I tend to ask a lot of questions. At work I'm always asking, is there a better way to do this, is there a better delivery method for this curriculum, are there better systems, better technologies, why do we do things "this" way when "that" way seems to be more efficient, bigger, better stronger? "Because we've always done it this way" is one of my least favorite phrases, gets my hackles up, and is an open invitation for a barrage of targeted questions and pinpoint accurate statements intended to unveil the errors of continuing to do it "that" way.
I have a bit of this in me when it comes to churchy stuff too, but I find myself in no mans land these days. While I do have a tendency to ask why a lot, I'm watching what appears to be a fad of intellectual church questioning that is beginning to look/sound like young hipster Christians with nothing better to do with their time than attempt to stick it to the man, err church, by nit picking anything and everything. So much time and energy seems to be spent in the blogosphere and twitterland marketing statements like, "i quit Christianity", "Calvin was a racist", dropping f-bombs in the middle of "keeping it real" Christian commentary, etc... I ask questions for better understanding, these folks seem to be asking questions for attention, to be disruptive, or just generally lost in their own self absorbed thoughts.
Reading some of these and the flood of pandering, look at me, you so "get" me and my plight comments does make me feel for some of these folks and their apparent doom and gloom outlook with their view of Christianity and life in general. You'll see, "oh so and so, as always you've made such a perfect posting about how the church doesn't get it", "i have felt so oppressed in the church all of my life and i can't tell you how refreshing your blog is to me", "i'm an outcast in my church and only you get me", etc... In a Chandler Bing moment I want to ask these Joey's of the faith, what kind of scary a#$ churches have you all been going to?
I just can't imagine being in line waiting to enter into heaven and see my name in the book of life and the guy behind me tapping me on the shoulder and asking me if I am a Calvinist, or Armenian, or Southern Baptist, or if I believe in whatever "-ism" is being heatedly discussed these days. While I find much of this movement interesting in as much as I love a good intellectual conversations, the amount of energy, passion, and complete faith in these time and emotional sucking discussions is worrisome. None of them exude a child like faith, unless your children are some super crazy intellectual freaks well versed in social justice by the age of 10. Mine are good if they can remember where they put their back pack let alone be able to argumentatively discuss the finer points of church doctrine and why the church is right, wrong, or otherwise. I was once discussing variations in bible translations with my wise old father and law and he finally stated, they're all good for me because I choose to have the faith of a child and the faith of a child doesn't spend time nitpicking the Greek translations and nuances and explaining why the English language doesn't do justice to the true meaning of blah, blah, blah. Hard to argue with that I suppose and makes a lot of sense.
It's also interesting to note that many of these avidly followed self doubters of "church", yet committed to Jesus, folks are also hawking their next new book or attempting to keep their brand relevant until the next book arrives.
It will be interesting to see if this wave of self doubting Christians goes the way of the most rebellious stages of life... trickling away once the "leaders" of these movements have made their money and eventually become "the man".
In the meantime, unless you're in the Pacific Northwest where choices are limited, find a bible teaching, loving church that "gets" you and is ok with you asking questions. While I will never be asked to be a deacon at my church, i'm comfortable in my skin there and will keep asking questions for clarity.