The Question of Doubt
It’s Your Move
Gather for this lesson: Fusion stuff, slips of paper for everyone to have one, Scripture cards
Set Up Before Starting: Set up computer to display on the big TV and begin the fusion clips & slides three minutes before the actual starting time (uses the video countdown). Fusion portion lasts 10 min.
After the Fusion portion…
Doubting Thomas’ 7-10 min.
Needed: Enough slips of paper for everyone to have one,
How to Play: Designate one couch with three people on it to be the goal. Designate one seat to start as open. Have everyone write their name on a piece of paper and add two more slips of paper – one female “Thomas” and one male “Thomas”. Place all the normal pieces of papers in a basket. Go around the room hand out one to each person plying in the room. Secretly, hand one guy the male “Thomas” and one girl the femal “Thomas”. They must not let anyone know whose name they have. The person to the left of the empty chair begins by calling out someone’s name. The person who is holding that name must move from their seat to the empty seat, then whoever is now left of the new empty seat calls a name out, etc. The point of the game is for the guys to get all guys and their “Thomas” on the couch and the girls to get all girls and their “Thomas” on the couch.


If it’s too easy add this twist for a second round; the person who called out the name and the person who moved to the empty chairs trade the papers with names on it. In this case the “Female” or “Male” Thomas may become mixed.

Have everyone stay mixed as you continue.

Say: Doubt is something all Christians experience. When bad things happen to us, we wonder why God isn’t there making it all better. When people ask us questions about God that we can’t answer, doubt rears its ugly head. How do we overcome doubt and believe in what we can’t see? It’s first important to understand what causes a Christian to doubt God. Perhaps the primary cause is worldliness. Just as God, Jesus and the angels work in a spiritual realm to draw us heavenward. Worldliness works to drag us away. One of the weapons of evil is to plant seeds of doubt. When we doubt the existence of God, the power of God, the love of God or the Sacrifice of Christ, we give the enemy a foothold in our minds. Once worldliness has a foothold, it’s like an invitation to work away at our mind. We’ve given the world permission to do so by agreeing that there is cause for doubt. At this point, we have a choice, to go on agreeing and be pulled away from God or to seek help in pulling out the weeds of doubt. Spiritual instability will cause the weeds of doubt to bloom. To combat this, we must be diligent students of Christ. Just like the disciples, we must follow Christ, learning His teachings and learning His ways if we are to ever become stable in our faith.

Moving In
READ: The setting; a college classroom with a professor teaching a philosophy lesson…’Let me explain the problem science has with religion.’ The atheist professor of philosophy pauses before his class and then asks one of his new students to stand. ‘You’re a Christian, aren’t you, son?’ ‘Yes sir,’ the student says. ‘So you believe in God?’ ‘Absolutely.. ‘ ‘Is God good?’ ‘Sure! God’s good.’ ‘Is God all-powerful? Can God do anything?’

• As if you were answering the professor, can God do all things? (Get a few answers.)

READ: ‘Are you good or evil?’ ‘The Bible says sometimes I’m evil.’ The professor grins knowingly. ‘Aha! The Bible! He considers for a moment. ‘Here’s one for you. Let’s say there’s a sick person over here and you can cure him. You can do it. Would you help him? Would you try?’ ‘Yes sir, I would.’ ‘So you’re good…!’ ‘I wouldn’t say that.’ ‘But why not say that? You’d help a sick and maimed person if you could. Most of us would if we could. But God doesn’t.’

• Why do you think God doesn’t help those in need?
• How do you get to be on God’s “I’ll help you” list?

READ: The student does not answer, so the professor continues. ‘He doesn’t, does he? My brother was a Christian who died of cancer, even though he prayed to Jesus to heal him. How is this Jesus good? Can you answer that one?’ The student remains silent. ‘No, you can’t, can you?’ the professor says. He takes a sip of water from a glass on his desk to give the student time to relax. ‘Let’s start again, young fella. Is God good?’ ‘Er..yes,’ the student says. ‘Is Satan good?’ The student doesn’t hesitate on this one. ‘No.’ ‘Then where does Satan come from?’

