How To Ask a Question (or how not to) – Part I

It is often said that there’s ‘no such thing as a stupid question.’  That is abundantly true.  Questions are great!  Questioning can mean searching for the truth.  Questions can seek light, information, and answers.  Asking questions is also an important way to connect with another person.  Questions search out who another is, where they are at, and what they believe.  This is important while engaging someone with the hopes of telling them the Gospel.

Questions are important in Church too!  That means Christians must always be asking questions of God and the Scriptures.  We need to always be on a quest for truth, and that quest is impossible without questions.  Any good pastor or preacher loves it when people ask questions.  Sometimes there are answers, sometimes there isn’t – but an honest search is always encouraging to me.

While there no such thing as a stupid question, there are ways we question that aren’t a real search.  Let’s look at the very first question ever asked in God’s Story – the Bible.

Eve!  Don't listen to him!  He's asking questions to bring darkness not light!

Eve! Don’t listen to him! He’s asking questions to bring darkness not light!

Now the serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said to the woman, “Has God indeed said, ‘You shall not eat of every tree of the garden’?”  Genesis 3:1

Now the questioner here is the serpent in the Garden of Eden.  Who is the serpent?  *he’s the devil!*  Here he is asking a question.  But is he looking for an answer?  Almost certainly not.  Look how he asks.  Instead of asking “what has God said?”, he asks “has God really said…?”.  He is not seeking knowledge but rather wants to cast doubt and confusion on what God has clearly revealed.  Eve was not helped by this question, neither did she learn anything.  The Serpent certainly didn’t want to learn anything or be changed  by any knowledge.

This is a stunning reminder to us that as we ask questions of God, the Bible, and one another that while questions are good they must be asked to receive more light and not darkness.  Many questions don’t seek to illuminate but only to obscure.  Many questions don’t seek truth but instead want to deny it.

Questions are so important.  Why are we here?  Is there a God?  If so, what is He like?  What is His will?  How then should we live?  The world, both those inside and outside Christian faith, needs to explore those continually and learn what answers we can.  But we can only arrive at truth if we approach our questioning humbly and honestly.

When you ask a question, are you seeking truth or trying to obscure truth?

Stay tuned for How To Ask a Question (or how not to) – Part II

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3 thoughts on “How To Ask a Question (or how not to) – Part I

  1. Pingback: How To Ask Question (or how not to) – Part II | Words of Truth & Reason

  2. Pingback: How To Ask A Question (or how not to) Part III | Words of Truth & Reason

  3. Pingback: How To Ask A Question (or how not to) Part IV | Words of Truth & Reason

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