Two viral videos have caught my eye in recent weeks.
The first is this very funny, controversial video made by a couple of guys questioning some of the laws and controls imposed on us here in the UK – laws which seem to have crept in and become accepted and obeyed without anyone daring to question why. With an incredible wit and with the passion and communication skills of a seasoned evangelist they enable the scales to drop from our eyes and give us permission to ask why we don’t think twice about complying with so many unwritten and arguably unhealthy laws and expectations. (It is 8 mins long – so grab a coffee before you watch – and make sure you don’t spill it because you will laugh!)
The second video appeared on BBC News yesterday and tells of a 2yr old girl in China who was hit by a van. Not only did the van drive off but CCTV shows that no less than 16 people walked past the fatally injured girl before someone stopped to help. The reasons seem complex and knee-jerk theories appear to centre around people being reluctant to help for fear of being liable for fees for medical help or being blamed for the incident. One quote said:
“There’s been so many cases where people have been treated unjustly after doing good things”.
A modern day Parable of the Good Samaritan if ever there was one!
These two stories cause me to ponder the gift of asking questions and I find myself reflecting on why many people, organisations and churches find it so threatening when people pose them. Is it because when people ask questions it opens the possibility of those in authority losing control? Is it because most of our self-confidence is so low that questions feed our insecurities?
But yet asking questions can help us to reflect on why things are the way they are and seek better possibilities. Asking questions also releases us from the disabling fear of not conforming and gives us power to act justly even at the risk of personal cost or false accusation.
I am intrigued by the fact that Jesus seemed to ask many more questions than he appeared to give straight answers. In fact I could well imagine Jesus standing with a megaphone pointing out the obvious, asking the questions, mocking the system, making people think and reminding people that there are always other options.
The opening verse of Romans 12 challenges us:
‘Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking.’
Let’s not be sheep – Let’s ask questions!