This last Sunday I opened it up to people to ask me any question they wanted to about the Bible and faith in general. We just concluded a study on the book of Hebrews and there were questions that people were asking that I tried to address during the series but I knew I could have answered ALL of them... unless I'm really that good. :)
Or... I am so wretched a preacher that I can't get people to consider one independent thought about faith or beliefs.
I am pretty sure I fall somewhere in between. I know that people are listening and challenged but I am certain I have not answered everyone's questions because I'm not that good. So, what is the problem? The problem is, I haven't taught or given people the freedom to ask the right questions! The information is there, we have to teach people what to do with it now.
So, how do I ask the right questions? That's a good question....
First of all we must comprehend that Small Groups, Sunday Messages and Bible Reading is not just information transfer... it's supposed to be life alteration, application laced, heart challenged and head prodding discussion. The scary truth, is that information transfer doesn't change lives, we are the most informed people group in the history of the world and we are still pretty messed up.
As you read, you have to ask yourself, which will bring about more questions, this: What am I supposed to do with this? Let me give you an example: In reading Hebrews 11 we are faced with a moral dilemma in the story of Rahab. Essentially, Rahab lies about the spies to her governing authorities and God calls her a person of amazing faith. Can I still be stuck in sin and a faithful person???
Another important thing we have to do to ask the right questions is to take a look at the culture around us. Through scripture we are challenged to evaluate the cultural norm verses scripture. During the time of Paul, food sacrificed to idols was a big deal. If I ate food sacrificed to an idol would I be participating in sin? So, is it okay to drink alcohol, smoke a cigarette, dip tabaccy? Does the gay marriage debate point to a cultural flaw or a Biblical mandate? Does homosexuality and racism a legit characterization?
How does God view homosexuality? How He views it, is how I should respond...
Are taxes ethical? How should I determine my giving to the church? Does repentance mean I have to make right my wrongs? Does forgiveness mean I have to be friends with someone again? Where did those dinosaurs go anyway? How scientific is scripture? Why should I take marriage seriously? How far is too far outside of marriage?
Those are just a few questions driven by our culture and media.
National events can also cause us to question: What's the deal with the new pope? Are we really heading into the End Times? Is Justin Beiber the anti-Christ? What is the anti-Christ anyway...?
Hebrews 13 reminds us that Jesus is the same yesterday today and forever. If that's true, we have a lot of things to talk about.