I'm preparing the proposal for book 3 in the Banned Questions book series: BANNED QUESTIONS ABOUT CHRISTIANS. Add your taboo, controversial questions (sincere and respectful, please) to this list, & vote for your favorites. Yours might make it in the book!
More and more denominations and christian communities are welcoming GLBTQ people, as well as Ordaining GLBTQ as ministers. Is this really possible?
Preachers like Joel Osteen preach about Jesus wanting us to be rich. Where does this belief come from? Wasn't Jesus poor? Didn't he tell rich people to give everything away?
Historically Christians feel compelled to make Jesus look and dress like they do. Why? Do Christians do anything simliar today?
Some Christians believe the bible is without error and the only real authority for living, but they ignore parts of the old and new testament. Why hold on to 6 verses on homosexuality but ignore books and chapters about slavery?
Do all Christians not believe in science? Can a scientist be a Christian? Have there been famous scientists that were Christians?
In too many instances, the most gracious, gentle, peaceful, thoughtful, patient, kind, generous and steadfast people in my life have been non-Christians, while the most judgmental, mean-spirited, greedy, superficial, intolerant and war-mongering folks have been Christians. This is not always the case. But too consistent to be the exception: Christianity is not breeding the sorts of people it claims to be, and "the world" seems to be responding by turning out secular people who are actually more like Jesus. What's the deal?!
Why are there so many different names for people who lead churches? Is it "pastor", "priest", "father", "bishop", "brother", "Reverend", "sister", 'mother" Is one better than the other? Which one is "correct" (if any)?
Some Christians quote the writings of Paul more than the teachings of Christ. How do you balance what was written and attributed to Christ and the writings of Paul contained in the letters in the NT?
Do all Christians believe Jesus died for their sins? Why or why not? And if not, what do they believe about why Jesus died?
Over the centuries, Christians sometimes treated those who disagree with them very poorly, including other Christians. For example, several European countries fought bloody & violent wars in the 1500s and 1600s just so one form of Christianity would have dominance over another. Does it still happen? Why?
Are Mormons, Jehovas Witnesses, Seventh Day Adventists, Spiritists, Christian Scientists etc... really christians?
Do Christians have to be baptized? Why do some sprinkle while others immerse? Which one is "right"?
What do Christians believe about disaster and suffering in the world? If God has a plan, why is suffering part of it? How do Christians reconcile suffering in their own lives?
James Carroll wrote a book called Constantine's Sword that shows how we've been formed by (sometimes subtle, sometimes blatant) hostility and resentment of Judaism. What would Christianity look like if it embraced the full legitimacy of Judaism? How would we read the Hebrew Bible differently? Could it actually bring us closer to Jesus?
If all Christians basically believe the same thing, why do they have so many different denominations? And if there are so many denominations struggling to survive, why don't they just combine with other ones?
If "Christian" actually means "follower of Christ," could someone be a student of the life of Jesus without accepting the claims of his divinity, or claims of the existence of any divinity at all?
I have visited churches who use grape juice and cracker-like chips in their worship service and refer to them as "wine" and "bread." There has to be a reason for this. That makes sense.
I've met lots of people who say they are Christian but haven't been to church in a long time. I've even met some who say they were raised Christian but never went to church. Can you be Christian outside of a community of Christians?
I understand the concept of heaven and hell and that our bodies are mere vessels for our souls - they die but our souls last for eternity. When a baby is conceived, where does that soul come from - is it created at that moment or has it been floating in existence in the universe from the beginning of time?
It seems like most Christians focus a lot more on issues of sex and sexuality than any other issue. Why?
Why does "living a Christian lifestyle" mean they quit drinking alcohol, or cussing, or watching r-rated movies, or listening to secular music?
I hear Christians say all the time that, good or bad, everything happens for a reason. What about genocide? Famine? Rape? What could the reason possibly be? Does there have to always be a reason?
What defines an emergent Christian? Is is a worship style? A Theology? What is it trying to achieve? Is there a difference between "emerging" and "emergent" or are they synonymous?
Where does the idea that so many Christians and political leaders maintain about the United States being a Christian nation come from? Do all Christians believe this?
How is it that so many Christians support -- or even call for wars -- when one of names for the Christ they supposedly follow is "Prince of Peace," and Jesus urged love for enemies and non-violent responses?