Leonard: Life, faith, God, questions, answers, and conversations
Search, the organization I am on staff with, does our best to answer the hard questions in life from a Christian perspective. They’re the questions that people rarely get around to talking about in social settings or even with friends.
It’s easy to talk about people, sports, the weather, and what you did over the weekend. It’s harder to talk about the big questions surrounding life, faith and God. In fact, there is an old adage that says “don’t talk about taxes and religion.” “Will I be misunderstood? Will I be judged? Will others judge me?”
However, what I have found out is that most people want to have the conversation, especially with someone who has studied faith. At least once every few months my wife and I get invited to a friend’s house for some kind of party that involves multiple couples. Sometimes we know everyone. Sometimes we know almost no one.
This summer, it was a Fourth of July party and just when the burgers were off the grill my friend called everyone together and then looked at me and said, “We have a Pastor here tonight. Scott, will you thank God for the food?” Looking back, it would’ve been classic had I said, “Nah. I’m good. Let’s just eat the burgers.” Or maybe, “Thanks for asking but how about someone else does it this time.” I’m sure all of the facial expressions would have been priceless.
Of course, I would be happy to, and so I did. And, as always, as soon as I said “Amen” I had someone quickly approach me and say, “You’re really a Pastor? Like you went to school for it?” Then he invited someone else into the conversation and for about the next 30 minutes we talked about life, faith, and God.
His friend had a pretty minimal religious upbringing and mentioned having lots of questions. And having kids who had lots of questions. I laughed and handed him my business card. It says, “SEARCH: Questions. Answers. Conversations.” A few weeks later, we got to have lunch and continue the conversation. I betcha’ that there will be more to come.
“How can a loving, all powerful God allow so much pain and suffering?” “Isn’t Christianity just a crutch (for weak people)?” “How can you trust a document (the Bible) that is thousands of years old?” “How good do you have to be to get into heaven?”
These are a few of the most asked questions, and I love getting to share the Christian perspective, especially if there’s an Americano in my hand. We might disagree on the answer, and that’s OK, but at least I get to clear up any misconceptions about the Christian faith. Unfortunately, the misconceptions abound (and even blow me away sometimes).
We don’t know what we don’t know, and I’m finding out that I actually know what a lot of people don’t know (in this area) but that they know a lot of stuff I don’t know in other areas. Ya’ know what I mean?
In these crazy times of COVID-19 and an election year, I’d love to offer to buy coffee if you want to ask any questions and hear the Christian perspective and what the Bible says. I can bet you that we’ll have a great time and that you’ll probably be happily surprised with the answers.
Scott Leonard is the area director for Search Vail Valley. You can reach him at email@example.com