“If a man is to live, he must be all alive, body, soul, mind, heart, spirit.”
― Thomas Merton, “Thoughts in Solitude”
Speaking to and from the culture of Christianity, I want to encourage you if your questions have been met with blanket statements such as “you just need to accept and deal with –insert doctrine here– and move on.”
The walk with Christ requires asking, seeking, accepting, letting go, and taking in various insights from others so that you can wrestle and also be encouraged in your times of prayer and meditation. Spirit is with you, as well as with the others who study scripture diligently and honestly while still holding different perspectives with one another. You are not alone, nor are you invalid in your thoughts, questions, and feelings.
Regardless of what you have been taught in your tribe to accept because “God’s ways are not our ways,” you don’t have to stop–and indeed should never stop–questioning things that do not seem to line up with God’s character. That is not making God in your image, that is trying to understand and give yourself up to the Divine. And God wants you to seek with all of your heart, mind, and spirit. God gave you those tools, not to use only one and ignore the others, but to use them in conjunction with one another as you seek Truth with the willingness to find yourself wrong. Truly seeking to find.
Seeking to arrive at a specific outcome or to defend a position is something different altogether-however also a good practice in the right moments. That is called Apologetics.
(from Greek ἀπολογία, “speaking in defense”) is the religious discipline of defending religious doctrines through systematic argumentation and discourse.
Unfortunately our mainstream Christian culture primarily focuses on Apologetics and not the dicier practice of seeking and studying and wrestling which builds the foundation of your faith. Seeking to find, not defend. This practice will continue for the entirety of your journey. You will hold on to things along the way that you will use to build your understanding. You will learn truths and disciplines. You will let go of things. You will make peace with Mystery. You will dive deeper and become more “solid” in your faith and more “real” as a piece of creation.
Sometimes, to be this bold in your interaction with the Creator, it means not “looking bold” to your particular tribe. But never give up the seeking and renewing of your mind. And always be willing to change. That is the richness of your faith. That is humility. That is what will draw you more to the Creator’s heart and will put you in a place of revealing God’s heart to the world.
You are never alone.
Never alone in your questions.
Never alone in your wrestling.
Never alone in your joy.
Christ is in you.
Christ is all and in all.