“Do cats have souls?”
“Is it okay for me to marry a second wife while still married to the first? That’s in the Bible right?”
“If God is so powerful why did it take him six days to create everything? He could have done it in one.”
“Do you know if there’s a version of the Bible on YouTube? I like to watch things rather than read.”
As a pastor, I get a lot of questions. I wish I was as smart or as insightful as people think that I am. I don’t mind the questions, and I usually find the reasons behind the questions to be more interesting. When there’s time for a discussion, I enjoy helping people work out the answers to their challenges. It’s more difficult when people want a quick answer to a tough question that has vexed theologians for centuries. (Did you read that sentence according to your own free will, or was it predestined that you would read it?)
Seldom are there easy and straightforward answers to some of the Bible questions that I receive. It often takes some work to track down possible answers. The way we approach the reading of the Bible will impact how we interpret it.
Some people are unhappy when I give them an answer they don’t like. Others are frustrated by not being able to get an answer that seems clear enough. There are some things we just don’t know. There are times when we have to trust God and act on the information we do know. The reason for this is that we really are limited in our ability to understand.
Paul starts his first letter to the Corinthians with a discussion about the wisdom of Christ and the power of God. The way God acts, he writes, seems like folly to many in this world. God’s wisdom is not at all like our human wisdom. Why, for example, would God use the cross to bring us salvation? Paul concludes that “the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength.” (1 Corinthians 1:25)
God doesn’t work according to the way we think he should. He delights in making use of things we think are too simple. The wisest among us are not able to figure out how God works, and yet we know enough to know that we need Jesus and that he will get us to where we need to be. Our other questions will be answered when we get to heaven.
By the way, I don’t think cats have souls. (No hate mail, please.)