends all understanding can begin to guard our hearts and our minds in Christ Jesus because that’s what He has come to do for you. See when Jesus came and voluntarily laid his life down on the cross, he took on that death so that he could take on our sin and all of its results, which all of our distortions of thinking, all of these default patterns in our brain, these are all part of what he came to take on and all of their destruction, but he didn’t come to just take it on himself. In Christ we can find wholeness and peace.

Q: Is it just me? Am I the only one struggling?

A. The reality is that many are suffering in silence. Many are living in isolation. Many are shouldering the weight of mental health struggles all by themselves. They feel depressed, overwhelmed, anxious. First know this, you are not alone in this struggle. And more importantly, know that God is inviting you to cry out (Psalm 34:17-22) In Psalm 34:18, there’s this promise that God is going to come near when we cry out to Him. It says, “the Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” In other words, God is saying, hey, when you’re crying out, I am right there with you. I’m coming near to you in your brokenness, in your hurt, and your pain. He doesn’t just hear your cry and draw near, he understands your pain and suffering. Luke 22 tells us about the night before Jesus is to be crucified, He goes into the garden on the Mount of Olives and reflects on what’s about to happen to him. He starts to pray in anguish. Christ understands your suffering because He also suffered. And, through Christ, you are offered wholeness and healing, an invitation to be made right before God. Hear more in our podcast You Are Not Alone

 

Q. How do I get through this grief?

A. You don’t have to pretend that everything is fine by putting on that happy face. God invites you to bring your whole authentic, honest, grieving, hurting self to Him. All of it with all of your feelings, all of your questions in your agony to own it, to acknowledge it before God and to cry out, God, where are you? John 11:35 is the shortest verse in the Bible. It says simple, “Jesus wept.” That’s profound, right? In John 11, Jesus is experiencing this incredible grief and sorrow over the loss of his friend. Even though the story tells us He knew He was going to raise Lazarus from the dead, He felt this grief and sorrow well up inside of Him. Here is Jesus, filled with grief and sorrow, and grief and joy and sorrow and love just as we are. And it is through Jesus that we can also be filled with hope. We grieve because we’ve been interrupted, because it hurts, and yet we can grieve with a hope that those we have lost are deeply in the loving care of God who gave his Son Jesus for them.

If you’re looking for support as you walk through a season of grief, we invite you to join us at Grief Share or contact us about engaging with a Stephen Minister.

You can also listen to our podcast: Grief & Hope