Over this weekend I have been facilitating another Manna and Mercy course—going through that special book written by Dan Erlander that not only takes us on a journey from Genesis to Revelation in a humorous yet profound way, but also helps us to question our own faith understandings from a radical Jesus perspective. One of the hopes I have for CMM is that we continue to be a questioning community. A community that feels free to wrestle with God like Jacob of old. To test long-held beliefs and refuse to settle for shallow answers, and to do all this without judgment or the fear of rejection—remembering that our aim is not to always agree with each other but to grow. The letter quoted below is written by a friend of mine when she was 11 years old. I find her courageous to go toe-to-toe with God and I find her 11-year old logic compelling.
I’m not very religious in the sense of the Christian religion. I believe you gave us life to live it and not to praise you. You already have enough self-confidence, you don’t need me to praise you, well that’s what I believe. I love you Lord, you know I do so, why then should I praise you? Is praise not saying that I love you? I don’t praise my family. But I love them more than anything in the world. Why can’t we enjoy life? After all it’s the most precious gift given to us. I don’t believe most of the stories told in the Bible. They tell us how you helped kill Goliath. Should you not be a peaceful God? Aren’t there other ways of dealing with problems? Do you have to kill people? Why can’t you break his leg or something? No actually, I suppose that’s violent too. Well you could have thought of something. Still I don’t believe you did it anyway, so I’m not accusing you. When I go to a church service about you being an almighty God, and if we sin we will burn in hell. We shouldn’t feel threatened by you.
Encouraging you to question…Alan