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REALLY BIG QUESTIONS

Dear Crosswalkers,

You may have heard that in the past couple of weeks, Joshua Harris, an effective pastor of a megachurch announced he was leaving his wife and his faith in Jesus.

Then a well-known Hillsong worship leader and song writer named Marty Sampson posted this on Instagram: “Time for some real talk...I’m genuinely losing my faith...and it doesn’t bother me.” He went on to say: “How many preachers fall? Many. No one talks about it. How many miracles happen. Not many. No one talks about it. Why is the Bible full of contradictions? No one talks about it. How can God be love yet send four billion people to a place, all ‘coz they don’t believe? No one talks about it. Christians can be the most judgmental people on the planet—they can also be some of the most beautiful and loving people. But it’s not for me.”

Apparently, the next day he deleted this post and clarified that he hasn’t completely renounced Christianity, at least not yet. He did say his faith was quite shaky.

It is shocking to me that he says people are NOT talking about the troubling aspects of the Christian faith. In my world, in the books I read, people talk about it all the time! The Bible has really big answers to our really big questions!

In fact one of the books I’m reading now talks about these things: Confronting Christianity: 12 Hard Questions for the World's Largest Religion, by Rebecca McLaughlin. This is an excellent read. McLaughlin holds a Ph.D. in Renaissance Literature from Cambridge University and a degree in theological and pastoral studies from Oak Hill Theological College in London. She also spent 9 years at The Veritas Forum, where she helped Christian professors from leading secular universities to articulate their faith in relation to their areas of expertise.

This is one of the many resources I am using for a NEW SERMON SERIES called REALLY BIG QUESTIONS, which will begin on September 15. It is not a sin to doubt, or to struggle with your faith. In fact, out of our doubts and struggles can come an ever stronger faith. The healthy thing to do is talk about it! That’s why we are presenting this series. If any of your friends or family are struggling with their faith, I hope you will invite them to this series where we will explore the REALLY BIG QUESTIONS of life. For example, we will be looking at questions like,
     AM I JUST AN ACCIDENT?
     HOW CAN I BELIEVE THAT WHICH CANNOT BE PROVEN?
     WHAT KIND OF GOD IS GOD?
     HOW CAN I DISCOVER MY IDENTITY?
     WHY IS THE WORLD SO UNJUST?
     DOES GOD CARE ABOUT MY HAPPINESS?
     IS THERE ANY HOPE FOR THE FUTURE?

We will provide study questions for each topic, so that you can discuss these important issues with others. Please consider joining a small group for this series! We will be forming new groups soon!

This series is designed for all those who have serious questions about Christianity and life, whether a believer or not.

By the way, love always wins in the end. I’m happy to say that rather than receiving judgment, Marty Sampson experienced the prayers and blessings of many of his Christian friends. “The kindness that has been shown to me is overwhelming,” he wrote. “I see it, I feel it, and I hear it. Regardless of how you see me, as an apostate or as a brother, I never wanted to make anyone doubt their own faith, nor convince them to take another path than the one they are on. We each have our story.”

His story isn’t over yet.

Neither is yours.

The last chapter remains to be written.

That is good news!

I hope to see you Sunday!
 
Blessings,

Pastor John

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