THE BIG QUESTION: Q: Did you ever have a crisis of faith?

by CYNTHIA L. SIMMONS| WWW.CLSIMMONS.COM in Leading Hearts Magazine

Q: Did you ever have a crisis of faith? How did you resolve it?

YES, AND I GREW UP IN A CHRISTIAN HOME. We attended church regularly, including special services several times a year with visiting ministers. At six, I realized my sin and confessed faith in Christ. When I entered ninth grade, my parents enrolled me in church school where I learned creationism.

However, during my teen years, misgivings clouded my mind. Guest pastors told the exact illustration as if it happened to them, and I labeled them dishonest. Plus, church leaders didn’t live up to their own standards.

Well-versed in Genesis, I longed to hear from evolutionists so I could compare the reasoning. While these thoughts churned, my cousin shared his own doubts.

On his recommendation, I read Elmer Gantry, a novel about a scheming pastor. The story horrified me, making me suspect the motives of every minister. My cousin also questioned the meaning of truth and the likelihood we grew up in the only true religion.

He offered a paradox: Could God make a rock so big he couldn’t pick it up?

If God couldn’t do that, no one could call him almighty. From there, he praised science and laughed at creationism. His skepticism mingled with my own doubts, so I stuffed my faith away, divorcing my emotions for God.

On the other hand, I never planned on needing God. I left my faith at home when I moved into the nursing school dormitory. However, faced with tough classes and heavy assignments, I prayed for the first time in years. God became real as I reached out and saw him calm my anxiety.

Despite answered prayers, I worried over the unanswered questions nagging me. Was I deluding myself? How should I define truth?

I wanted more confidence in my faith, but I didn’t know where to turn.

My third year in nursing school, I prayed for a person who could discuss weighty issues. Soon afterward, I started attending church with a fellow nursing student. A group of college students there invited me to have coffee after the Sunday evening service. I noticed they discussed various topics, so I brought up my questions.

One fellow named Ray helped a lot. He talked about the mountain of evidence that affirms the Bible. Since Christians claim to teach truth, believing scholars started apologetics, which hammers out facts and proofs. For instance, we can visit the city where biblical stories occurred and even see how geography contributed to the event.

Often historical records agree with the Bible, and archeologists frequently confirm Scripture while uncovering artifacts. Ray and I also discussed evolution and the assumptions evolutionists make without evidence, and he showed me the absurdity of the “rock question.”What a relief to know my anchor held onto solid rock.

Looking back, I realize the Lord pursued me because I belonged to him. A couple of years later, Ray and I married, and now we reach out to others who question.

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