"Has it ever occurred to you that you might be wrong?"
No. It hadn't.
At least not in 33 years of life. I mean, that's enough time to decide dogmatically what you are comfortable accepting as right and balking at the rest, right?
So what happened? Why did some of my theology change? I consider that an easy answer:
I realized I was actually able to ask hard questions.
For the first time in my life I was told that I was safe, with God, to question things I had been taught. Most people have this happen in college and then some abandon their faith. Not me, I was secure in the Gospel. No matter what changed in any of my views on God, the Church or The Bible, nothing altered the obvious anchor of my soul: the birth, death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ and it's finished work to save me.
However, everything else was up for debate. And that is an unnerving place to be. Mainly, because other's aren't so comfortable with my questions. Others don't feel the same freedom that I do to question long held traditions of thought that can easily be argued another way using another set of Scripture. Some others can tend to focus so much on where I will land on a particular issue (that has been debated for centuries by Christians the world over) and forget to see what brings us together.
I just said to a friend today: I'd give anything to go back to where I was three years ago. Where I was much more willing to just take a position and believe I was absolutely RIGHT! And everyone who disagreed was simply, wrong.
And seeing as how I don't want this post to be about "what" your theology "should" be and more about what to do if you start asking hard questions, let me tell you this: BE BRAVE! Trust that the questions or the doubt can not separate you from the love of the Father.
Here is a quote from a gal I admire, Rachel Held Evans:
"I’ve decided to quit apologizing for my questions. It’s not enough for me to maintain my intellectual integrity as a Christian; I also want to maintain my emotional integrity as a Christian. And I don’t need answers to all of my questions to do that. I need only the courage to be honest about my questions and doubts, and the patience to keep exploring and trusting in spite of them.
The bravest decision I’ll ever make is the decision to follow Jesus with both my head and heart engaged—no checking out, no pretending.
It’s a decision I make every day, and it’s a decision that’s made my faith journey a heck of a lot more hazardous and a heck of a lot more fun. It means that grinning monster, doubt, is likely to stick around for a while, for I know now that closing my eyes won’t make him go away. It means each day is a risk, a gamble, an adventure in vulnerability and trust, as I figure out what it means to follow Jesus as me, Rachel Grace—the girl who cried for Zarmina, the girl who inherited her mama’s bleeding heart and her daddy’s stubborn grace, the girl who digs in her heels, the girl who makes mistakes, the girl who is intent on breaking up patriarchy, the girl who thought to raise her hand in Sunday school at age five and ask why God would drown innocent animals in Noah’s flood, the girl who could be wrong.
It means I’ve got a long race ahead of me, but I’m going to run it with abandon. I’m going to run it as me. Because I think that’s what God wants—all of me, surrendered and transformed, head and heart engaged."
(read the entire post here).
Ultimately, that is my heartbeat. To remember that it's okay to be vulnerable. It's okay to disagree with those that you have long since been in unison. It's okay to be wrong. The wonderful thing about a life lived with God is that it is never stagnant. I will be learning and re-learning so much over the next (however many) years I have left. But I want it known that I wholeheartedly believe that God will redirect me as needed. The pendulum will swing with less force and settle in the middle at times and then at other times, it will fling wildly to one side. But I will never be dogmatic in anything accept the preciousness of the Gospel of Christ and it's power to change my life.
For now, I will go back to consuming Mere Christianity by C.S Lewis to help keep me grounded by that anchor.