Christianity was supposed to be about becoming like Jesus. We went in the wrong direction.
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Necessary Questioning


Our public school system tends to operate in an economic industrial fashion as if the children were tubes of toothpaste to be filled. One result is that there is a deficiency of critical thinking that leaves these children more vulnerable to deception than those who have grown up in environments where navigating duplicity, deception, and even well intentioned error are normal skills.

The common presentation of Communism and Socialism is the premise that everyone can have everything all the time. While sounding attractive, it can be useful to subject such assertions to questioning and scrutiny to see if they are actually true. A former citizen of the Soviet Union once told me of a common saying, “They pretend to pay us and we pretend to work”. Being familiar with proof that an assertion is wrong is very helpful.

Christians can be presented with numerous and even conflicting doctrines (teachings) and it can be beneficial to question even those teachings in which one was raised to assure that one is not mistaken regarding where truth can be found. This can be difficult because questioning is often seen as criticism and can trigger strong emotions.

Consider asking the question, “What is the future for the nation of Israel?”. Some say there is no future, some say that Christians are now “spiritual Israel”, and still others say that a faithful remnant of Israel will receive their promised kingdom. One questioning the “God is finished with Israel” position might ask about all of the prophecies in the bible for Israel that have not yet been fulfilled. This is sometimes answered with the statement that everything was fulfilled in Christ. Here we are presented with an answer that is less than satisfying. This is a key point in the questioning process, that of how to evaluate answers.

Christians have the bible as a source of truth to which answers can be compared. However, this can be difficult when something seems to have biblical support. For example, prosperity Christianity can seem to gain support from verses in the Old Testament reflecting promises made to Israel. Knowing to whom a promise was made and under what conditions can very much aid in reducing confusion in using the bible.

Another method of evaluating something is to subject it to an almost mechanical modeling process. For example, if someone asserts the benefits of Communism, one can create a mental model of a system and see that how what one knows about people would not work in a Communist system.

In contrasting spiritual maturity with spiritual infancy we are told that discernment is developed through exercise (Heb 5:14). The tendency to be persuaded by various assertions is also compared to spiritual infancy (Eph 4:14). Constant questioning both of what one is presented and even what one has accepted is beneficial to sharpening discernment. This allows the discerning of what is true and is the path to spiritual maturity. Discernment is less about selecting a spiritual parking place than it is about a continual process of discovering increasingly deeper truths.



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