Over the weekend watched a special by Derren Brown, a performer who describes his craft as a mixture of magic, suggestion, psychology, misdirection and showmanship. In this special he went to several spiritual experts, a Pastor, a spiritualist, a mind-reader, an expert in alien abductions, and pretended to be one of their own. He promised to reveal the truth if directly asked but using his skills as a magician and showman he did some very convincing things all in an attempt to gain an endorsement from each of the experts.
When he arrived at the church he told the Pastor he could convert people to a belief in god by touch. He invited a group of atheists and such to attend. By the end it looked like a Benny Hinn meeting with people falling over and confessing they needed to believe in God after what just happened.
He also managed to name things being drawn in another room to a group of psychics as a psychic school, name dreams supposedly captured by his own dream machine, and name the medical history of the group of alien believers. All but the Pastor gave him an endorsement.
A magician friend of mine showed be this video and I must admit I was impressed. My friend is reading his book and I guess he used to be a Christian and is now out to prove all religions false. One of his points is that there are certain things that are beyond question, like our beliefs in and about God.
I had to ask myself, are there certain things that are beyond question? Recently I changed my views on a doctrine that I believe is one of those untouchable issues in the church. I have tried to have a conversation about it with several people and some, but not all, looked at me like I had a gun and wanted to shoot their puppy.
I have worked with youth for almost 10 years now and it seems that they always hit the wall of questions in their teens. In that time when you are rebelling against authority and starting to find out who you are you begin to question things. Often time I have had students confess to me that they were ashamed of their questions as if it made them weak. That is nothing but religious HOGWASH. Myles Munroe changed my life when he said “God is not afraid of you honest doubt” If we believe God to be true and truth itself to be God. Then if an individual is truly seeking for the truth we must believe the will end up with God. However, if someone is just lazy and looking for a way to rebel, not really looking for truth that is an entirely different matter. We do our youth and our parishioners a disservice when we make it appear as if God is too weak for their questions. If we don’t allow them to ask, and their questions and doubts go unanswered or sometimes worse yet poorly answered, they will fester like a cancer and destroy any possibility for the Life of God.
I have found the times in my life, and there have been a butt load, when I have began to doubt things and searched for honest answers I have come out stronger. I find it is best to have someone in your life that you can express these questions and doubts to. I also find it best to research both sides so you don’t simply convince yourself of your own point by only reading people who agree with you.
Leaving everything open to question doesn’t mean that every point is valid. I believe in certain doctrines as true such as the virgin birth of Christ. I have read people who argue against this but I came to the conclusion that it is something Christianity requires. Someone may feel I am talking out of both sides of my mouth; some things are certain but you should question everything. I believe you should know what and why you believe something. I am personally past the point of doubting Jesus Christ as my savior. I believe in him just as much as I believe in my parents. My experience with him is unquestionable with me, but as for what goes on around that I am always looking to be more correct.