This is a free sample from the introduction and first session of our all-new high school curriculum, Can I Ask That Volume 2: More Hard Questions About God & Faith.
Can I Ask That?
It was the little things that did it.
Not big stuff like doubting the existence of God altogether, but little stuff. Like hanging out with her best friend from Thailand whose family practiced Buddhism. Or her church leaders’ lack of response to two huge back-to-back incidents of racial injustice in national news.
It was the little things that led to Kayla’s drift from God.
One of those little things was the way her parents responded when she pointed out things in the Bible that didn’t make sense or didn’t seem very loving. How could God be all-loving and then damn good people to hell for eternity? Can we do anything that God wouldn’t forgive? Whenever Kayla raised a question like this, her parents either flipped out or shut her down with their blanket response for everything: “We just have to trust that the Bible is right and not expect it to defend God to us.”
At church it was more subtle. Kayla could see her volunteer youth leaders’ inconsistencies in the way they were living outside of church and by what they shared on social media. She wasn’t sure she really knew any people who were living out all the stuff they said they believed. And whenever someone questioned God or a Bible passage in youth group, the high school pastor would respond without really answering the question and then change the subject.
Yeah, lots of little things.
So when Kayla found herself as a junior telling her parents that she didn’t want to go to youth group anymore, she couldn’t fully explain why. But she knew what she couldn’t do: ask questions. For too long and from too many voices, her questions just didn’t seem good enough for the church or her parents. Or God.
Or maybe the bigger problem was that God wasn’t big enough to handle real questions. Who needs a God like that?