To Question or Not to Question?
Is it really wrong to question? No! — quite the contrary. The Scripture recommends God’s children prove, test, search, study and increase in knowledge. They are encouraged to FULLY comprehend wisdom, gain understanding and to be FULLY persuaded concerning their beliefs. They are instructed to: “Be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear” 1 Pet 3:15.
Paul wrote long letters to answer questions. Jesus answered His disciples’ questions but evaded some of the Pharisees’ trick questions. Jesus often asked questions to teach, arouse attention and provoke thought. Many asked questions in the New Testament. See: Mat 18:21, 21:23, 22:17; Acts 16:30; Gal 3:19, 4:16; Heb 2:3; 2 Pet 3:11. While God’s children should not question God, their Creator, the Bible explicitly recommends they question men, and makes no exceptions for certain men.
Scriptures Approving of Questioning:
Luke 1:4: “…know the certainty of those things wherein thou hast been instructed.”
John 5:39: “Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.”
2 Tim 2:15: “study to show thyself approved unto God… rightly dividing the word of truth.”
1 Thes 5:21: “prove all things and hold fast that which is good.”
2 Pet 1:5: “…add to your faith, virtue, and to virtue KNOWLEDGE.”
Jas 1:5: “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God that giveth to all men liberally and upbraideth not, and it shall be given him.”
Acts 17:11: “…searched the Scriptures daily to make certain whether things were so…”
Rom 14:5: “…be fully persuaded in your own mind.”
Col 1:9: “…be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding.”
See also: Col 1:28-2:2; Eph 3:18; Ps 90:12; Is 1:18
ANYTIME scripture is used to imply that it is wrong to question MEN,
the scripture is being misused, misinterpreted or taken out of context.
THIS IS FOR CERTAIN!
It is simple to prove this for yourself. Review the following Scriptures which are sometimes quoted to insinuate questioning is wrong (1 Tim. 1:3-4, 4:7; 2 Tim 2:14, 2:23-25, 4:3-4, 6:3-4; Titus 1:14, 3:9; Luke 9:45). Are the Scriptures being used in context? Do these Scriptures imply it is wrong to question? What was the author’s real meaning and intent?
Authority & Standard
To whom do you answer?
Obey? Submit to?
To whom are you accountable?
Whom are you trying to please?
Your Authority is the one who holds you responsible; the one to whom you answer, the one to whom you must give account. If you answer to the Lord, then the Lord is your Authority, your only authority. When you professed, you committed yourself to a relationship with Jesus and assigned control of your life to Him. In effect, you said: From this day forward, I submit to Jesus’ control; I lay aside my will, and instead, I will do His will. When you allowed Him to be your Lord, Jesus became your Authority.
How do you please Jesus, your Authority and Lord?
How should we then live?
Good Master…what must I do to be saved?
What are His rules? What are His standards?
God…hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, Heb 1:2. What Jesus had to say is the guidebook for a child of God. There is only one reliable source on earth for Jesus’ words — the Scripture. The Bible contains ALL the essential criteria for salvation…the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus, 2 Tim 3:15. The Scripture is completely sufficient to give us ALL God’s will and purpose for our lives.
What is the ultimate standard for right or wrong; true or false; good or evil?
Is it whether or not a belief or practice:
(1) agrees with a worker?
(2) agrees with the New Testament? 1 John 5:9
Some claim the New Testament teachings are their highest Authority, yet give equal importance to the workers’ words. Is Jesus your supreme Authority? Is the Bible your only standard? To publicly assert your Authority and His standard is no small matter. Whosoever, therefore, shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven. But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father, Matt 10:32-33.
Who holds you accountable?
To whom will you ultimately answer?
Who is your judge?
Who holds you responsible?
Your Authority does. Those who have chosen Jesus as their Lord and authority believe that after death “…every one of us shall give account of himself to God,” Romans 14:12; and the standard by which everyone will be judged will be: “The word that I (Jesus) have spoken the same will judge you on the last day,” John 12:48.
