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SweetEnigma
Mar 12th 2009, 06:28 PM
I was an Atheist for many years, and after reading some posts on this board, I can see how some Christians are just befuddled with how to "handle" Atheists encounters.

Please remember. To know Christ, To truly know Him is to Love Him and Accept Him. Atheists are not bad people running around rejecting your Lord and Savior. THEY HAVE NEVER MET HIM!!!!! They don't believe in the resurrection, and many don't even believe Jesus existed.

You should be asking yourselves, "why don't they believe?" Are they really horrible heathens running around basking in their sinful delights or are they decent people who just haven't realized that God is Truth?? I'd like to believe in the latter.

For atheists, it's not a matter of morals, or right and wrong or creationism or God or Jesus or an afterlife. Preaching about these things will get you NOWHERE FAST. For nonbelievers, it's all about the validity of the bible. Most atheists have their facts WRONG when it comes to the bible. They feel it's 1. written by a bunch of dumb dumbs 2. IT has no historical relevance. 3. The resurrection and miracles performed by Jesus Christ were fabricated tales.

So basically, they have no faith in the only BOOK we Christians use to live our lives by. It all comes down to KNOWING your Bible well enough to be confident in its documentation. Give atheists some facts regarding the the preservation of the bible's data over the centuries. No other book has been so highly scrutinized- word by word- language to language as the Holy Bible. AS an Atheist, I had NO IDEA how the bible was written or when it was put together or how it came to be... these facts were very relevant in my own salvation. I didn't know there were 500+ eye witnesses to the resurrection. I didn't know how highly valued word of mouth stories were in biblical times. I saw the WHOLE BIBLE as a telephone game.

If you can get people to recognize that the bible is Relevant historically-- then you can get them to at least read it. And I think that's the first step to true salvation. Get people to read one gospel, just one.. and LET THEM make up their own minds. Dare them to not fall in love with Christ. It will be hard to do once you've accepted that the bible is a factual book. Most of all don't get discouraged or flustered when debating with an Atheist: I have convinced a Few of my Atheist friends to read the bible, and even though they don't believe in Jesus (now)... Christ's words TOUCHED them deeply, I've yet to meet someone not effected by his love. I'd like to think that someday they will open their hearts to accept Him as Truth as I have... :)

ilovemetal
Mar 13th 2009, 05:03 AM
Give atheists some facts regarding the the preservation of the bible's data over the centuries. No other book has been so highly scrutinized- word by word- language to language as the Holy Bible.

and prophicies. i find those help, i also find what helps is not forgetting everything i learn about the bible:B:B

Semi-tortured
Mar 13th 2009, 07:25 AM
Excellent post. Most people who don't believe in God don't have some huge hole in their life they are trying to fill with hatred for God. They just don't believe in Him like they don't believe in Apollo or the Tooth Fairy. Quickest way to tick them off is to start attacking them as sinning heathens that are scum. Point of fact is I know some atheists who are better people than some Christians I know, and it's not that the Christian's are bad people by any standard, but the atheists just bear better fruit so to speak.

CoffeeCat
Mar 13th 2009, 11:18 AM
GREAT OP. As someone who was once a self-professed nonbeliever.... there's really no 'trick' to talking to atheists. Most aren't evil, not any more than the rest of us anyways ;), and most want what we all do -- friends, support, good reasons to believe, thorough explanations. Just "handle" atheist encounters by being up-front, honest, patient. Most DO assume that there's no good reason to believe the Bible's true. Many have also had personal experiences with some (usually corrupt) instance of religion in their personal lives that 'turned them off it'.

Just be patient. Keep talking, keep explaining -- but most importantly, just keep living your life for Christ and showing your love for others and for your Saviour to them. The ONE thing that convinced me Christ was alive, when it came down to it, didn't end up being a historical text or anything..... it was the Christians I saw who believed what they did so strongly that they'd sold their lives out for it, and they were different from anyone I'd ever met. That REALLY impressed me.

aseeker
Mar 13th 2009, 05:47 PM
my daughter now 32 was a Catholic school girl......till high school and then went to public school.....she's the most wonderful person, kind, sincere, generous, loving, but she became an atheist after having been baptized and making her first communion and confirmed........I didn't argue with her......but LAST NIGHT.....she called from florida where she has been livng for the past couple of years and told us that she is a Christian again, not Catholic, but Christian. She's not sure which church she'll end up in, but for tnow she's going to a Methodist church with her friends who helped her find her way back.

