Phil Yancey, my favorite current-day author, once submitted a monthly column to “Christianity Today” in which he raised questions that he did not answer. He observed that column received more reaction from readers than any other column he had written.

In a similar vein, today I will raise questions that I shall not attempt an answer. For the record, I would never compare myself to Yancey and I am in no way attempting to get people to respond to this article; however, maybe some of these questions will stimulate our own thinking.

- Why did God create pesky, irritating, pain-producing mosquitoes?

- Why is it as easy for some people to be an atheist as it is for others to be a Christian?

- Do pets go to heaven and will they be reunited with their owners?

- Why do we blame God for the bad things in life and not credit him for the good?

- Why have I been privileged to be born in America and not in some third world country?

- Why does God so often seem silent and hidden?

- Why do some people who pray not get well while others who don’t do?

- How is it that some non-Christians act more like Jesus than professed Christians?

- Why do most people feel that plants are insensitive to pain and that animals are incapable of the pain of grief and loss?

- Why do many of us who ought to know better worship at the altar of technology and gadgets?

- Why do most people, including many Americans, feel their culture is superior?

- Why is it that some people who despise hypocrites live in such a way that they will spend eternity with them?

- If tragedy supposedly disproves God’s existence, shouldn’t pleasure re-establish it?

- Are we truly entitled to “the pursuit of happiness?”

- How is it that some people who frequent every restaurant in town refuse to attend church because of its diversity?

- Why do the most vehement arguments seem to center around religion and politics?

- How does one avoid the opposite pitfalls of giving God too much or too little credit in the happenstances of life?

- Since God created sex, why does much of the church act as if it knows nothing about it?

- Why do those Christians who don’t want public schools indoctrinating their children feel that those same schools be a place in which they are free to advance their own agenda?

- Why do some people feel the immorality of their own wrong behavior is somehow lessened by the hypocrisy of others?

- Why do obvious sins receive greater condemnation than those which are more secret?

- If there really is life “our there,” will we Christians have an obligation to share our faith with it?

- Are we better off having discarded the older belief that the aged should be respected and their wisdom valued?

- When does human life begin? When does it end?

- Proclaiming ourselves to be Christian, how does our nation explain the way we have often treated other peoples?

- Are all people created equal, or are some created “more equal than others?”

- Why is it easier to be disgruntled than thankful, pessimistic than optimistic?

Just wondering…

Jonathan Payne is pastor of Panola United Methodist Church and can be reached at or by phone at 864-341-6794.