According to Mike Mobley on pastors.com, It’s Okay to NOT Have All the Answers.
“Christianity is not about having all the answers and knowing everything. Being a follower of Christ does not equal being a Biblical Scholar (not that there’s anything wrong with that). In fact, I would say it’s quite the opposite and as believers in Jesus, it’s a lifelong commitment to learning and growing in our walk with Him. The sooner we can admit that it’s ok to not have all the answers, the better.”
Mobley goes on to list 3 key points on this topic that it’s important for Christians to remember:
1. “I don’t know” is safe to say
2. Be authentic, don’t impress
3. Let Scripture be the authority
His first point parallels what Timothy Paul Jones has to say about Christ’s second coming on Christianity.com. In the video What’s the Problem With Setting a Date for Jesus’ Return? Jones asks,
“If Jesus was able to obey his Father perfectly on the earth, which he did, without knowing the time when he himself would return, then why do we think we need to know?”
The topic of end times (such as Christ’s return and the afterlife) is a subject which is good to keep in mind in this area. These are all things hinted about in Scripture, but often spoken of through strange prophetic images, parables, or metaphors. The honest truth is that there’s simply very little we actually know about things like the second coming, heaven, hell, and eternity. And what we do glean from Scripture is often vague enough that many different conclusions are plausible, as evidenced by denominational differences throughout Christianity.
Cliff Young’s Crosswalk piece “Why Do We Need to Have Answers for Everything?” falls along the lines of Mobley’s 2nd point: Be authentic, don’t impress. In this article, Young discusses the struggles of growing, listening for God’s plan, and trying to figure out life while trusting in God to provide and lead.
“What I have discovered over the years (through some difficult lessons) is sometimes I don’t need to have all of the answers. In fact it’s refreshing and freeing to say once in a while ‘I don’t know’ or ‘I don’t have the solution.’
Some of us have an innate ‘need’ to find and enter into situations (welcome or not) to ‘fix,’ make right or change (for what we feel is best). Even worse, oftentimes that ‘situation’ is a person and we ‘move into’ a relationship in order to ‘solve’ what we may see is a need when we should just trust God to do it through them.”
On Mobley's 3rd point, Carmen from Life Blessons reminds us to look at the life and words of Jesus as displayed in Scripture, and not to let apologetics get in the way of true evangelism.
“I think that as Christians, we tend to …[think] that if we are going to ‘evangelize’ then that means we have to have all of the answers about why God allows suffering and what going to hell means and how old the Earth is and whether King David really lived or why God does this or says that or what this or that really means.
Having all the answers to those kinds of questions falls into the ‘apologetics’ category. They're good questions and ones that many of us wrestle with, to be sure. But do we have to have the answers to them?”
No, she writes. In order to share the good news, Carmen says we should,
“Focus on Jesus and how his good news has affected me. Tell people about how he has changed my life and how he has shown me his love and how he’s saved me time and time again.”
After all, according to Paul’s letter to the Corinthians:
“For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then [I shall see] face to face; now I know in part, but then I will know fully just as I also have been fully known” (1 Corinthians 13:12).
Debbie Holloway is the Family Life Editor for Crosswalk.com
Publication date: November 20, 2013