I'm so happy...I had been worrying about her and Heaven, wondering how I could ever be happy in heaven if she were not there too.........I thought about it all last week, and then she called last night.!!!!!!!!!!

markdrums
Mar 16th 2009, 03:10 PM
I've discovered that there is a stark difference between people who call themselves "atheists" (although I think "agnostic" is a more accurate description) and those who are ANTI-Religion / Christianity.

There ARE people who passionately attack the Bible..... they take great pride in their attempts to find errors & contradictions. But ALL of their claims can be proven incorrect.

But there are also people who just "don't believe" and that's all there is to it.

The main thing to try to find out is, WHY dont they believe? And whether or not they try to force THEIR OWN "beliefs" on others.

I have to agree with Coffecat... this was a really good original post!

:)

moonglow
Mar 16th 2009, 03:19 PM
I was an Atheist for many years, and after reading some posts on this board, I can see how some Christians are just befuddled with how to "handle" Atheists encounters.

Please remember. To know Christ, To truly know Him is to Love Him and Accept Him. Atheists are not bad people running around rejecting your Lord and Savior. THEY HAVE NEVER MET HIM!!!!! They don't believe in the resurrection, and many don't even believe Jesus existed.

You should be asking yourselves, "why don't they believe?" Are they really horrible heathens running around basking in their sinful delights or are they decent people who just haven't realized that God is Truth?? I'd like to believe in the latter.

For atheists, it's not a matter of morals, or right and wrong or creationism or God or Jesus or an afterlife. Preaching about these things will get you NOWHERE FAST. For nonbelievers, it's all about the validity of the bible. Most atheists have their facts WRONG when it comes to the bible. They feel it's 1. written by a bunch of dumb dumbs 2. IT has no historical relevance. 3. The resurrection and miracles performed by Jesus Christ were fabricated tales.

So basically, they have no faith in the only BOOK we Christians use to live our lives by. It all comes down to KNOWING your Bible well enough to be confident in its documentation. Give atheists some facts regarding the the preservation of the bible's data over the centuries. No other book has been so highly scrutinized- word by word- language to language as the Holy Bible. AS an Atheist, I had NO IDEA how the bible was written or when it was put together or how it came to be... these facts were very relevant in my own salvation. I didn't know there were 500+ eye witnesses to the resurrection. I didn't know how highly valued word of mouth stories were in biblical times. I saw the WHOLE BIBLE as a telephone game.

If you can get people to recognize that the bible is Relevant historically-- then you can get them to at least read it. And I think that's the first step to true salvation. Get people to read one gospel, just one.. and LET THEM make up their own minds. Dare them to not fall in love with Christ. It will be hard to do once you've accepted that the bible is a factual book. Most of all don't get discouraged or flustered when debating with an Atheist: I have convinced a Few of my Atheist friends to read the bible, and even though they don't believe in Jesus (now)... Christ's words TOUCHED them deeply, I've yet to meet someone not effected by his love. I'd like to think that someday they will open their hearts to accept Him as Truth as I have... :)

I have given atheist this exact information you suggested and still they refused to believe it and would argue about it. I have given them links to information outside the bible that proves the bible is true...archeological evidence...historical evidence...and they still argued about it. Refuse to believe in the face of the evidence. I wish I could meet one like you...but in all these years of my encounters with atheist, I haven't. When I give them this evidence the first thing they do is run to an atheist site to try to find something to refute it and we just go around and around forever! :B

At any rate I am glad for you this was what you needed and helped you to come to Christ. :)

God bless

thepenitent
Mar 16th 2009, 03:52 PM
My experience is that apologetics is not very successful with athiests. They generally argue their side, we argue ours and neither side comes away with any change of opinion. Your milage may differ. I've seen that apologetics is more useful with new Christians or those who are open minded with checking out the Christian faith. Now, when witnessing to athiests I use the law to try to appeal to their conscience. Hopefully I can plant a seed which God can sprout if he so chooses.

