Are Faith Laws Killing You Softly?

When my son was three years old and learning to ride a tricycle, he ran into a retaining wall, repeatedly. I turned the steering wheel so he would go away from the wall, but he got mad. He wanted to figure it out for himself. Allowing my son to keep hitting the wall gave him the opportunity to learn. He didn’t want a quick and easy solution.

There’s a problem in having quick and easy answers in Christianity. It steals the opportunity for personal wrestling and personal growth. There is an old Hebrew tradition of putting students in groups of four. Then the students are encouraged to wrestle with one another.

Today, I’m looking at a rule in Christian communities, or faith law, that needs to be broken. Jacqueline Bussie in Outlaw Christian describes an unwritten rule:

Law #3: Never question.

In the American culture we value people who are certain in their faith. While this can be inspiring, it hinders the spiritual growth process. Could it be that the unwritten Christian rule, Never question, is more a reflection of American values rather than Christian values? Jacqueline Bussie writes:

The time has long since passed for these unwritten rules to be debunked, challenged, and condemned the way the FDA banned the toxic Red Dye No. 2 in the ’70s. It’s time for Christians— and anyone else who wants to join us— to become outlaws, because these fabricated laws are killing us softly. Jacqueline Bussie in Outlaw Christian

What happens when you hold a question inside and aren’t given the freedom to wrestle? Is it toxic for your system? Is it dishonest? What happens when you are not free to voice what is inside? It can kill you softly.

youth content

A little 12-year-old boy got kicked out of the Catholic Church catechism. He was full of questions. His wasn’t satisfied with the pat answers. He followed up the answers with more questions. After a few days, the nuns asked him to leave. True story. How many people are leaving church (or asked to leave) because they aren’t allowed to wrestle? And quick answers don’t satisfy.

When we don’t let people within Christianity critique Christianity or talk about the stuff within it that baffles or hurts them, they will just walk away. Jacqueline Bussie in Outlaw Christian

In church, when all we hear are people who have fantastic stories of overcoming and never hear stories of suffering and wrestling, we unwittingly communicate that all people are expected to be at the end of the process, to have “arrived.” Those who are still in the middle of growing pains feel as if there is something wrong with them. There is a difference between the beginning, the middle and the end. Not everyone has come to the triumphal end. In fact, the Christian church is right in the middle of transformation and it feels like chaos. This is right where we should be because you can’t go from the old to the new without the middle section of chaos.

©2017 Belinda Perez McDanel


7 thoughts on “Are Faith Laws Killing You Softly?

  1. Love this! I relate to it a lot. I’ve come through a time of much change due to allowing questions. While writing my book I came across an article similar to this and have never forgotten a line he used in it. “Questions are the tools of the explorer”.

    My husband had a similar experience as a boy as the boy you talk about. Except he wasn’t told to leave, he was told to stop.

    I have to look into that book you refer to.

    Thanks for writing this!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Danielle for your reply. My dad was the 12 year old boy in the article. It’s so important that we are free to explore in faith. Especially since we are always growing.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. The one I refer to I’ve completed and it’s available on Amazon. Writing it changed me. I asked a lot of questions.

    It’s a memoir. Emerging With Wings: A True Story of Lies, Pain, And The LOVE that Heals. It’s the story of my journey through childhood traumas into wholeness. Here is more information on my blog if you’re interested in investigating it. https://www.daniellebernock.com/emerging-with-wings/

    Like

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