I was that kid. You know the one. The one who asked Jesus into her heart when she was five. The one who began studying the Bible as soon as she learned to read. The one who got up early to walk around her school and pray for revival among her peers. The one who led worship in chapel at her Christian high school and moved to New York at twenty-one to do inner-city work with underprivileged kids. The one who went on every mission trip she could and who evangelized on the streets of Los Angeles and New York during the summer.
The one you would never worry about. The one you just knew would be fine—the one who would never doubt her faith. But then as an adult, married with a new baby, I found myself doubting everything I’d ever believed about God.
We’ve all heard stories of Christian kids who walk away from their faith after being challenged by skeptical professors in a college classroom. My faith was confronted in a similar way . . . but not at a university. It was challenged in the pews of a church that would later identify itself as a “progressive Christian community.” It was rocked by a pastor who had won my trust, respect, and loyalty.
This pastor asked me to participate in an invite-only, small and exclusive discussion group. He told me it was a ministry training course that would result in a theological education comparable to four years in seminary. “Education” was an understatement. It was more like an upheaval. The class lasted four years. I lasted only four months.
Meeting after meeting, every precious belief I held about God, Jesus, and the Bible was placed on an intellectual chopping block and hacked to pieces. Identifying himself as a “hopeful agnostic,” this pastor began examining the tenets of the faith. The Virgin Birth? Doesn’t matter. The Resurrection? Probably happened, but you don’t have to believe in it. The Atonement? That would be a nope. And the Bible? God forbid you believed Scripture was inerrant.
It sent me into a spiritual blackout—a foray into darkness like I’d never known. I knew what I believed; now, I was forced to consider why I believed. Were there good reasons to believe that Christianity is true?
Maybe you find yourself in a similar spot. Let’s begin this journey with a prayer from Psalm 94:16-19:
Who will protect me from the wicked? Who will stand up for me against evildoers? Unless the Lord had helped me, I would soon have settled in the silence of the grave. I cried out, “I am slipping!” but your unfailing love, O Lord, supported me. When doubts filled my mind, your comfort gave me renewed hope and cheer.