One of the quiz shows that Ann and I enjoy watching is ‘Pointless’. In case you haven’t seen it, the format is based around the players giving the most obscure answer they can to each question. Prior to the show, 100 people are each given 100 seconds to give as many answers as they can to the questions that will be asked during the show. Correct answers are assigned a point value equal to the number of panellists who gave them, so that less commonly given answers have lower values. Players on the show attempt to give answers worth as few points as possible, aiming to have the lowest score amongst the players in each round, ideally finding an answer that no one gave – a pointless answer!

This month we are embarking on our Big Questions series where we are answering the most common question submitted to our survey in June. Many gallons of ink have been spilt over the centuries tackling these issues from various philosophical angles. Our conviction is that, tough though these questions are, they all have answers that can be found in the pages of scripture. Our goal is to be neither popular nor obscure in our responses, rather to proclaim the revealed truth of God.

However, this whole exercise becomes pointless if all we do is answer the questions, regardless of how compelling those responses might be. Jesus told a story about a wealthy farmer who made a great profit in his business so he retired to live off the wealth he had earned anticipating many years of leisure and luxury. That very night he died and lost everything, including his soul. Jesus’ punch line in that story was “…whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will save it. What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit his very self?” Luke 9:24–25

In other words a life lived without Jesus is pointless. However successful you may appear to be, however intellectually satisfying your worldview, it all counts for nothing if that is what you are living for. Jesus says ‘you can go your own way if you want, but please don’t! If you do you will lose your soul, the most valuable thing you have.’  The biggest question of all is addressed to you: Are you willing to give up your own agenda and become a follower of Jesus?  Until you do that, everything else is pointless.

This blog post featured in the September 2013 edition of Lifelines

Big Questions

A recent survey found that British mothers are called upon to answer 300 questions a day by their small children. Their curiosity can be delightful, frustrating and even embarrassing. Have you ever been in a supermarket when a toddler has pointed at another shopper and asks “Why is that woman so fat?” According to the research, the five toughest questions mums get asked are: Why is water wet? Where does the sky end? What are shadows made of? Why is the sky blue? How do fish breathe under water?

It sometimes seems that as we get older, our curiosity diminishes and we become less inclined to ask awkward questions. Perhaps we learn that it is not always appropriate to ask, or maybe we think that we have all the answers we need. Even so, many people have tough questions that surface in their minds at times of personal crisis and uncertainty. These questions are often addressed towards God and relate to purpose and destiny, origins and endings, pain and suffering.

During the month of June, the members of Life Church are conducting a survey to find out what the Big Questions are that people in Hook would like to ask God. We plan to call at every home in the village to invite you to share with us one Big Question you would like to ask God. If you wish, you can tell your question to the person who rings your doorbell. Alternatively we will leave you with a card giving details of how you can send your question to us online, by email, text or tweet, or simply by post.

We will publish the results of the survey in the September edition of Hook Focus. Also, every Sunday in September our speakers will be taking each of the top five Big Questions in turn and using the bible to explain how we believe God would answer those questions. We are excited by this opportunity to tailor our meetings to the issues that are important to you and look forward to receiving your questions.

Big Questions can be sent:

This blog post featured in the June 2013 edition of Hook Focus