Rhett and Link Deconstruction – Part 2 (Read Part 1 Here)
Ah, questions. They are the foundation for our imagination. They beg us to explore possibility, innovation, and nearly unlimited knowledge. Parents have to carefully balance the inquisitive child asking countless questions with the annoying badgering of asking why. Teachers spend years in the classroom refining the art of asking the right kinds of questions to help students gain a deeper understanding.
Questions are fuel for the fire.
But I want you to stop and think for a moment and consider something. Is the same thing about questions true for adults in the church? Do questions drive our discipleship experience, how we raise our children to know Jesus and how we lead young people to a deeper faith and stronger foundation?
Perhaps. But as I listened to Rhett and Link’s podcasts deconstructing their faith, this was a question that continued to reverberate in my mind. They both discussed in great detail the seemingly endless stream of questions that lead them down a much different path than the one they were on. Many of the same questions I had, but with wildly varying results.
I believe this is more than just one or two podcasts. Or even about one or two popular public figures that once proclaimed to be Christian. I believe this about every kid, parent, or college student that was raised to believe in something but never taught why.
Questions compel us to ask why. And as I have taught students over the years, if Christianity is true, then no question ought to be off-limits. That, of course, does not mean every question can be answered. But at the end of the day, we must ask ourselves which worldview has the best answers to life’s most important questions—and do those answers provide a consistent and coherent framework for reality.
That doesn’t make the answers easy. And I believe that’s where we often go wrong—that just if we ask the question, the answer ought to be something easy to swallow. But Jesus never promises that. In fact, the reality is quite the opposite. Reality can be a jagged little pill.
In John chapter 6, we discover that even those closest to Jesus found his teaching often strange and confusing—even to the point of people walking away. But even when Jesus asks the twelve if they want to leave too, Peter gets it exactly right.
“Simon Peter answered him, ‘Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. We have come to believe and to know that you are the Holy One of God’” (John 6:68-69).
When I was in college, my mom and I decided that I should be a mechanical engineer. I like to create things. I have a huge imagination and always need a creative outlet. This would be a great solution to my need to create, and my mom’s need to see me in a viable career. But needless to say, the math was far too tricky. No matter how hard I tried, I could not wrap my head around advanced calculus.
Now imagine what might have happened if I continue to believe myself to be an aspiring engineer, but rejected the universal truths of calculus. It’s a ridiculous proposition because it could never happen. But so many former believers do precisely the same thing with Jesus. We assert to have the same life, the same morals, the same pursuit of beauty and goodness but refuse to credit the source—all because we asked a question and didn’t like the answer.
Parents and pastors: Let the questions fly
Teach your kids to ask them and to never stop. But also teach them that answers are sometimes like calculus (insert subject you hate), they don’t always make perfect sense.