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Summary: Thomas had doubts about the Ressurection of our Lord and Savior. This is my attempt to explain why doubting and questioning our faith is normal and can make us better Christians in the end.

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“I Doubt It”

Years ago, back in my single days, my friends and I would play poker once a week. Unlike the current fad for playing the poker variation know as “Texas Hold-Em” we played all sorts of poker games commonly referred to as “Dealer’s Choice”. There were times when we would have impromptu poker games, which could be played without the use of a deck of cards. We would use $1 bills drawn at random from a “kitty” and the game had various names such as “Liar’s Poker or “I Doubt It”. Instead of cards, the players would take a $1 bill and use the serial number as their “hand”. A number 1 would be an Ace and numbers 2-0 would be the equivalent of cards 2-10 in a deck. There were, of course no face cards. The best hand would the most of one number. There were no straights, flushes, pairs or full houses. Someone would start the game by bidding his hand saying I have three two’s or three three’s, etc. The next person had to either bid higher or call your bluff. The object would be to lie as much as you thought you could get away with about the hand you had. We used the collective sum of the numbers of all the bills in use so the bidding could get quite high. A $1 bill has eight serial numbers so the maximum bid would be 8 times the number of players. If four people were playing, the highest bid could theoretically be 32 Aces, which would be highly unlikely. A player who bid higher than the number he actually held had to rely on the fact that some of the other players bills had the same numbers, which he could use. I have never seen a bill with eight numbers all the same. We once ran across a bill with six identical numbers, though. If another person thought you didn’t have the hand you said you had, they would call your bluff by saying “liar” or “I doubt it”. Let’s say the bidder had bid nine sevens. All the players would lay their bills down and you would count the total number of times the number seven appeared on all of the bills in play. If the number was equal to or more than the bid, the bidder would win and the doubter was forced to pay the bidder $1 and, if not, the bidder would pay the doubter $1. Some people would start out by flagrantly lying, maybe bidding three fives without having a single five in their hand, hoping someone with fives on their bill would up the bid. No one would call you a liar by saying "I doubt it" early in the game while the bids were low so it was usually safe to lie early on. As the bidding went on it became extremely risky to lie, lest you get caught. Sometimes, if your hand was really good you could tell the truth early and make a high bid, forcing the next player to bid something he didn’t have or call your bluff. The game got to be quite interesting, especially if there were four or more players playing. The lying bids and the truthful bids would go on until someone couldn’t go any further and said, “I doubt it”. Doubting someone stopped all the lying, all the stretching of the truth, all the maneuvering and forced everyone to tell the truth, to reveal your honesty, or your dishonesty, whichever was the case. Doubting someone was the great equalizer, the ultimate lie detector. To doubt was to lay your cards on the table and let the facts speak for themselves.

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