When I was 18 a friend of mine was reading a book from a controversial author. He asked me what my view of Hell was. He asked me why it was such a big deal to Christians because it was never mentioned in the Old Testament, and, it was only mentioned a few times in the New Testament. He revealed to me the meaning of the Greek word for Hell, Gehenna, and, the implications didn’t seem to implicate an eternal message for Jesus, but, a present reality. Gehenna, Google that crap. It’ll blow your mind. And, while I still maintain an eternal understanding for Hell. A belief that there is eternal consequences for our behaviors, I have since become more interested in people’s current Hell.
What that moment taught me is this; the answers we conclude are less important than the answers we formulate them with. Because, as my Evangelical Sunday School upbringing taught me, is that the answer is always Jesus. So who is Jesus. How I get to Jesus, is far more important than some belief about who he is, and, what he did. Because, some of the worst people I have ever met in my life claim the name of Jesus, and, they seem to have all of the right doctrines.
Last night, I was listening to Motion City Soundtrack’s song A Lifeless Ordinary. And, the lyrics just hit me like a shotgun to the chest:
“I think I can figure it out, but I’m gonna need a little help to get me through it, to get me through it.I always knew I had the answer but I never understood the question.”
I’ve learned in my life that I really do need a lot of help. Even if I already know the answer, even if I already know what to do, I need the help to get me to do it, I need someone to help give me the courage to face what I need to get myself through. And, sometimes, I need someone who may not have a more polished answer, but, someone who has a better question, a better equation, a better way, to help me get to the answer.
One of my favorite Philosophical illustrations is that of light. If we sit in a dark room, and, someone turns on the light, do we see the light? Or, does the light allow us to see it. Jesus, being the light of the world, presents The Way, to the Father. Sometimes, we need someone who has a better way, who shines brighter than us, to help get us closer to the answer. We need, the light to be turned on around us, so we can see where we can go.
Brian McLaren says it best when he says “New statements can lead us to a new state, but, new questions can lead us to a new quest.” Bring your questions to the forefront, bring your doubts to the surface. Society is changing, the Church is changing, we are looking for a new quest. Human beings are constantly looking to be redirected to their creator. Let us help each other get there.