Since you are individually accountable for your actions in this life, is it not imperative for you to know and understand exactly what you are expected to believe and do? Especially since YOU will be the one who has to explain your failures to live up to the standards of your Authority. Can you afford not to ask questions? Not to think for yourself? Not to know why you do what you do?
Can you risk submitting yourself to the total control of another? “There is ONE lawgiver, who is able to save and to destroy: who art thou that judgest another?” Jas 4:12. It’s very risky to submit blindly without question to a man, men or a belief system devised by fallible men. The stakes are too high — eternity is forever! Shouldn’t you remain in total control of your actions, since you’ll be the one who will have to answer for them to your Lord and Authority? You, and nobody else!
There won’t be an intermediary between God and you — except for Christ. You won’t be able to rely on your blind obedience in following what the workers told you to do. They don’t have the power to intercede for you. If the Israelites couldn’t look to Abraham to save them, how could the workers save you? “They told me to” will not excuse you for not proving and testing things for yourself. What reason will you give for not making sure yourself that you are following God’s will in your actions? The Bible advises you to “prove all things,” 1 Thes. 5:21. Why did God give YOU intelligence and the ability to reason, if He didn’t expect you to use it?
It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man. It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in princes. Ps. 118:8-9. And Jesus said…Take heed that no man deceive you, Matt 24:4.
Assignment or Placement
What is your place?
What is God’s purpose for you?
Who assigned your place to you?
Everyone pays the same price to become a member of the body of Christ, by making a conscious, free decision to submit their will to the Lord. There are no inferior or superior ranks in the body: “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus,” Gal. 3:28. God is the One who assigns the members their various gifts and offices: “But now hath God set the members, every one of them, in the body as it hath pleased him,” 1 Cor 12:12.
Jesus never transferred or assigned His authority to the servants; never gave the servants the right to set the members inside or outside the body of Christ. Christ never intended for servants to rule over other members, and it is not the servants’ place to rule. “Delight is not seemly for a fool; much less for a servant to have rule over princes,” Prov. 19:10. The servant is NOT your Lord and authority, or your ruler. The Bride answers to the Bridegroom only: “. .to his own master he standeth or falleth,” Rom 14:4.
Hebrews 13:7, 17, 24 refers to those who have the rule over (Strong’s Concordance No. 2233). In the Greek, the phrase “rule over” meant those who lead and guide you. The servants were not appointed to rule over members of the royal priesthood. “For three things the earth is disquieted, and for four which it cannot bear: For a servant when he reigneth, Prov 30:21-22. No matter how great the sacrifice, the Bible never awards servants the status of a go-between, or gives them the right to rule over the members. “For there is one God, and ONE mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus,” 1 Tim 2:5. “There is ONE lawgiver, who is able to save and to destroy: who art thou that judgest another?” Jas 4:12.
How much control and authority the servants have in your life is entirely up to you. You are controlled or submitted only to the extent you allow it. According to Paul, to the extent you give anyone more control and more authority than Christ, you deny Christ: “…do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ.” Gal. 1:10.
How do you view spiritual things you don’t understand?
Do you presume you aren’t spiritually mature enough to comprehend some things presently?
Do you assume you will understand them when you’re older?
Do you trust yourself to judge and guide yourself? To make sound spiritual decisions? To make right choices?
You should! The same Holy Spirit lives in and guides ALL God’s children! “For by one Spirit are we ALL baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been ALL made to drink into one Spirit,” 1 Cor 12:13. Jesus promised that the Holy Spirit would safely guide believers through the mazes in life “…when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth,” John 16:13.
Could there possibly be a guide or leader more excellent or more qualified than the Holy Spirit who dwells in you?! Thus equipped, you are more than competent to evaluate and make wise and right decisions; more than capable of knowing God’s will for yourself; and “…ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie,” 1 John 2:27. Who are you listening to? Who do you take your orders from? The gentle voice of the Holy Spirit to you personally? Or a middle man? You do not have to look outside your Bible for direction.
