… the requiring of an implicit faith, and an absolute and blind obedience, is to destroy liberty of conscience.Westminster Confession of Faith
This past Sunday we had our first youth group meeting at FPC for the new school year. Several of us gathered outside my office and we wandered into downtown to grab some lunch. As we ate, I opened the floor to whatever questions came to their minds. Somehow we found ourselves conversing about everything from Heaven & Hell to evolution to Hitler in less than an hour. All was done with good humor and in a spirit of discussion, not dictate.
Though there are few things I will ever tell young people with complete certainty in this life, there is one key thing that is at the very heart of what it means to be a Presbyterian that always bears repeating: question your religion. Question everything. If anyone ever tells you that you must believe this or that specific – run!
This principle dates back to the Reformation period and finds its backing, within our tradition at least, from the Westminster Confession of Faith. We are never to be bound by a blind obedience or a required faith. It would be against God’s own desires, since God is the Lord of our conscience and has given us much freedom to think.
One of the young people asked, why would anyone want to blindly believe? And several of us immediately answered: it is easier. It is so much simpler. You do not have to change. And many of our Christian brethren ascribe to such a faith. But that is not what God wants.
God desires us to use all of our gifts, including our mental faculties so that we might serve. This means not only continuously learning to avoid being ignorant of knowledge, but also forcing ourselves to see truths of which we would much rather remain ignorant.
The world is not as it should be. Though God is the only one who can ultimately transform it, we are a key part of God’s plan to do so.
So, whatever your age, keep asking questions. Check out everything you believe. Be sure you can back it up. And know that in this house of worship we will continue to wrestle with all the issues God is working on to evolve this world into the one God desires.
Blessings, Pastor Janie