When I was in university, we were most amused when a lecturer whipped out a book by the diplomat Kishore Mahbubani called “Can Asians Think?”
And actually, I’ve often wondered to myself – Can Christians Think? Or more accurately…Do Christians Think?
Let’s face it – Christianity is no walk in the park. Every day, I believe many believers goes through major or minor crises of faith. Which Christian doesn’t think to himself once in a while : “God, are you there?”?
But I also believe, from years of observation, that many Christians don’t think very much about biblical issues at all.
Every Sunday, I sit in the church courtyard listening to the sermon, and if I’m not fighting sleepiness (I have a tendency to sleep if asked to sit down for more than 15 minutes without moving), I’m sitting there and analysing the contents of the speech being delivered from the pulpit.
Perhaps it’s because I’ve spent most of my life in a communications job. But I’m not really critiquing how well a speaker speaks, but deep diving into the content and its relevance to me and my family’s life.
You see, every Christian also knows that there are many tough questions that non-believers and believers alike cannot seem to answer about Christianity.
The most basic one is “How do you know God exists?” and the more complex ones are like “Why do some people speak in tongues and others don’t?” and “How do you know you aren’t going to hell yourself?”
My biggest question is not related to all these though, but rather “How much are Christians pondering on these tough questions that may be raised from the pulpit? Is this church audience simply contented and let the sermon go in one ear and come out through the other ear?
Why do I say that? When I look around the audience, I see people who are soaking it in without much thought, and others who look like they’re considering the issues at hand. But even with the latter group, what is the point of thinking about an issue for a few moments and then leaving it all behind in the pursuit of lunch hour?
Please don’t mistake me for being judgmental here. I judge no one.
But I do seek to know if people think hard enough about what is being preached to them, and whether they accept things blindly.
Eg. if a pastor or priest tells you that XXXX is a godly thing to do, do you ponder why and do you check the Bible to verify if that is the truth? Can you differentiate the Word from what man-made doctrinal stands that your church elders have deemed to be divine? Or do you assume that the pastor is always right?
Our faith is an active, dynamic faith, and those of us who have been believers for some time know deep in our hearts, that God never stops testing us to make us better people and never stops encouraging us to believe in His grace. The Bible also demands that our faith never become lukewarm, and that we take it for granted.
Many display their faith and passion for Christ through action, and God bless them.
But many others just sit there in the pew and remain emotionless or worse, thought- less. Before there can be impactful action, there must be thought. To accept everything at face value in our faith (the clearest example being a “sermon sponge”) without thoughtful questioning and debate, is to waste the brain that God has given us.