I have been invited to go out to Luther College here in Melbourne on Monday and speak to two Year 11 Religious Education classes. It is to be a general exploration of “the BIG questions”. When I was invited, I suggested that it might be more fruitful if the students had a bit of a think about what they wanted to ask, and wrote down some of their questions before hand for me to consider. Their teacher (the one who invited me) asked them to write down the questions they would ask God if they had a chance to do so. The scarey part is that I’m supposed to suggest how God might answer these questions. “You ‘are’ God for the day”, the teacher tells me.
Well, the first thing I think I will tell them when I arrive that I am most certainly and definitely NOT God, and so don’t expect me to be able to respond as if I were. I need to make it clear that anything I say in respect to these questions is a purely human attempt to understand God’s ways. Perhaps the illustration of St Augustine’s dream of the child with the shell at the beach would be appropriate from the beginning.
In any case, I asked the teacher’s permission to use you guys here at the commentary table on this ‘ere blog as my “extended consciousness”, and to ask you to give me a hand with how you would answer any of these questions. The teacher says they deliberately left in some of the “silly ones”. I can see which ones they are, and yet I can also see in this the point that “there is no such thing as a silly question” and even these have their benefits.
Any way, if you down there at the end of the table could pass the port bottle around, we’ll get started. Here are “the BIG Questions” as passed on to me by the teacher from the students. In your replies, please reference the question to which you are responding. Note that “you” in these questions is God. And no, I don’t quite understand what question 8 is about either.
1. If we were created in the image of God, does that mean that we have the potential to be perfect?
2. What will the rest of my life be like? (eg Marriage)
3. How do you choose who has a tough/hard/sad life and who does not?
4. How should I live my life?
5. Why are people born ‘gay’ if this is frowned upon in the Bible?
6. If God is so powerful, can he create something so heavy that he cannot lift it?
7. How do you know what is the right decision?
8. Why do people not realise what they are doing and take their own life?
9. Why can’t the Bulldogs win a premiership?
10. Why do people get sick and die?
11. Why are so many people ‘tools’?
12. Do you answer everyone’s prayers?
13. Is it really a sin to love somebody who is not a Christian, when God says that He is Love?
14. Are our lives planned out for us before we live it?
15. Why can’t we speak to dead people?
16. Why don’t you stop people from doing bad things?
17. Why do you let Satan live?
18. Why is life so complicated?
19. DO you believe in karma?