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Why Avoid the Tough Questions?

Last night in our midweek Bible study, as I was stumbling around the book of 1 Corinthians, a conversation / discussion erupted. Actually several did. We somehow wound up on the issues of people receiving “revelations” and the doctrine of baptismal regeneration (being baptized as a part of being born again).

I’m not writing to address either of those questions here (though I’ll tell you I’m wary of anyone with a “revelation” and don’t believe baptism is part of the new birth). I’m writing instead to challenge you as a Pastor, leader, writer, influencer, or whatever else you might be, to tackle the tough questions instead of avoiding them.

After the study was over, one visiting couple expressed surprise that I was willing to venture into 1 Corinthians at all, given the number of controversial issues that arise. But avoiding tough questions isn’t an option for me when it comes to teaching Scripture.

I’m currently teaching through the entire Bible and we’re only in Ruth so far. I’ve talked about every subject under the sun, not because it was a popular or controversial subject, but because it’s simply next.

Here’s the thing. People have tough questions. This fact can’t be ignored. Some questions are dumb and don’t belong in the conversation you’re framing, but others are legitimate searchings of the soul, so why should we avoid them? In fact, addressing the tough stuff may be exactly what you need as a leader to challenge yourself to keep growing.

In my own realm of ministry, tough questions abound, and I don’t want to avoid any of them. Questions like…

  • How can you prove God exists?
  • You really believe in a literal 6-day creation?
  • Why did my child die?
  • Where is God when everyone else is abandoning me?
  • Why is there war, hunger, disease? Why cancer?
  • What in the world is this “rapture” thing and what will it feel like?

None of these are off the table. Everything is fair game. Why? Because inquiring minds want to know and in the realm of church leadership, sometimes we spend too much energy trying to avoid the very questions that provide the key to the soul.

Tackling the tough questions challenges you and I to connect with people in an authentic, albeit risky way at times. In the end, it’s worth it. I sure am glad someone answered my tough questions!

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  • http://designinformer.com Design Informer

    Amen! That’s why we all need to always be in the Book, so when we do get these questions, we are able to answer them like it says in 1 Peter 3:15.

    “…and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear.”
    .-= Design Informer´s last blog ..15 Impressive Case Studies from Behance =-.

    • Brandon

      That’s the truth of it, and the perfect verse to apply.

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  • http://bradleyaharmon.com Brad Harmon

    Brandon,

    Sadly, many Christians today cannot support the most basic tenants of the faith with Scripture, let alone support the answers to hard or controversial questions.

    Even worse, there are some who gleefully answer these types of questions with such certainty and insensitivity that their answers reek of arrogance (I have been guilty of this too many times).

    As Christians, we must be careful when speaking on behalf of God with such certainty. Many times the "answer" is just to demonstrate Christ's love to the person through our actions.

    We should share Scriptural answers to such questions with love and humility. Opening up those passages which give us comfort or some insight into what we believe God has told us about the issue.

    If we have this attitude then, by all means, we should not shy away from such issues. If, however, we just want to be right about a topic then it is probably best to keep our lips shut.

    Brad
    .-= Brad Harmon´s last blog ..A Christian Business Opportunity – Selling Prayer? =-.

  • http://www.integralwebsolutions.co.za/blog.aspx Robert Bravery

    I often hear people scream out, Why me God, Why me. I once heard another preacher say, why not you. What make you so special.

    One of the reasons people can’t answer the tough questions, is because they can’t even answer the most basic questions.

    It is unbelievable that a Christian of 20 odd years Does not know the plan of salvation. Can’t lead someone to Christ. You know Gets blown away by every wind of doctrine.

    We need people that are able to give a hope of the truth that lies within them.
    .-= Robert Bravery´s last blog ..There is no such thing as a quick fix. =-.