There are times I think the word “skeptical” could define my generation. We, probably more than any other generation, have seen a height of corruption whether it be in government, churches, or economics. This can even be on the individual level as many have experienced parents walking out of their lives. Therefore we really have a hard time with trusting people, and these trust issues transfer to the church.
I’m not sure if it was the environment that I was raised in or just my perception. I like to give people the benefit of the doubt so I will blame it on me. When I was younger I almost believed it was wrong to question anything I was taught theologically.
That changed as I got into college. In fact college was the place while others were shutting off their brains I challenged everything that I was being taught. A couple of my classmates didn’t like this and would confront me about it outside of class. But I did have a professor who, in his office, thanked me for continuing to think because it challenged him and kept him sharp.
The church should be a place for skeptics. Not the kind that believe they have everything figured out and are jerks to those who believe differently from them. I’m talking about the kind of skeptic who continues to ask questions and look for evidence of things. The ones who have not totally formulated their belief of whether they believe in God or not.
I believe that a lot or our poor theology today comes from the last generation not being skeptical enough. Not that they should have been skeptical, but that they didn’t ask questions. They only believed what they believe because that’s what their parents believed or what their pastor or their church believed, and didn’t own the truth or understand it for themselves. In doing so, down the road they don’t have a true faith, because it wasn’t their faith, it was someone else’s.
This reminds me of Acts 17:11 “Now these Jews were more noble than those in Thessalonica; they received the word with all eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so.” In this verse we see skeptics. They challenged everything they were taught and their teacher wasn’t Tim, but the apostle Paul.
A lot of times churches do not want skeptics because they’re afraid that it will turn people away from the truth. Let’s think about skeptics another way. Allowing people who don’t know truth to be able to ask questions may allow them to find the truth. There is also a good chance that other people who also have the same questions who are listening in as well.
If you come to Cornerstone, where we invite skeptics, I just ask for your patience. We look forward to people asking questions but remember we’re trying to answer a lot of questions for a lot of different people. It takes time to find answers to these questions. I have a stack of books right now that I want to work my way through in order to answer some of these questions that some of my congregation or friends have asked me.
Churches, don’t stop the skeptics from coming or asking questions. Invite them it with open arms. And if you are the person who is skeptical, come, ask the questions, and be willing to be patient as you find the answers to them.
Thanks for taking time to read this Maddening Theology post. If you enjoyed this content you can find Pastor Tim’s sermons at www.cornerstoneforestcity.org. You can also join us at 520 Marion St. Browndale, Pa 18421 on Sundays at 10:45 AM. To make following the blog easier you can also register. You can also join us on Facebook at Cornerstone Forest City. Also, don’t forget to download our APP on iTunes or Googleplay.