Friday, November 03, 2006

Kicked Out Of Bible Class

I got kicked out of Bible Class at church this past Wednesday night. It has been a long time since I have been ejected from a Bible class. Here is the whole story from Junior High till the other day.

When I was growing up at church in Junior High I used to get kicked out of Bible class VERY regularly. There was one member, to whom I am deeply indebted for his commitment to instilling the words of scripture into us young men and women by sending us home with pages of homework to complete each week, who kicked me out of class EVERY SINGLE WEEK. I believe he thought I was being cheeky. I will still argue that even at 12 years old I had serious faith issues in the status quo of the church and my questions were genuine, but looking back now as an adult I am sure that a Junior High boy asking the deep troubling questions of faith did probably seem disingenuous. As I matured I realized that people did not WANT to answer the tough questions, instead they wanted to ignore them as if Faith was Left Brained exercise of quantifiable fact so I stopped asking the questions and made it through my remaining years of secondary school.

In College I was honored to be instructed by William Kooi, a man who was unlike any other Bible teacher I had ever had. I found my hope for faith in the teachings of Dr. Kooi. Dr. Kooi was not only willing to ask and provide guidance to the answers to the tough questions of faith, he basically demanded his students to ask them. I changed a lot in my two years with Dr. Kooi and I once again was renewed in my hope for the church and it's honest search for truth.

So here we are 10 years later at church the other night. A lady who I value for her simple uncomplicated faith asked a genuine question that one could possibly imply was "blasphemous" for a person of faith to ask. She was attacked by the crowd, and I raised my hand to defend her. In my defense and answering of her question I called the "answer" of an older member of the church who is a retired minister an "immature and irresponsible" reading of Psalm 22 (My wife died on the spot) and explained a holistic view of the gospel from the fall in the garden to the cross as it related to the relationship between the Father, the Son, and mankind.

Well, the teacher OBVIOUSLY did not agree with my answer. Although I was not physically ejected from the room, as I had been so many times in those younger days, I was clearly ejected from the remaining conversation. The teacher would look directly at my hand raised in the air and refuse to call on me as if there was no one waiting to comment, or by taking the comment of another class member. Towards the conclusion of the class, another member asked an equally serious and challenging question. The instructor directly LIED to her and told her that the Bible did not address the question. I raised my hand a final time to offer rebutal to his ignorance, but was shunned from the conversation.

So Wednesday, November 1 2006, can go down in the memoirs of my life as the first time since Junior High that I have been kicked out of Bible Class.

P.S. - I actually had book, chapter, and verse to answer the question since it is answered PRECISELY by Christ's own words in scripture and my daughter and I had just read that chapter of John two evenings before. Funny!!!

P.P.S. - I mobed the previous P.P.S. to the correct post :-)


Anonymous said...

Excellent Blog. I hope to be reading you more often.

Anonymous said...

Why is it so many Christians are afraid to think? Truth is truth. There is no need for us to be afraid of the tough questions.

It is attitudes like the one you experienced that perpetuate the idea that Christians are unthinking lemmings who have to check their brains at the door of the church house. It make no sense.

Kevin J Bowman said...

My issue with the "lemming" theory of Christianity is that we give such kindling for the fire. I mean if we can not answer honest questions in the safety of our group, how can we seriously expect to have the ability to answer the tough questions that unbelievers genuinely have. I continue to be amazed how "weird" I find Jesus EVERYTIME I read the gospel of John. I can hardly believe in a God this demanding, this accepting, and this radically different than any view of God I have, and all at the same time.

chip said...

I can think of other times you SHOULD have been kicked out of class!

Kevin J Bowman said...

I too can think of MANY times I NEEEDED to be kicked out!