crawfish
Mar 16th 2009, 04:08 PM
I have given atheist this exact information you suggested and still they refused to believe it and would argue about it. I have given them links to information outside the bible that proves the bible is true...archeological evidence...historical evidence...and they still argued about it. Refuse to believe in the face of the evidence. I wish I could meet one like you...but in all these years of my encounters with atheist, I haven't. When I give them this evidence the first thing they do is run to an atheist site to try to find something to refute it and we just go around and around forever! :B

At any rate I am glad for you this was what you needed and helped you to come to Christ. :)

God bless

Conversion is a process, not an event. The general rule is, if you are able to change someone in the course of a single conversation (or even over a short period of time), then they hadn't thought about the subject much. This is rarely the case for such an absolute view as atheism.

I have known more than a few atheists who have become Christians, and for each one the process spanned years and ultimately the change came from discovering a hole in their life that becoming a Christian could fill. They saw this from the loving, caring actions of Christians that were in their life. One in particular told me that all the attempts at apologetics were more of a barrier to his conversion than a boon, because they gave him an excuse to resist (he was smart enough to see through faulty logic and misinformation).

In the end, God uses us as sowers of the seed and He grows the seed. Remember that when you get frustrated. :)

Sherry W
Mar 16th 2009, 04:18 PM
John 3:19 "And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.".

moonglow
Mar 16th 2009, 06:43 PM
Conversion is a process, not an event. The general rule is, if you are able to change someone in the course of a single conversation (or even over a short period of time), then they hadn't thought about the subject much. This is rarely the case for such an absolute view as atheism.

I have known more than a few atheists who have become Christians, and for each one the process spanned years and ultimately the change came from discovering a hole in their life that becoming a Christian could fill. They saw this from the loving, caring actions of Christians that were in their life. One in particular told me that all the attempts at apologetics were more of a barrier to his conversion than a boon, because they gave him an excuse to resist (he was smart enough to see through faulty logic and misinformation).

In the end, God uses us as sowers of the seed and He grows the seed. Remember that when you get frustrated. :)

You are probably right and I have tried to view this way..that I may be just one of many, planting seeds and later others will see that fruit bear out. Wish I would see it once in awhile though...:rolleyes:

One thing I noticed that is kind of interesting and I am trying to understand it. I have youtube videos up on different things regarding Christianity and I notice an atheist will usually first post very aggressively...just cussing and carrying on, calling me every name in the book, telling me I am mentally ill, mentally retarded, narrow minded and on and on ...in which I do not respond too in the same manner. I usually reply with some logical comment about their comment and many times they will come back and start actually talking to me...dropping all the cussing and name calling (or at least slowing it way down)...if we go past a few comments to each other and they are still using cuss words I will kindly ask them to stop and many times they will. So then we respectfully discuss things...their whole manner changes.

My question is..when they come on so attacking like that...is that a test of some sort? To see if you will follow Christ's teachings on turning the other cheek and not attack back? Its like a big front...a barking growling dog that has no teeth...:lol: I just want to know why they do that?

God bless

John146
Mar 17th 2009, 03:20 PM
I have given atheist this exact information you suggested and still they refused to believe it and would argue about it. I have given them links to information outside the bible that proves the bible is true...archeological evidence...historical evidence...and they still argued about it. Refuse to believe in the face of the evidence. I wish I could meet one like you...but in all these years of my encounters with atheist, I haven't. When I give them this evidence the first thing they do is run to an atheist site to try to find something to refute it and we just go around and around forever! :B

At any rate I am glad for you this was what you needed and helped you to come to Christ. :)

God blessThis reminds me of this verse:

Matt 7:6 Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you.

And this one:

Prov 26:4 Answer not a fool according to his folly, lest thou also be like unto him.

I'm not saying you were being foolish by witnessing to those atheists. How could you have known what they would be like until you started talking to them, right? I'm saying we all need to be careful not to waste our time with people who don't have an open mind and only wish to try to make us look bad. Once you could see that they weren't really willing to consider anything you had to say, that's when it's time to just agree to disagree and move on.

It's much better to spend time witnessing to people who have an open mind. Determining who has an open mind and who doesn't is not always easy, but sometimes it is obvious.

