an infestation

infested with questions cartoon by nakedpastor david hayward

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Just yesterday I heard from three different readers of nakedpastor who were told the following in a church setting:

“You’re not allowed to ask that question. Please move on.”

“Questioning your beliefs is dangerous and God will punish you for it.”

“How dare you ask that question!”

Some see questions as an illegitimate disease. Others see it as a legitimate dis-ease. Using your mind to investigate something can turn the idea you’re exploring into your own.

The more questions the better. I hope you can find a safe place to voice your questions.

About David Hayward

David Hayward runs the blog nakedpastor as a graffiti artist on the walls of religion where he critiques religion… specifically Christianity and the church. He also runs the online community The Lasting Supper where people can help themselves discover, explore and live in spiritual freedom.

  • Chester McMackin

    ON INFESTATION :. In my thousand years of life’s experience, I have seen each of those comments to which you refer.. Questions I have asked ,as questions without ulterior negative intent, have , for the most part been answered with comments which reflect only the brain wash training the answerer has. In other words , I have seen, mostly, the political response at which so many of our government reps, and other “leaders” are so adept.

    It is the old story: If you can’t convince them…..Confuse them, and most will respond with a nodding agreement as an indicator they are not ignorant. Politicos and others generally take the head nod AS AGREEMENT.

    The most difficult task in determining TRUTH is the vagueness, or narrow minded, fixed interpretations we people apply to messages passed down from the ancient past.

    Put ten people together , yet separately asked a question, and you will likely get at least nine different responses .

    Any wonder that people with limited background in matters spiritual absent themselves from the confusion created by the “learned ” ????

  • http://profiles.google.com/mrhackman Andrew Hackman

    Yep… I was told, “There are many new believers here… please keep those questions to yourself.”

    Translation: Our indoctrination cycle is not yet complete….

  • http://forthisisthetime.blogspot.com/ Esther Aspling

    Sounds to me like the people saying those things have never fully explored their own questions. How sad!

    http://forthisisthetime.blogspot.com/

  • docqualizer

    As a child, I was taught that if you do not know the answer, ask a question. Why should religion be any different?

  • Al Cruise

    I my case, the pastor would tell us only he knew how to interpret scripture correctly.Especially when he wanted his way in how things were to be done in Church.

  • Adam Julians

    I hear the concern expressed at people asking questions.

    I’m also aware that for some, their faith feels threatened by people asking questions. This might be the dynamic in what has happened in the kind of responses that have been made to questions as quoted.

    A profound influence has been Fowler’s different stages of faith. Only those that reach stage 5 of their faith are open to and can engage with different worldviews according to Fowler. It would make sense therefore that these would be the kind of responses given by folks in different stages.

    I see the problem potentially as twofold – sometimes those in positions of leadership not being in a place of maturity to be able to handle such questions well when they come up. And a false expectation placed on leaders.

    Fowler’s stage 4 of faith describes the kind of dynamic that I think is being expressed here well, and could help with understanding and coping with such expereinces.

    http://faculty.plts.edu/gpence/html/fowler.htm

  • sma9231961

    Questions are regularly encouraged in our church. Our pastor asks for them.

    We aren’t ‘goose step’ Christians.

  • klhayes

    What is funny is that people who want to tear down the Govt and other institutions never question religion. No matter how much it was inspired by God, religious institutions are run by people and vulnerable to all the same problems as any institution.

  • Brigitte Mueller

    German Sesame Street Jingle goes: “Who? What? Why? Why? Why? Those people who don’t ask questions stay dumb. There are so many interesting things to see everywhere. Sometimes you have to ask questions to understand.” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Ix0N9b_kpg