• As if you were answering the professor, where do you think Satan came from? (Get a few answers.)

Moving On
READ: The student falters. ‘From God’ ‘That’s right. God made Satan, didn’t he? Tell me, son. Is there evil in this world?’ ‘Yes, sir.’ ‘Evil’s everywhere, isn’t it? And God did make everything, correct?’ ‘Yes’ ‘So who created evil?’ The professor continued, ‘If God created everything, then God created evil, since evil exists, and according to the principle that our works define who we are, then God is evil.’

• Have you ever thought that your works define you? That is, the things you do make up who you are.
• Do you agree with works as a defining measurement of who you are?
READ: Again, the student had no answer. ‘Is there sickness? Immorality? Hatred? Ugliness? All these terrible things, do they exist in this world?’ The student squirms on his feet. ‘Yes.’ ‘So who created them?’

• How could God have created sickness? Immorality? Hatred? and Ugliness?
• If God didn’t create them, then how can you say the God created all things?

READ: The student does not answer again, so the professor repeats his question. ‘Who created them?’ There is still no answer. Suddenly the lecturer breaks away to pace in front of the classroom. The class is mesmerized. ‘Tell me,’ he continues onto another student. ‘Do you believe in Jesus Christ, son?’ The student’s voice betrays him and cracks. ‘Yes, professor, I do.’ The old man stops pacing. ‘Science says you have five senses you use to identify and observe the world around you. Have you ever seen Jesus?’ ‘No sir. I’ve never seen Him.’ ‘Then tell us if you’ve ever heard your Jesus?’ ‘No, sir, I have not.’ ‘Have you ever felt your Jesus, tasted your Jesus or smelt your Jesus? Have you ever had any sensory perception of Jesus Christ, or God for that matter?’ ‘No, sir, I’m afraid I haven’t.’ ‘Yet you still believe in him?’

• As if you were answering the professor, how can you believe in something you cannot even senesce? (Get a few answers.)

Moving Up
READ: ‘According to the rules of empirical, testable, demonstrable protocol, science says your God doesn’t exist. What do you say to that, son?’ ‘Nothing,’ the student replies. ‘I only have my faith.’ ‘Yes, faith,’ the professor repeats. ‘And that is the problem science has with God. There is no evidence, only faith.’ The student stands quietly for a moment, before asking a question of His own. ‘Professor, is there such thing as heat?’ ‘Yes.’ ‘And is there such a thing as cold?’ ‘Yes, son, there’s cold too.’

‘No sir, there isn’t.’ The professor turns to face the student, obviously interested. The room suddenly becomes very quiet. The student begins to explain. ‘You can have lots of heat, even more heat, super-heat, mega-heat, unlimited heat, white heat, a little heat or no heat, but we don’t have anything called ‘cold’. We can hit down to 458 degrees below zero, which is no heat, but we can’t go any further after that. There is no such thing as cold; otherwise we would be able to go colder than the lowest -458 degrees. Everybody or object is susceptible to study when it has or transmits energy, and heat is what makes a body or matter have or transmit energy. Absolute zero (-458 F) is the total absence of heat.

You see, sir, cold is only a word we use to describe the absence of heat. We cannot measure cold. Heat we can measure in thermal units because heat is energy. Cold is not the opposite of heat, sir, just the absence of it.’ Silence echoes across the room. If a pen were to drop in the room it would probably sound like a hammer.

‘What about darkness, professor. Is there such a thing as darkness?’ ‘Yes,’ the professor replies without hesitation. ‘What is night if it isn’t darkness?’ ‘Darkness is not something; it is the absence of something. You can have low light, normal light, bright light, flashing light, but if you have no light constantly you have nothing and it’s called darkness, isn’t it? That’s the meaning we use to define the word. In reality, darkness isn’t. If it were, you would be able to make darkness darker, wouldn’t you?’ The professor begins to smile at the student in front of him. This will be a good semester. ‘So what point are you making, young man?’

• What do you think the point is?

