Recently I was discussing a “political” post on facebook with a friend of mine and a man (a stranger to me) inserted himself into our discussion and ended it by saying “STOP” and in a second post gave his motive as “debating theories and or perspectives should not be conducted in such that, it could confuse or halt young beginning Believers.”
I am VERY concerned about this stranger’s stated motive—not discussing hard issues young Believers might observe—it is my opinion that faith that is not tested or questioned is not a faith that can stand during hard times. I believe open discussions of hard issues should take place as long as the participants are respectful of each other. I believe that each of us go through many “tests of faith” in our lifetime and not examining why we believe what we believe or Who is the God we say we believe in is what will leave us stripped of the strength needed to walk daily through the trials and tribulations.
When I was growing up (LOTS of years ago), I was taught that it was the right thing to do to “search the Scriptures” to see if what I was being told lined up with the Word of God or to talk with an older believer about questions. However, as I reached upper teen years and into my twenties, there seemed to be a change in the way the Church taught and it became “bad” to question what you were told by the leadership and to search it out for yourself.
This is a major concern to me about this man’s statement because I believe young Believers should be encouraged to explore their “faith” searching the Scriptures for the Truth, seeking God’s Way through the world we live in, knowing that every situation we face is known to God and His promise is to never leave us nor forsake us AND to guide us—not to mention that we are told to “try the spirits” to see if they be from God. None of this is possible if we are not having the difficult discussions openly and allowing questions to be asked and answered and differing perspectives explored.
Not teaching “young believers” to question what they are told, to explore why they believe what they believe, to examine differing beliefs under the Light of God’s Word leaves them unequipped to face the darkness in our world and there are those who distort God’s Truth for their own reasons.
Each of us who claim to be “followers of God” should be confident coming into His throne room and saying, “Father, I don’t understand, please give me wisdom.” or even “Oh, God, I am so confused, guide me.” It should always be the Word of God that directs my steps, not my blind allegience to some leader, either secular or spiritual. Often, someone else’s experience can help me see an issue in a less biased way which is one reason we need each other and we need open exchanges of opinions–light always overcomes darkness SO bringing issues into the “light” of respectful, open exchanges of thoughts and questions removes the power of “darkness” to deceive.
Just for context: I do not claim to be able to read anyone’s heart, so I do not judge this man, but I have some problems with the rudeness and inappropriateness of stepping into a discussion you are not a part of and telling those involved that they cannot be involved in it either. Note: neither my friend nor I were being disrespectful to one another or doing any name calling, etc., this was really a discussion where we were sharing opinions as opinions and I was looking forward to hearing his thoughts and why he viewed it the way he did, but this stranger broke in after I had shared my perspective so I never got to hear the “reasons” behind my friend’s thoughts . . . sad.