A child of God is royalty “…sons and daughters of the King, by adoption: unto our God, kings and priests,” Rev. 5:10. Every child of God is a member of the royal priesthood. YOU…are…an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus …a royal priesthood,” 1 Pet. 2:5-9. The children of God have access to the Father, through their Great High Priest, Jesus. Now that God has spoken through His Son (Heb. 1:1-2), once and for all (Jude 3), there are no middlemen, except Jesus Christ. God no longer operates as He did in former times. Under the Mosaic Law, no one could approach God without going through a priest, a middle man. God approached His people by going through prophets, also middlemen. NOW, God doesn’t use middle men. He doesn’t give revelation exclusively to servants, priests or prophets; doesn’t give messages to a middle man to give to His children; doesn’t give private interpretations to some. The Holy Spirit guides each believer, individually, and illuminates the Scripture directly to them
The Right to Question?
Who has the right to question?
Is it your right to question as a child of God?
How does God feel about questioning?
YOU HAVE THE RIGHT to question anything you are expected to believe or practice because… every one of us shall give account for our actions to God, Romans 14:12. Don’t feel apologetic for asking questions about what you do not understand. It’s your right to prove your faith and to know what you believe; what is expected of you and why. You simply can’t afford NOT to ask questions!
You ALWAYS have the right to ask for a speaker’s supporting evidence and reasons. It is understood without saying that a speaker is able to justify a belief or claim they verbalize in public with adequate evidence and/or sound reasoning. If not, they should have phrased their statement as their opinion or preference, which it is. An unproven claim is merely an allegation, accusation, opinion or theory.
In other words, if someone asserts that X is bad for you, you have the right to ask why they believe X is bad, or what makes X bad? If someone asserts that you have violated certain rights or standards, you have the right to ask how, and to request proof that the alleged standard is indeed in force. For example, if someone claims you violated one of their constitutional rights as an American citizen, you have the right to ask what precise law or right they claim you broke; and you also have the right to ask for proof of how/when you violated the standard.
A child of God also has certain rights, privileges, and duties under their constitution, the Bible. If someone asserts you have violated a Biblical standard, they should be able to clearly point to the exact standard (verse) you breached, and be able to give proof of how/when you did so.
A belief is a statement that is either true or false. A belief stands or falls upon its own merits. Truth is truth. Either there is or isn’t proof that a belief is true. When someone publicly declares a belief or makes a claim, you have three choices:
1. You can accept and believe it.
2. You can reject it or believe that it is false.
3. You can suspend judgment about it.
Critical Thinking is the careful and deliberate determination of whether or not to accept, reject or suspend judgment about a belief or claim. The ability to Think Critically is vitally important to you, since you make your decisions based on what you believe and accept as true. Your life may depend upon it. Critical Thinking involves many skills, including the ability to listen and read carefully, to evaluate arguments, to look for and check out assumptions, and to trace the consequences of a claim. A Critical Thinker doesn’t take everything at face value. He doesn’t assume — he proves for himself whether a claim is true, questionable, dubious, or false. A Critical Thinker is a skeptic — he doesn’t buy just everything! He doesn’t let others make up his mind for him. He doesn’t allow his “…liberty (to be) judged of another man’s conscience,” 1 Cor. 10:29. All things must conform to Truth.
The most common method to check out a claim or belief is to ask questions. Sometimes it is like pulling teeth to get straight answers though. All answers are replies…but not all replies are answers! Some replies do not even address your question(s). There is nothing shameful in asking an honest, sincere question with the purpose and motive to learn. As someone wise said: Only a fool thinks he knows everything. You have the freedom to inquire; to search for Truth. One must ask questions to obey the Scripture; to discover information; to be able to rightly divide truth from error; to be fully persuaded.
You are the one who is in charge of your life; the captain of your soul; the master of your fate. As the person held accountable, you have the right to know why; the right to question; the right to make judgments. You have the right to ask why this fellowship holds the beliefs and practices you are expected to follow; the right to evaluate the reasons given; the right to measure the reasons according to your Authority and His standard. These are your unalienable, non-transferable rights that go hand-in-hand with accountability. Beware of anyone who tries to persuade you differently!!
“Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage,” Gal 5:1.
What are you going to do?
Follow men who say it’s wrong to question them or their beliefs and practices?
Follow the Bible that says to prove all things?
By Cherie Kropp