Dani H
Mar 17th 2009, 03:36 PM
I don't single out atheists. Unbelievers are unbelievers are unbelievers. The Gospel is the cure for what ails them all, which is alienation from God. Why they're alienated, and through which particular thought process, is completely secondary. They're still believing the lies of the enemy, just like everyone else did before we came to Christ. Which lies, and to what extent, doesn't matter. They're all lies.

I was a deist before I came to Jesus, and did believe in God, and was just as lost and separated from Him because of my sin and unbelief when it came to Jesus and what He did for me.

A sinner is a sinner is a sinner. A man separated from God through atheistic thought process is in the exact same state as a man separated from God through Muslim indoctrination. Their position is the exact same. And their rebellion towards Him is the exact same, too. Different expressions of said rebellion, but the same root.

And, the way to reach them, is also the same. The Gospel of Jesus Christ. Not endless arguings to try and "convince" them, but to let the Holy Spirit convict them by showing them love, and the reality of God, through our behavior towards them. We may have to tailor things a little depending on where they are, but our behavior and treatment of them need never change. We don't argue people into the Kingdom. They are made with the need for God's love, and His goodness, and that's how they're going to be brought to the foot of the cross, just like we were.

moonglow
Mar 17th 2009, 03:43 PM
This reminds me of this verse:

Matt 7:6 Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you.

And this one:

Prov 26:4 Answer not a fool according to his folly, lest thou also be like unto him.

I'm not saying you were being foolish by witnessing to those atheists. How could you have known what they would be like until you started talking to them, right? I'm saying we all need to be careful not to waste our time with people who don't have an open mind and only wish to try to make us look bad. Once you could see that they weren't really willing to consider anything you had to say, that's when it's time to just agree to disagree and move on.

It's much better to spend time witnessing to people who have an open mind. Determining who has an open mind and who doesn't is not always easy, but sometimes it is obvious.

I use that verse as a rule to go by actually...it doesn't take long to know if they are sincere or not...once its obvious they aren't I stop talking to them as I won't cast my pearls before swines. The example I gave above is something that happened in the past...once in awhile I was go to private message and we talk longer then I probably should to them but general anymore I try to stop before that happens. Some that are pretty aggressive though won't stop and I usually have to just block them. It just seems to me most atheist I encounter are desperate to prove my faith is wrong...to prove God isn't there...they spend huge amounts of time doing this too. And many know the bible as well if not better then many Christians...and know all the arguments too so they can try to take me off guard and try to shake my faith. I have seen them do huge damage to those new in Christ and those weak in faith or just lacking knowledge. :( Honestly this is how most atheist come across to me...as people wanting us to walk away from our faith...seems to be their main goal anyway.

God bless

John146
Mar 17th 2009, 03:52 PM
I don't single out atheists. Unbelievers are unbelievers are unbelievers. The Gospel is the cure for what ails them all, which is alienation from God. Why they're alienated, and through which particular thought process, is completely secondary. They're still believing the lies of the enemy, just like everyone else did before we came to Christ. Which lies, and to what extent, doesn't matter. They're all lies.

I was a deist before I came to Jesus, and did believe in God, and was just as lost and separated from Him because of my sin and unbelief when it came to Jesus and what He did for me.

A sinner is a sinner is a sinner. A man separated from God through atheistic thought process is in the exact same state as a man separated from God through Muslim indoctrination. Their position is the exact same. And their rebellion towards Him is the exact same, too. Different expressions of said rebellion, but the same root.

And, the way to reach them, is also the same. The Gospel of Jesus Christ. Not endless arguings to try and "convince" them, but to let the Holy Spirit convict them by showing them love, and the reality of God, through our behavior towards them. We may have to tailor things a little depending on where they are, but our behavior and treatment of them need never change. We don't argue people into the Kingdom. They are made with the need for God's love, and His goodness, and that's how they're going to be brought to the foot of the cross, just like we were.I agree with some of what you're saying, but not completely. I'm sure Paul showed love to those he preached to, but he also spent a lot of time persuading and convincing people to believe. Of course, I'm sure the Holy Spirit was working in tandem with his preaching, but it does require some persuading and convincing in order for some to believe. Not everyone requires a great deal of convincing, but some do. Especially intellectual types.

