I’m going to start a new category on my blog listing some of the wacky questions I get asked. WordPress lists the search engine terms that people type in that leads readers to my blog, and some of those make you wonder what people are thinking. I’ve often laughed to myself, but decided other people might want in on the joke.
I’m not making fun of anybody. There’s an old saying that there are no stupid questions, only stupid people who don’t ask questions. Often times though, the very question being asked reveals the person’s misunderstanding of the subject. What’s funny is not that someone doesn’t know the answer, but that their whole mindset is misguided. This is especially true of theology. Instead of trying to live a life without sin, people want to figure out just exactly how much they can do without getting into trouble. At other times, people misconceive entire Biblical precepts, and treat the scripture like an Old Farmer’s Almanac, or some big book of random answers. The Bible is telling a story; most of it is narrative. Yet people treat it like an encyclopedia of random and unrelated information, and they pick scriptures out of like like recipes from a cookbook.
Not too long ago, a person came up to me and said to a friend over the shoulder “He’s a preacher, we’ll ask him to tell us.” I didn’t know what was coming, but it had to be good. “People tell us that we’re committing adultery, but I don’t think so. We are sleeping together, but we’re not having sex. That’s not adultery is it?” Wow. It was just like when the Pharisees tried to catch Jesus in some kind of zinger that he couldn’t answer his way out of. We sat down and had a long talk.
Just this morning I was checking my blog stats and such, and in the search terms list was the question “What is the dress code for protestants?” Well the simply answer for that is it depends on which ones you ask. Mennonites are protestant, but their dress code differs greatly from Southern Baptists. The Church of God might answer one way, a member of the local Community Church might answer another. I grew up among fundamentalists who didn’t allow shorts to be worn anytime by anyone. Other churches in the same denomination have people coming to church in shorts. There is no way to answer the question, but rather a long discussion about why the question itself is flawed.
The new category is trivia question theology. I’ll be checking in from time to time. We’d love to hear your stories.