Last night at church we had our second panel type set up for the year or the as we spread across the twittersphere #bhsaforum, the night’s questions we’re all based on the idea of ‘taboo’, things the church doesn’t talk about and was designed to give people the opportunity to ask questions they have always been afraid to ask at church. From where I sat in the sound room, playing my hand at social media junkie, and following in my brothers (yes plural, and yes both my younger brothers are much better at it than me) foot steps of multimedia genius, the night was a success, in that questions were asked and wise honest opinions were shared and I left feeling like I had a lot to think about and a few more answers, not all the answers, but a least a few more.
But I guess the night got me thinking of why people are afraid to ask questions like this, I guess the world has this idea that the church is supposed to have black and white answers on these often very grey issues, that we as a body of Christ should be able to offer decisions and guidance in these messy parts of life and I think that perhaps it isn’t that easy. For sure there are things that the church does have a black and white opinion on, but there is lots of situations where it all gets a bit confusing and the answers aren’t as clear or as direct, but, I think
To be honest, I don’t think we are supposed to have all the answers, because if were able to do everything without seeking and searching… why would we need God? And yes the bible is there as a guide, but I think that God chooses to leave somethings a little harder to decipher because he wants us to seek him, and ask what he would have us do. I think its ok to doubt and question, because out of the seeking of answers we grow. If we never challenge anything, we never need to grow.
I guess I also think that often there are clear answers, but they are often confronting and hard to teach and perhaps instead of embracing these we shy away from the complete separation that holiness calls us to. We get torn between the challenging life of purity and holiness that God calls us to live and the message of love, grace and mercy, which is also true, because sometimes it can be hard to work out how the two fit together. I think we also forget the church is made up of sinners, so that while we may know the answers, lots of us struggle to live it out day to day and so, we are afraid to give the hard answer because when we do because we have fallen short so many times before, we get labelled hypocritical.
The thing is though, when it all comes down to it, God’s standards are high and hard, and we all have fallen short, but because He is love, life, hope, forgiveness, mercy and grace and because Jesus has already paid the price, if we are seeking Him first and above all other things, it’s ok. Oh and I think when we offer God’s answers and speak the truth, rather than ‘the churches’ answers and actually say that they are His, then, while we still remain accountable for our own actions, if/when we fall short, God is bigger than that, and there is no one better to use us in our weakness than Him.