By Luke Douglas
If I believe in God and He exists, I’ve gained everything. If I believe in God and He doesn’t exist, I’ve lost nothing. If I disbelieve, and He does exist, I’ve lost everything. Therefore, a rational person who has any doubt should take the leap of faith just in case. I don’t know when I first heard about Pascal’s Wager, the argument for believing in God based on possible outcomes. It went on to be an enormous part of my training to defend Christianity in a secular and hostile culture and be ready always to give an apologia for the hope within me.
Being a warrior for Christ was, without any hesitation, everything to me. I was homeschooled outside Molalla, Oregon, with a strong emphasis on debate, the written word, and defending the faith. I don’t remember asking Jesus into my heart, but my parents say I was about four or five at an Easter Sunday service. What I do remember is that my entire childhood revolved around reinforcing and strengthening that commitment through a social life centered on church and a curriculum centered on Creation science. I was eight when I first heard the earth was 6,000 years old, which quickly became a central theological litmus test for whether one took God at His Word.
It’s impossible to say when doubts first began creeping in. I remember spending hours on my knees in prayer, my entire emotional focus pinned on talking to God, only to hear nothing back. I would feel my stomach churn wondering if there was nobody there to hear me, then convince myself it was my fault that I didn’t believe hard enough, or that I was trying to connect with God on my own strength, or something along those lines. Then, I’d redouble my efforts to connect to God more strongly in worship, or in Bible reading. If I ever felt doubts, my focus was to study to show myself approved, a workman who need not be ashamed.
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