Questions

I mentioned in my previous group about one of my lovely youth groups. Its reasonably small and all the young people come from a church orientated background or have been going to church for a while. We  started back in January and as a leader theres that post Christmas panic when you realise you havent planned a session let alone the rest of the term. So I used a cop out, I used my first session back to help get the young people to plan the sessions – brilliant, right!

Over the last five months in post here in Conwy, theres been a real theme emerging from my work and my visits and my volunteering/volunteered(ness) at things like Faith and Order and 3Gen. This is the idea of questions and having a safe space to ask questions discuss them and not necessarily come out with a definitive answer, but having explored deeply the topic at hand. At Uni I hated the big questions discussed late at night, when one should have been writing assignments because then it felt like work. Now I really want to delve into the big questions and the little questions, not because I have the answers but because its a great way to start discussions (note not massive arguments  that rely on not just scratching the surface but that involve real meaning and a deep sense of authenticity…

So, back to my youth group (bless them)…. I gave them paper squares and a writing implement and asked them to write down any question they ever wanted to ask, there was no limiting wether it was a church based question (I’m very lucky the minister who hosts the group has a degree in Chemistry – plus theres always google) and gave them the evening to write down these questions. They were however not allowed to share these questions on the night. I collected them in, and was surprised by the amount of questions (I’m not sure why) but even more surprised at the range of questions. Tonight I want to share them with you:

PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE write any comments, suggestions, ideas, knowledge on any of the questions (they are numbered). You as a reader here can add depth to my youth group discussions. Give me pointers or help.

The Questions:

1.     Should we suffer as Christians?

2.     Why didn’t God just kill us off and start again? Or why didn’t he just get rid of the devil?

3.     How would you just casualty talk about God to an atheist?

4.     How do I show I’m a Christian in school?

5.     Can you be religious and scientific?

6.     How do we know we’re right? Are all other faiths wrong?

7.     Relationships?

8.     What are pastafarians?

9.     Does God hate people?

10.Why did people think the world was flat?

11.How fast can a cheetah run?

12.How many people are there in the UK and the world?

13.How big is the sun?

14.What is the speed of light?

15.Is the ark of the covenant in Ethiopia?

16.Why does God always appear as a cloud?

17.Is it good to have different denominations in Christianity?

18.Why did God kill Uzzah?

19.What is the strangest thing in the bible?

20.What is the longest chapter in the bible and what is it on?

21.What is the shortest chapter in the bible and what is it on?

22.Whose is the most important women in the bible? (excluding Mary)

23.How do fizzy drinks have bubbles?

24.What is fire?

25.What is the meaning of life?

26.What is gravity?

27.What happens when you die?

28.How does the brain learn about the brain?

29.How did language start?

30.What happens to the disciples after Jesus went to heaven?

31.Will there be a new bible one a day if Jesus returns?

32.Are there pagan religions left?

33.Why don’t some people believe in God? As in how do some singing sciency things, suddenly prove that God’s non-existent?

34.Do animals have a religion?

35.Why do so many religions originate from Israel and Asia?

36.How many wise men were there really?

37.Why did God choose Israel of all people to start a new religion?

38.When will Jesus return?

39.What is epiphany?

40.How much of the Da Vinci code is true?

41.What happens when we die?

42.If there are overly-extreme Muslims, are there overly extreme Christians too?

43.Why did the disciples becomes disciples? Why did Jesus choose those particular people?

44.Why didn’t God make one world for animals and one world for humans?

45.How old should we be when we marry?

46.Why did God make the world?

47.Should we remain virgins until we marry?

48.Am I worthy?

PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE write any comments, suggestions, ideas, knowledge on any of the questions (they are numbered). You as a reader here can add depth to my youth group discussions. Give me pointers or help. Is there a question you’ve ever wanted to ask? Let me know.