READ: My point is, your philosophical premise is flawed to start with, and so your conclusion must also be flawed.’ The professor’s face cannot hide his surprise this time. ‘Flawed? Can you explain how?’ ‘You are working on the premise of duality,’ the student explains.

• What is a premise of duality?

READ: ‘You argue that there is life and then there’s death; a good God and a bad God. You are viewing the concept of God as something finite, something we can measure. Sir, science can’t even explain a thought.’ ‘It uses electricity and magnetism, but has never seen, much less fully understood either one. To view death as the opposite of life is to be ignorant of the fact that death cannot exist as a substantive thing. Death is not the opposite of life, just the absence of it.’

• Is there a Christian principal in the statement, “Death is not the opposite of life, just the absence of it.”?

Moving Out
READ: ‘To continue the point you were making earlier to the other student, let me give you an example of what I mean.’ The student looked around the room. ‘Is there anyone in the class who has ever seen the professor’s brain?’ The class breaks out into laughter. ‘Is there anyone here who has ever heard the professor’s brain, felt the professor’s brain, touched or smelt the professor’s brain? No one appears to have done so. So, according to the established rules of empirical, stable, demonstrable protocol, science says that you have no brain, with all due respect, sir.’ ‘So if science says you have no brain, how can we trust your lectures, sir?’

Now the room is silent… The professor just stares at the student, his face unreadable. Finally, after what seems an eternity, the old man answers. ‘I guess you’ll have to take them on faith.’

• How would you define ‘faith”?
• What are some other things that we can’t sense but know they exist? How?

READ: ‘Now, we both accept that there is faith, and, in fact, faith exists with life,’ the student continues. ‘Now, sir, is there such a thing as evil?’ Now uncertain, the professor responds, ‘Of course, there is. We see it every day. It is in the daily example of man’s inhumanity to man. It is in the multitude of crime and violence everywhere in the world. These manifestations are nothing else but evil.’

To this the student replied, ‘Evil does not exist sir, or at least it does not exist unto itself. Evil is simply the absence of God. It is just like darkness and cold, a word that man has created to describe the absence of God. God did not create evil. Evil is the result of what happens when man does not have God’s love present in his heart. It’s like the cold that comes when there is no heat or the darkness that comes when there is no light or doubt that comes when faith fails.’

• Are doubts about God are normal?
• If you doubt God, does He love you less?
• Can our pastor have doubts about God?
• Why does God understand and accept doubts?
• Does doubting mean a person is losing faith?
• Is it possible to have no doubts and still have faith?
• Do you think if left alone and unrecognized, doubt will become disbelief?

Gather in a closing circle
Announcements: School’s Out Summer Blast Off Party next Wednesday; Youth Council Sunday, May 17 with Music Devo; No UMYF May 20th; High Way Trek June 4-7

Close in Prayer:
The Prayer of St. Francis
Lord, make me an instrument of your peace; where there is hatred, let me sow love; where there is injury, pardon; and where there’s doubt, faith in you. O Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console; to be understood, as to understand; to be loved, as to love; for it is in giving that we receive, it is in pardoning that we are pardoned, and it is in dying that we are born to Eternal Life.

The UMYF Benediction
May the Lord bless you and keep you.
May the Lord make his face to shine upon you
And be gracious unto you.
May the Lord lift up his countenance upon you
And give you peace.

Discussion Guidelines
1. What is said in the room stays in this room.
Confidentiality is vital to a healthy discussion.

2. No put-downs.
Sarcasm and unkind remarks have no place in a discussion. If someone disagrees with another’s comment, they should raise a hand and express an opinion of the comment but not of the person who made it. It is permissible to attack ideas, but not each other.

3. There is no such thing as a dumb question.
Asking questions is the best way to learn.

4. No one is forced to talk.
Anyone can remain silent about any question.

5. Only one person talks at a time.
Each person’s opinion is worthwhile and deserves to be heard. Listening is an expression of respect.

The Rules:
• Be respectful of others
• Don’t be mean
• Keep your hands to yourself
• Stay in your seat
• Understand there is a time and a place for everything