I am spending the first two weeks of August answering some nagging questions some of our folks have had about the Christian faith. For some, there are things about the Bible or the crucifixion of Jesus they have a hard time wrapping their mind around. And that's OK. Often throughout scripture, we see God's people wrestling between belief and unbelief, certainty and doubt.
In Mark 9, we read a story about a father who brought his son afflicted with violent seizures caused by an evil spirit to Jesus for healing. The disciples got to the boy first, but nothing really changed, so Jesus met with the man and his son. The dad told Jesus his boy had been having these seizures since he was very young, often falling into water or into fires. Jesus looked at him and said, "If you can believe, all things are possible." Here was the dad's response:
"Lord, I believe. Help me in my unbelief."
I believe this was an honest man's confession. His heart believed (and wanted to believe), but there were perhaps parts of him that were slow to catch up. So he confessed it and asked Jesus to give him faith for the unbelief he struggled with.
I think we can pray the same prayer when webump up against tough scriptures difficult for us to swallow. "I believe, Lord...but I struggle with this. Help me."
It's more important that we ask for God to help us understand than to try to dismiss the parts of scripture we cannot understand or do not like. At CCC, we try carefully not to make scripture say what it doesn't say (by adding to it) or by making scripture 'un-say' what it does say (taking away from it). So we try to faithfully wrestle with what God has given us.
On Sunday, August 6th and 13th, I'll be answering the following tough questions submitted by some of our people:
- "Why did Jesus's death save us from sin?" [the writer also wrestles with the undue cruelty of the cross]
- "All of us know wonderful, loving, giving people who are not Christian. Can you tell us that all of them are going to hell?"
It's nice to know our people are interested in just the light and fluffy stuff! We'll do our best to answer these questions in the next couple of posts.