Acts 17
1Now when they had passed through Amphipolis and Apollonia, they came to Thessalonica, where was a synagogue of the Jews:
2And Paul, as his manner was, went in unto them, and three sabbath days reasoned with them out of the scriptures,
3Opening and alleging, that Christ must needs have suffered, and risen again from the dead; and that this Jesus, whom I preach unto you, is Christ.
4And some of them believed, and consorted with Paul and Silas; and of the devout Greeks a great multitude, and of the chief women not a few.

Acts 18
1After these things Paul departed from Athens, and came to Corinth; 2And found a certain Jew named Aquila, born in Pontus, lately come from Italy, with his wife Priscilla; (because that Claudius had commanded all Jews to depart from Rome:) and came unto them.
3And because he was of the same craft, he abode with them, and wrought: for by their occupation they were tentmakers.
4And he reasoned in the synagogue every sabbath, and persuaded the Jews and the Greeks.

The point I'm making is that showing people love and relying on the Holy Spirit to convict them is not enough for some. For some, we have to show them the truth from the scriptures and be able to answer their tough questions regarding supposed contradictions and that kind of thing, too. It depends on the person.

1 Peter 3
15But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:
16Having a good conscience; that, whereas they speak evil of you, as of evildoers, they may be ashamed that falsely accuse your good conversation in Christ.

moonglow
Mar 17th 2009, 04:10 PM
I agree with some of what you're saying, but not completely. I'm sure Paul showed love to those he preached to, but he also spent a lot of time persuading and convincing people to believe. Of course, I'm sure the Holy Spirit was working in tandem with his preaching, but it does require some persuading and convincing in order for some to believe. Not everyone requires a great deal of convincing, but some do. Especially intellectual types.

Acts 17
1Now when they had passed through Amphipolis and Apollonia, they came to Thessalonica, where was a synagogue of the Jews:
2And Paul, as his manner was, went in unto them, and three sabbath days reasoned with them out of the scriptures,
3Opening and alleging, that Christ must needs have suffered, and risen again from the dead; and that this Jesus, whom I preach unto you, is Christ.
4And some of them believed, and consorted with Paul and Silas; and of the devout Greeks a great multitude, and of the chief women not a few.

Acts 18
1After these things Paul departed from Athens, and came to Corinth; 2And found a certain Jew named Aquila, born in Pontus, lately come from Italy, with his wife Priscilla; (because that Claudius had commanded all Jews to depart from Rome:) and came unto them.
3And because he was of the same craft, he abode with them, and wrought: for by their occupation they were tentmakers.
4And he reasoned in the synagogue every sabbath, and persuaded the Jews and the Greeks.

The point I'm making is that showing people love and relying on the Holy Spirit to convict them is not enough for some. For some, we have to show them the truth from the scriptures and be able to answer their tough questions regarding supposed contradictions and that kind of thing, too. It depends on the person.

1 Peter 3
15But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:
16Having a good conscience; that, whereas they speak evil of you, as of evildoers, they may be ashamed that falsely accuse your good conversation in Christ.

I agree plus we see Paul fitting in with those of different beliefs (without giving up his beliefs of course)

1 Corinthians 9:20-22

20 When I was with the Jews, I lived like a Jew to bring the Jews to Christ. When I was with those who follow the Jewish law, I too lived under that law. Even though I am not subject to the law, I did this so I could bring to Christ those who are under the law. 21 When I am with the Gentiles who do not follow the Jewish law, I too live apart from that law so I can bring them to Christ. But I do not ignore the law of God; I obey the law of Christ.

22 When I am with those who are weak, I share their weakness, for I want to bring the weak to Christ. Yes, I try to find common ground with everyone, doing everything I can to save some.

When talking with a muslim its totally different then talking with an atheist...or someone in wiccan or someone that is a pagan. The approach is different...though I agree with what DaniHansen is saying also...on the very basic stuff. I messed up a while back and thought I was talking to an atheist when it turned out to be a mulism. If I had known he was muslim my responses would have been totally different. A Muslim does believe in parts of the OT for instance...and they 'think' they believe in the same God as we do, but do not believe God had a Son. Whereas with an atheist they don't believe there is a God let alone Christ. So the approach has to be different.

