The Tour Guide and I have been communicating since about February of last year. He asked me if I had faith and I told him, of course I did. He asked me what I believed and I began to share Christ with him. The Tour Guide was very receptive and we began having lively debates about evolution, the inerrancy of the Bible and whether or not life could be lived by the commands and principals in scripture.
I contended that God made the world in six literal days, that the Bible was inerrant cover to cover. It was God’s word, moreover it was God’s Truth. It was reliable and trustworthy in all of it’s sayings. Life could, indeed, be lived by it. Jesus was the Son of God, born of a virgin, died on a cross for all of our sins, then rose again on the third day just as the scripture said. Devotion to the commands of God is born out of love for Him because of all He’s given to us.
The Tour Guide had lots of questions, naturally. One day as we were debating he asked me how God created man. “Did he create him just as we are now? Did he create him as something else and we’ve evolved into what we are now?” These were not sarcastic, indignant questions. They were honest and genuine. He wanted to know how this all worked. We went on to debate the virgin birth. He just couldn’t conceive of it. “Why is it wrong to commit adultery, but God impregnated another man’s fiance?” I’d never thought of it that way. Continuing the discussion about Jesus, he said he wanted to believe but just had too many questions. He said, “I believe Jesus was a real man, and that he was a prophet, but I don’t know about all those miracles and about the resurrection. If someone could knock on my door, right now, and offer me some kind of proof, but they can’t. Other than the Bible, are there any other sources for it?” Certainly there were and I assured him I’d research it and get back to him.
I went away from that conversation thinking, “I’ve got this in the bag. Sure there are outside sources that testify of Jesus.” I pointed the Tour Guide to the Answers in Genesis website, which he thought was a joke. I was insulted! I thought I’d dig further and easily be able to find plausible evidence of the creation story exactly as it’s written in Genesis. I went on a mission.
The first thing I did was google outside sources for the life of Jesus. What I found was scant, but sources nonetheless. All these other websites came up in the search engine, too, refuting those sources. There were some references to Jesus that were historically accurate, but questions as to the authenticity of the most important ones. That was alarming, but I pressed on. The more I pressed the more I found that didn’t support evidence of the life of Jesus. Certainly there were some historians who recorded, in passing, the name of Jesus or someone “called the Christ”, but nothing substantial. Forgeries and interpolations mar their authenticity.
And what about evolution? When I googled evidence for creationism, sites about evolution filled the search engine. Deciding that if I was going to speak intelligently with the Tour Guide about evolution and refute it properly I needed to know more about it. I read the scientific definition of the theory of evolution. I had always argued that evolution was just a “theory”. Note to self: Don’t argue about things of which thou doest not knowest. I began to learn about the theory of evolution as fact and the theory of the mechanism of evolution. I began to learn about fossil layers and “missing links”. Shot my creationism clean out of the water. Evolution suddenly made so much sense.
I kept all of this to myself for a while. I was having an emotional tug-o-war over what I believed and what I was learning. Very serious doubt crept in and before long I was an emotional wreck. My worldview suddenly didn’t line up with reality. This caused panic attacks, sleeplessness, fear, anxiety and an inability to concentrate on anything. My mind was so preoccupied with fear over my doubts. Finally I confided in the Tour Guide on Thanksgiving weekend that I had these doubts. I needed someone to tell and none of my evangelical friends would understand. They’d throw Ken Ham books and Bible verses at me and tell me I needed to just trust and believe like a good little sheep.
I was paralyzed. Too afraid to move forward, unable to go back. I found a few online friends in DagoodS, Zoe, HeIsSailing and Like A Child. Suddenly I realized I wasn’t the only one having these kinds of doubts, nor the only one having this strong emotional reaction to it. I decided I couldn’t stay that way. I had to know the truth.