How often do we actually question our beliefs?
It seems to me that the general problem with most people is that they (including myself) can easily say, “I believe this but I could be wrong,” while still acting as if they know that they are absolutely correct in their assumptions. Honestly, if that were actually true, we wouldn’t be so sure of our beliefs.
I am not saying that skepticism about everything is the answer. I do not wish for people to simply reject all the systems with which they believe and decide to not believe in anything. That is impossible. We are all given a story when we are born.
For example, I am white, male, and from the south. The chances of me growing up in a Christian (read: Evangelical) family or community were pretty high. It may not be solely for this reason that I am a Christian – I understand that there are those born outside of traditions that willingly take part in them. What makes me think I can be arrogant enough to simply assume that those stories are “correct,” simply because I was born into Evangelicalism?
There are a multitude of ways to express Christianity. Think of Catholicism, Greek Orthodoxy, Methodism; the list could go on and on. Simply because I operate with a certain hermeneutic of Scripture and interpretation of the Christian tradition, it doesn’t mean that I have Christianity “right.” For that matter, I’m coming to think maybe there isn’t a “right” way (in the sense that we think of labels like “right” and “wrong”) of being a Christian. And perhaps this even works outside of Christianity. Simply because I am a part of a tradition that has perpetuated a certain understanding about life, death, the afterlife, unbelief, heaven, hell, and so on, does not mean I can automatically assume my “rightness.”
Please do not misunderstand me. I am not saying this so that Christians will question their beliefs to the point of unbelief. I am simply asking for Christians to be willing to honestly question our beliefs. To put them on the chopping block, so to speak, with the willingness to give them up if they are shown to be unTruth (yes, Truth with a capital T). This is the only way we will be true believers. Otherwise, our faith is misguided. We are arrogant if we assume anything else.