Sjolander Road Fellowship




Declaring the God of Unconditional Love

the question why

12/9/13

 

Most have noticed that young children love to ask why. Sometimes it seems that their questioning is motivated more by the joy of discomforting their parents than actual curiosity. Despite that appearance, we understand that young minds are growing and learning which necessitates questioning. Questions are the natural outgrowth of serious thought and the best expression of the need to learn. To the extent we would discourage all inquiries from these young ones, we would undoubtedly stunt their mental and emotional development. Questions can be challenging and tiresome for those who must deal with them, but they cannot be avoided without negative consequences.

 

That observation is equally applicable to our  religious/spiritual well being. The question why should be ever before us. Like the young child above, we may not receive an immediate answer, but the process of pondering and formulating the resultant questions is powerful and essential if we desire to grow spiritually and if we want to own a true personal faith, not one simply handed to us.

 

The penchant of institutional religion to dismiss questioning as a valid expression of religious experience is totally counter productive. The idea that one can learn and grow without the practice of inquiry is a basic problem in any proposed educational process. When education, be it secular or religious, is reduced to simply memorizing and regurgitating "long established facts" the results will be a shallow form of acquired knowledge, accumulated "facts" with no understanding of why they are understood as valid. The "fact" that the text book says a "fact" is a "fact" should never be sufficient without further evaluation.

 

Until we embrace the essentiality of deep reflection and constant questioning, we will never be able to become truly educated or in a broader sense even fully human. Curiosity drives the creative impulse in us all. It is the spark that lit the fire of current day technology. We desperately need a similar religious fire, one which burns away the dross and reveals the true gold.