Recently the more I think about God the more I think about questions. I have lived my whole life inside the structure of the traditional church that has answers and doctrines that cover everything. It seems like the church has done its best to end mystery and wrap God up in 3 points and a poem. The traditional church is afraid of questions because questions lead us to a place where we don’t have all the answers and if we don’t have the answers then we can’t be in control.
I think for me that is a big part of waking up to a God who is more about questions than about answers. I long to be in control. I’m desperate to be the one with the power, the one who knows what is going on. I want to have God figured out. I want to run my fingers along Him until I find his boundaries and map out what He is and what He isn’t, because if I could find the edges then maybe I could find a way to fully understand Him, and when I fully understand Him I am back in control again.
I don’t really like the idea of a God who is to big for me to know. I don’t really like the idea that every truth we know about God leads us to more questions and that every time we think we have Him understood we are simply worshiping an idol we have created because He can’t be understood. Isn’t it scary to anyone else that we are putting out lives in the hands of something that we can’t even explain, and can never understand?
Of course at the same time I love the fact that I can’t wrap my mind around God, because it is His very otherness that makes Him so appealing to me. He isn’t like me and that He is greater than all I can imagine so I lift my heart to Him in praise. Even if He isn’t safe, and even if I can’t control Him, and maybe really because He isn’t safe and because I can’t control Him I want to pour my life into His hands and see what He can do with it.
The problem is that traditional church has no place for questions like this. We have taken the “fear of the Lord” and replaced it with respect. In reality when I minds come across something so other, so foreign, so much bigger than we can understand we will fear, literally fear, and we should be afraid. God is wild and untamed and that is something to be afraid of. But we have taken these questions and come up with answers that are true, but ultimately unsatisfying. There is a truth in the mystery that fills us up and yet always leaves us hungry for more. It is the mystery that we should be celebrating in our churches.
If I could teach only one thing to my students it wouldn’t be any big truth. I would teach them to ask questions and seek for the answers. In my life I have been learning that God isn’t in the answers as much as He is in the seeking of answers.
Imagine a church that doesn’t have all the answers, but instead invites people to join in the discussion and seek new questions. That would be a community that I would love to join.