It’s time we stop
Hey, what’s that sound?
Everyday look — what’s going down?
Yesterday I had a great session with Arnold. I had read him yesterday’s Catch about the cross, which he really liked, and then he asked, “Why don’t more Christians talk like this?” I think he was referring to the fact that I talk about biblical truth from the standpoint that I, myself, am struggling to understand it. I usually don’t have the final word on a subject; I’m in process, and I’m letting others in on the process and asking them questions to get them engaged.
I then launched into a long dissertation on the value of questions and of letting people think for themselves and come up with their own conclusions.
I talked about how Jesus taught by asking questions, not by giving answers. I talked about the Bereans, whom Paul commended for checking him out to see if what he was saying agreed with the scriptures. I talked about 1 John where John says we have no need for a teacher because the Holy Spirit teaches us, and how leaders of Christians need to have more trust in the intelligence and Holy Spirit in the people they lead. I talked about not telling everybody everything, but leaving room for their own thinking and their own conclusions. I talked about the Book of Job and how God “answered” Job’s over 200 questions with 78 more questions.
I then told him about Muriel, our eighty-something Catch member who wrote that the other people in her Bible class complain about how she asks too many questions and slows everything down, and how I told her to keep on asking; in fact, ask until they throw you out. Make a nuisance of yourself. They’re not interested in the answers or else they’d be asking, too. And I told him about the Doonesbury cartoon where a college professor was shocked to find a student who was actually thinking for himself instead of just taking down the prof’s words: “And I thought you were all stenographers.” Then when I had finally exhausted the subject, I thanked him for getting me on my favorite topic.
And now, as I write about this, I realize that in telling him all about the questioning process, I failed to ask him any questions. I violated my own point. I told him everything I knew. I proceeded to fill his head with a large amount of knowledge and experience that was mine, not his. Next time, I think I will ask him more questions.