Leaders are publicly asked tough questions on a regular basis. School teachers are asked questions by their students, public companies are questioned by consumers, and Presidents of countries are constantly being questioned by the press and citizens, this is a valuable way of communicating and allows us to communicate openly in order to learn more. However, religious leaders such as priest, bishops, prophets, or imams etc. are rarely questioned if ever publicly. Are we putting our religious figures on a pedestal so high that we are not questioning them enough on their own knowledge of God?
Every religion claims to be right and says that other religions are false. Often, people who follow a belief in God do not like to call their belief a religion because it puts them in the same category as the beliefs they say are false. Instead they will claim to have a personal relationship with God which gives them the feeling they are not believing a religion like everyone else. Webster’s dictionary defines religion as, “the service and worship of God or the supernatural.” Whether or not someone has a personal relationship with God it would still be considered a religion by definition. The redefining of the word religion that is happening is evidence that they believe religions other than their own are false, and are trying to distance themselves from other religions by changing the definition of their own belief because they do not want to have the same label. But just changing the definition does not change the fact that it is still a religion.
So with everyone claiming their religion is correct, how do we put our beliefs to the test in order to discover which one is true? One way to solve this problem would be to publicly question these religious figures and decided which is the most rational and meets its burden of proof. However, in the United States our first amendment which states, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” This amendment is often known as “the separation between church and state,” which is a simple way to say religion is to stay out of government and government out of religion. Because of this amendment, the government cannot publicly question the teachings of a religion, however the members of the church can.
Let’s encourage churches to start having services that are Q&A, these services could be bi-monthly or as little or as often as the members wanted. If members of the church care whether their beliefs are true, they will want to implement this into their church. Asking questions is a great way to learn for both those asking the question and those sitting in the pew listening. This is a proven method for learning; this is how all schools learn whether it is kindergarten or a college university. We know it works because there is only one proven way to do math, there are not countless views on what 4+5 equals. So for those interested in whether their beliefs are true, they should highly encourage their church to have these services. And for those churches against it, this should be a red flag to everyone.
Of course those against this idea will say, “this is not necessary since we are right.” If this is the case, by implementing a Q&A service it will help those with questions better understand, and for those who do not share the same beliefs as the church will discover that their belief or lack of was wrong. This gives atheist a reason to attend so they can ask the questions which have aided in them losing their faith, and if they find a church that can answer those questions they will become a follower of God. Since the goal is to lead unbelievers and false believers to God, there is no reason not to have these services. This will also reduce the amount of religious leaders who are knowingly teaching a false religion since they will now be questioned on it.
Just as presidents do not always get to choose what they discuss; religious leaders shouldn’t get to always choose either. Their mission should be to answer questions not only for those who already agree with them but for those who do not. If they are claiming to teach the truth they should have no objection to being asked questions publicly in church. Those who claim to be right also claim to have a direct line of communication to God, because of this they should have no problem answering any questions one could ask.
For as many false religions in the world, there is the same amount of false teachers. We should not assume our leaders know everything about God or even more than ourselves, they are fallible just as anyone else and like anyone else can also be deceived. It is in the best interest of the world to implement this simple change. There is absolutely no valid reason not to; it even gives church leaders a break since it saves them from preparing a new sermon. If the members of the church want publicly open communication so those following a false religion can discover the truth, the members will have to suggest this change and implement it. This sets a great example for other churches and would be immoral for a church to deny this, since it would mean individuals that could have been saved will not be. Implementing a Q&A service is not only a benefit to the members but is a benefit to a leader teaching a false belief, as it will expose the weakness and lead them to truth as well. If discovering the truth is the goal, this must be implemented within every congregation. On an issue that claims to be the most important one a person can make, the church cannot afford not to.