This morning our monthly Saturday prayer group met. It is a small group - 4 or 5 of us - who enjoy warm croissants and coffee/tea before we pray. Today after we'd prayed we continued to chat a bit and all sorts of good questions began to emerge.... will there be Muslims or Mormons in heaven? Is God Universalist? Why do bad things happen to good people? What do we mean when we pray for healing? Do souls sleep from death until the resurrection? Is heaven a bejewelled city - or is there a heaven at all rather than a new/renewed earth? Why doesn't being a Christian guarantee a wonderful, trouble free life - and in any case what might that look like? We didn't answer any of the questions, and the relationships in that group aren't yet ready to push things too much, but it did feel like a giant leap forward.
Fairly often, in a one to one, people will talk to me about more complex topics, but they nearly always fear sharing their views with the church for fear of being seen as 'unsound.' If I can, I will point them at resources to help their thinking, or offer them a variety of ideas I've encountered, but always resist telling them pat answers. I also say that I will continue to support them whatever they conclude. Maybe it is because of this that periodically people feel the need to pray quite pointedly that I give more attention to my spiritual life!
There was a Christian song, I think sung by Martyn Joseph, in the 1980's that said something like "I will keep on asking the questions, but answers will never come to me, for such is the mystery" - and I think it is true. For every question listed above there is a simple answer - and it's probably wrong, or at best partial. It is good to ask questions, it is good to seek understanding - but above it's a relief to know that ultimately where answers are concerned it's God's problem, not mine!