Ben Carson Takes Time Off the Campaign Trail to Share His Testimony

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Dr. Ben Carson is surging in public opinion polls thanks to his strong performance during last Thursday’s Republican presidential debate. But not all his stops are about his political ambitions.

The good doctor took time off the campaign trail on Sunday to share his testimony with the LifePoint Assembly of God in Osceola, Iowa.

Although he was raised in a Christian home, Carson said the crushing poverty and hope-destroying images of the Detroit ghetto filled him with hopelessness and anger. Seeing young men, barely older than he was, dying of gunshot wounds around his home made him believe he would die young – and probably violently.

Then one day, he said he locked himself in the bathroom and spent three hours pouring through the wisdom contained in the Book of Proverbs.

He meditated. He prayed. He read, marked, and inwardly digested its contents. And the man who left that room was not the same one who went in.

“When I came out, my temper was gone and I’ve never had a problem since,” he said. That was the day he truly became a Christian, he said.

He has previously said he “used to be a flaming liberal.”

Another area where he allowed the Bible to touch his heart had to do with another youthful temptation: sex. Carson told the congregation he had never had sex with any woman other than his wife, Candy.

Carson said the stories of Joseph in the Book of Genesis and Up from Slavery written by Booker T. Washington – successful men who began in the worst of circumstances -“spoke volumes to my heart.”

“Where you end up has a lot to do with the attitude you adopt in your life,” he said.

Carson has become quite successful as a result of the first debate of GOP presidential hopefuls, broadcast on Fox News. A poll released that weekend showed that most people believed he won the prime time debate, with 22 percent of saying the retired neurosurgeon walked away with it.

That moved Carson ahead overall, leapfrogging over numerous candidates into third place in a new NBC News/Survey Monkey opinion poll.

Carson has been one of the most outspoken candidates about his faith – no small feat for a race that features a former pastor, two “preacher’s kids,” and the son of a Methodist church secretary.

During that debate, he strongly defended his 10 percent flat tax plan, which is based on the Biblical tithe, saying, “God’s a pretty fair Guy.”

On other occasions, he attributed his mother’s recovery from death’s door to the power of intercessory prayer.

About 175 people came to two church services this weekend, according to the Des Moines Register. Many of them came away deciding to vote for Carson in the first-in-the-nation Iowa caucuses.