I find most in wiccan and the pagans the nicest...they don't attack (usually anyway) and have this 'to each their own' kind of belief. They don't try to defend their beliefs or try to challenge mine. In a way they are the hardest to witness too because they have no interest at all. The muslism and atheist are interested in tearing down our faith...whereas the others just don't care. They want love and peace among everyone.

God bless

Dani H
Mar 17th 2009, 04:19 PM
Christianity today in many areas has stepped very arrogantly away from God's ways and God's power and replaced it with man-made cisterns that hold no water. Let the atheists poke holes in the cisterns and expose them for what they are. I hope we wake up! I really think that way too many Christians have lost all faith in the Gospel of Jesus Christ being the power of God unto salvation. I think we trust more in our own convincing words and sly arguments and methods and advertising schemes than we do in just delivering the straightforward Gospel, and trusting God to back it up with His convicting power. We should be asking ourselves why we have no power, instead of all the while trying to get that "next argument that's going to make them see". There is no next argument that's going to magically convnce anybody. It doesn't exist. There is only repentance, and coming back to God's ways, forsaking our own, which have failed miserably. We can turn this boat around, if we just repent, forsake our own cisterns, return to the deep wells of salvation, and drink deeply. And then pass on the living water to others around us who are dying of thirst. Did Jesus not say that His Spirit would fill our mouths when we open them, with His words? Do we not believe that?

To John:
I have an answer for the hope that is within me. His name is Jesus. I know exactly in whom I believe, and why. Sometimes I think, though, that many of us do not. And so we scramble to replace that reality of full assurance with arguments in our own head, and then cry wolf when somebody begins to poke holes in them. And I've seen Christians argue just as arrogantly as atheists. Where is the meekness? Where is the fear of God? Do we have more faith in our own arguments than in the Gospel of the risen Christ?

Really, before we have our next discussion with any unbeliever, we need to spend time with our God and not say another word until we know that we know that we know that we have passed from death to life, and also know that without sharing Jesus Himself, we have nothing to share, nor to give. And if we're going to share Him, then we must partake of Him, first of all, and let Him saturate every fiber of our being. If fear for someone else's soul doesn't make us do what we do, then we're doing it for the wrong reason.

You can't reason from Scripture if people don't believe them as valid evidence. Paul was reasoning with the Jews from their own Scripture to show them that Jesus is Christ. And the Greeks present at those synagogues would have already known and understood God's existence because otherwise, what were they doing in a synagogue on a Sabbath? They were there because they were no longer heathens, just not yet circumcised. Paul wasn't trying to show these people that God exists, because they already knew that. ;)

I'm not trying to sound mean and I hope you hear my heart. It's so ... heartwrenching to watch my brothers and sisters get their heads bloodied by running them against the same brick walls over and over again.

Step away from the wall, and get you a dose of dunamos (the life-giving power of the Spirit ... where we get the word "dynamite" from).

We can't get that power, though, while we're yet bound up in our own sin. If Jesus hasn't delivered us, then who do we think we're going to convince? Nobody, that's who.

To Moonglow:
The enemy's goal is to pull you away from the Lord. Through whoever, and however he can do it. You, and me, and all of us. Because the second we walk away from Jesus, that same second we lose our power against the enemy and are left to our own devices.

But knowing your heart for the Savior, something tells me that him trying to do that with you would be a bit like chiseling at a block of granite with a pretzel stick (too bad for the pretzel stick). ;)

moonglow
Mar 17th 2009, 04:36 PM
Christianity today in many areas has stepped very arrogantly away from God's ways and God's power and replaced it with man-made cisterns that hold no water. Let the atheists poke holes in the cisterns and expose them for what they are. I hope we wake up! I really think that way too many Christians have lost all faith in the Gospel of Jesus Christ being the power of God unto salvation. I think we trust more in our own convincing words and sly arguments and methods and advertising schemes than we do in just delivering the straightforward Gospel, and trusting God to back it up with His convicting power. We should be asking ourselves why we have no power, instead of all the while trying to get that "next argument that's going to make them see". There is no next argument that's going to magically convnce anybody. It doesn't exist. There is only repentance, and coming back to God's ways, forsaking our own, which have failed miserably. We can turn this boat around, if we just repent, forsake our own cisterns, return to the deep wells of salvation, and drink deeply. And then pass on the living water to others around us who are dying of thirst. Did Jesus not say that His Spirit would fill our mouths when we open them, with His words? Do we not believe that?

