Potential hypocrisy notwithstanding, here are my 10 questions for the week:
In the words of a wise man, "those who can't see and laugh at the inconsistencies in themselves and their own ways of thinking are the blindest of the blind," Warren observed.
No. 1. Why is it that so many political and religious ideologues describe those on the other side of the aisle as "extremist, virulent, heretical and divisive," while the ideologues on their side of the aisle are labeled "courageous, prophetic leaders"?
No. 2. Why is it that so many conservatives say they don't believe in evolution but are more than willing to let a basic principle of evolution work (that is, the survival of the fittest)? Why do so many liberals say they do believe in evolution and then spend so much time trying to prevent that same principle from working?
No. 3. Why is it that conservative Christians are more likely to tithe than liberal Christians, but many liberal Christians have no problem standing in judgment of how conservative churches manage their budgets?
No. 4. Why is it that so many conservative churches in America are growing while liberal churches are declining, and yet both groups seem to have little problem judging the other as "not doing it right"?
No. 5. Why is it that many conservative men and women insist that the man is the head of the house, yet in reality, the women are often pulling the strings of control behind the scenes? On the other hand, why is it that my rather liberal wife is one of the most naturally compliant and submissive women I know, but if I told her she had to submit to me because the Bible said so, I would be in big trouble?
No. 6. Why is it that some Christians insist that they believe the entire Bible, but are very selective about which passages they obey? Other Christians are less rigid about literally interpreting the entire Bible, but manage to be obedient to the portions that they believe are to be taken more literally.
No. 7. Why is it that some Christians, who insist the Bible is primarily about "saving souls and not bodies," often preach a saving gospel to people with starving bodies? Why is it that other Christians insist that the Bible is as much about "saving bodies as saving souls," but they focus only on the salvation of bodies rather than including the salvation of eternal spirits?
No. 8. Why is it that many conservatives often insist that the government is too large, intrusive, cumbersome and does too many jobs poorly, yet they insist that they should be able to trust at least part of the religious instruction of their children to that same government? Why is it that many liberals are generally more willing for the government to grow, tax, spend and do more, but scream loudly if that government attempts to help with their child's religious instruction?
No. 9. With little more than half of American adults married, cohabitation skyrocketing, divorce rate hovering around 50 percent, and upward of one-third of American children born to single mothers (close to 85 percent in select communities), how is it that many conservatives claim that allowing gays and lesbians to marry legally will be the end of marriage as we know it?
No. 10. How is it that so many of us can say we love the God whom we have not seen and can't manage to love others whom we have seen? (Actually, that tenth question is not original with me. I just think it is a very good one.)
I hope you got at least one laugh.
In the words of a wise man, "those who can't see and laugh at the inconsistencies in themselves and their own ways of thinking are the blindest of the blind."
For now, I will keep looking for answers to these 10 questions. To quote Opie Taylor, "I may just have to talk to Johnny Paul about these things."
Reggie Warren is the intentional interim pastor at Bethlehem Christian Church in Suffolk, Va., and former member of the board of directors of the Baptist Center for Ethics.