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3 thoughts on “Questions

  1. 1. Should we suffer as Christians?I think there are 3 ways to take this question – “As Christians, should we suffer while no one else does” – no. “As Christians, should we suffer while everyone else does” – yes. “Should we suffer to be able to be called a Christian?”  the most interesting interpretation, and the one that I don’t know the answer to. I would like to say no, but I think deep down I think yes; while the world is not as it should be, why should others suffer while we who are called to serve do not?2. Why didn’t God just kill us off and start again? Or why didn’t he just get rid of the devil?I have no idea. Free will, I suppose! 3. How would you just casually talk about God to an atheist?Depends on the atheist. I tend to bring up stuff in the news or go on about what I was up to over the weekend, which usually involves a Christian activity of some sort! Plus, now most of my friends know I’m a Christian and so they’re not bothered about asking me questions.4. How do I show I’m a Christian in school?To me, this is more about an attitude that you have at school. By that I mean be caring to all your schoolmates (whether you’re actually friends with them or not) and just generally nice people!5. Can you be religious and scientific?Yes!6. How do we know we’re right? Are all other faiths wrong?This might be a slightly unchristian answer… but the best way of describing this I ever heard was as an analogy. The blind men (religions) were walking along one day and came across something in the road (hint: it’s God). The first man put out his hands and felt a tall, rough, rounded object. “It’s a tree!” he exclaimed. The second man put out his hands and felt a tall, rough, fat rounded object. “That’s no tree,” he said, “that’s a pillar!”. The third man was not convinced. He put out his hands and felt a long, thin rough, bendy object. “I have no idea what you two are feeling,” he said, “but this is a rope!”. Each man was describing what he was truly feeling; they are in fact all feeling the same object – an elephant. 7. Relationships?What about them?8. What are pastafarians?They believe in the flying spaghetti monster, don’t they?9. Does God hate people?No, I don’t think so.10. Why did people think the world was flat?I would imagine because that was what they could see. If someone told you that there were people walking around thousands of miles beneath you, would you think that it were true?11. How fast can a cheetah run?Very. around 65 miles per hour, I think, but only for short distances.12. How many people are there in the UK and the world?UK: approximately 63.6 million (April 2012)World: approximately 7,093,568,000 (but the number keeps going up!)13. How big is the sun?The mean radius of the sun is 432,450 miles (696,000 kilometers), which makes its diameter about 864,938 miles (1.392 million km). That means that the sun's circumference is about 2,713,406 million miles (4,366,813 million km).14. What is the speed of light?299792458 m/s, but we mainly say 3×10^8.15. Is the ark of the covenant in Ethiopia?Maybe. I personally find it quite hard to believe that a wooden structure could survive around 3,000 years, but I’m no archeologist so I can’t say how likely it is. There are certainly reports that that it is there…16. Why does God always appear as a cloud?He doesn’t. He’s appeared as a burning bush (to Moses), a man (as Jesus) and as himself (to Adam and Eve).17. Is it good to have different denominations in Christianity?I think so, yes. No one is the same, so why should we all worship God in the same way?18. Why did God kill Uzzah?I guess cos God said “you will die if you touch the Ark” and he touched the ark, so he died. I know it sounds a bit harsh, but they did have fair warning!19. What is the strangest thing in the bible?I suppose that depends on your opinion of strange! 20. What is the longest chapter in the bible and what is it on?Psalm 119. I think it’s about a lot of things!

  2. 21. What is the shortest chapter in the bible and what is it on?Psalm 117, which is about praising God.22. Whose is the most important women in the bible? (excluding Mary)Depends what you class as important. I think that Ruth is a pretty good role model for young women today. 23. How do fizzy drinks have bubbles?They’ve got carbon dioxide in them, which is less dense than air so it rises. The carbon dioxide is bubbled through the drink before serving (in a restaurant) or before bottling (in a bottle). 24. What is fire?Basically, the fast oxidation of stuff (usually wood) by combustion.25. What is the meaning of life?Ah, you can only find that out by living!26. What is gravity?A force of attraction.27. What happens when you die?To your body: it decomposes.To your soul: who knows? Realistically, no one knows, as no one’s been there.28. How does the brain learn about the brain?The same way it learns about anything else, I suppose.29. How did language start?I suppose when communication started… so it’s always been here.30. What happens to the disciples after Jesus went to heaven?I guess they moped around for a bit, and didn’t really know what to do! Then when they all met up (like a school reunion) one time, Pentecost happened…31. Will there be a new bible one a day if Jesus returns?Surely there wouldn’t need to be, as Jesus would be there? Also, as the Bible is a collection of books rather than one book, I doubt it.32. Are there pagan religions left?Yup! 33. Why don’t some people believe in God? As in how do some singing sciency things, suddenly prove that God’s non-existent?I don’t know.34. Do animals have a religion?I don’t think they have a religion, as such. I think that they know God’s there though.35. Why do so many religions originate from Israel and Asia?The general theory is that humanity started off in Africa, and then migrated across to Asia. As this is where people were, it makes sense that this is where religion started.36. How many wise men were there really?No one knows :)37. Why did God choose Israel of all people to start a new religion?I don’t know. Maybe they were the only people who stayed faithful to him? Or maybe just because?38. When will Jesus return?No one really knows that either :)39. What is epiphany?The feast of epiphany is on 6th January, and is the celebration of the wise men coming to Jesus.40. How much of the Da Vinci code is true?I have no idea.41. What happens when we die?Who knows?42. If there are overly-extreme Muslims, are there overly extreme Christians too?Yes. Westboro Baptist Church are examples.43. Why did the disciples becomes disciples? Why did Jesus choose those particular people?I don’t know, you’ll have to ask him  I’d guess because they were special to him in some way.44. Why didn’t God make one world for animals and one world for humans?Because man was supposed to look after the animals, and it’s a bit tricky to do that if you live on different worlds.45. How old should we be when we marry?Older than 16, because that’s the law.46. Why did God make the world?Because he wanted to do something good.47. Should we remain virgins until we marry?That’s a personal decision. The Methodist Church definitely encourages chastity (i.e. not having sex) outside of marriage and fidelity (i.e. only having sex with your husband/wife) within it.48. Am I worthy?Yes.Just my two penn'th!:)

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