Monte Hunt – Associate Worship Pastor
It is my understanding that there are only six questions that can be asked of any situation or circumstance: who, what, when, where, how, and why. But even if there happens to be additions to this list, the one I’d like us to focus on today is the most prominent, frequent, and important question of all – the why.
It is the most insatiable of questions, too. Think of the never ending “why” questions of a three-year-old. Even if they start with any of the other five, they always seem to gravitate to the black hole that is the realm of why. And as we go down the rabbit hole it is inevitable that our answers become more and more complex.
“Daddy, why do we drink milk?”
“Because it’s good for us.”
“Because our bodies need calcium.”
“Because it keeps our bones healthy and strong.”
“Because calcium is a nutrient that supports the structure and hardness of our bones and teeth.”
“… … … because… … … go ask your mom.”
Will we ever be able to answer this question of why to an infinite degree? I don’t know (this being the most common answer to the question). Yet I am deeply saddened by the reality that much of our culture today is perfectly content with leaving this question unanswered to almost any degree when it comes to faith and the question of “what do you believe about eternity?” Most people can answer this initial question with relative ease: I believe in Jesus (Christianity), or I believe all roads lead to heaven (universalism), or I believe there is no God (atheism), or I believe that nothing is truly knowable (agnosticism), and so on.
The “what” is the easy part. But ask the question why and about three rounds in many people’s views become clouded and filled with uncertainty. And to be perfectly honest with you, at some point down the line of why – mine do too! And this is normal. But my challenge to us all is to allow this unquenchable and ultimately unanswered question of “why” to spur us and drive us to discover more and more answers to it. Do not be satisfied with being able to answer what. Anyone can do that and it requires zero accountability. Search out and discover why you believe what you believe.
The apostle Peter honed in on the importance of this idea when he wrote:
“Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason (emphasis mine) for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect. 1 Peter 3:15b
I believe this to be a vital aspect of faith not only for Christians, but for everyone. We all believe in something, and the more we dissect, analyze, and research our beliefs, the closer we will come to discovering the truth. So yes, as a Christian, read your Bible – a lot. But also read about other religions, and read their texts as well. Read the Quran. Read the Book of Mormon. Read the Origin of Species. And religious or not: pray. Pray that God would reveal the truth to you. What do you have to lose by doing so?
Let us all be lovers of the truth, setting aside the notion of believing in what is convenient, socially acceptable, or comfortable; and instead, seeking to believe in what is. May we all be ready and eager to say: “I believe the truth to be found in the Word of God, and I’d love to tell you why…”