To John:
I have an answer for the hope that is within me. His name is Jesus. I know exactly in whom I believe, and why. Sometimes I think, though, that many of us do not. And so we scramble to replace that reality of full assurance with arguments in our own head, and then cry wolf when somebody begins to poke holes in them. And I've seen Christians argue just as arrogantly as atheists. Where is the meekness? Where is the fear of God? Do we have more faith in our own arguments than in the Gospel of the risen Christ?

Really, before we have our next discussion with any unbeliever, we need to spend time with our God and not say another word until we know that we know that we know that we have passed from death to life, and also know that without sharing Jesus Himself, we have nothing to share, nor to give. And if we're going to share Him, then we must partake of Him, first of all, and let Him saturate every fiber of our being. If fear for someone else's soul doesn't make us do what we do, then we're doing it for the wrong reason.

You can't reason from Scripture if people don't believe them as valid evidence. Paul was reasoning with the Jews from their own Scripture to show them that Jesus is Christ. And the Greeks present at those synagogues would have already known and understood God's existence because otherwise, what were they doing in a synagogue on a Sabbath? They were there because they were no longer heathens, just not yet circumcised. Paul wasn't trying to show these people that God exists, because they already knew that. ;)

I'm not trying to sound mean and I hope you hear my heart. It's so ... heartwrenching to watch my brothers and sisters get their heads bloodied by running them against the same brick walls over and over again.

Step away from the wall, and get you a dose of dunamos (the life-giving power of the Spirit ... where we get the word "dynamite" from).

We can't get that power, though, while we're yet bound up in our own sin. If Jesus hasn't delivered us, then who do we think we're going to convince? Nobody, that's who.

To Moonglow:
The enemy's goal is to pull you away from the Lord. Through whoever, and however he can do it. You, and me, and all of us. Because the second we walk away from Jesus, that same second we lose our power against the enemy and are left to our own devices.

But knowing your heart for the Savior, something tells me that him trying to do that with you would be a bit like chiseling at a block of granite with a pretzel stick (too bad for the pretzel stick). ;)

Ok you lost me with all the analogies...sorry..:blush:

I think you misunderstood my posts. I do NOT argue with them. I do what Jesus does...just love them...just talk. If they have bible questions I give them the scriptures ..if they have basis bible questions (like who wrote it and hasn't it been translated so many times its no longer accurate?) I give them links to CARM on that. In other words I do what the OP suggested...give them basis information and let the scriptures speak for themselves. Now how is that leading me away from God? :confused

I pray before I reply to any nonbeliever...sometimes the Lord has me not reply at all. If its too vulgar I just delete their comment and go on. But I put these Christian video's up to witness to nonbelievers...like we are suppose too. It almost sounds like you are saying not to talk to them at all...:confused To only talk to those that already have a basis belief in God. I don't see the bible telling us that though.

God bless

Dani H
Mar 17th 2009, 05:00 PM
No honey, I was addressing your specific concerns about the enemy attacks when it comes to him trying to pull you away from the Lord. The beginning of my post wasn't specifically addressed to you. :hug:

Of course I talk to unbelievers. If they have questions, even better! But I don't argue with them. I give them rebuttals that are based on the solid foundation that God has placed me on. I make sure that everything I say is based on that reality, instead of any assumption on my end. They're lost. Just so very lost. And if we don't keep that in mind, then we have nothing. I've had to learn to "hear" what they're saying and not just take their words as a foundation to come back from. We have to learn to hear people's hearts and hear what they're saying, without them saying it, because so often what comes out of their mouth, masks what's really going on. Can we hear their struggle underneath? Can we sense the true condition of someone's heart? That's what we should be responding to.

I was just as lost as a deist, but I actually thought I was doing alright because I already "believed" in God. We're not here to win arguments and show our own brilliance. We're here to pull people away from eternally being separated from our God, pulling them out of the fire, and if our own clothes get a bit singed in the process, then so be it. And sometimes we have to learn to be content with sowing seeds, praying for that person in front of us, and letting God do the watering and the tilling of their hearts to prepare them for the message of salvation, so that when the time comes, they can receive it. Because if we don't give that person we're talking to the regard of a precious soul in God's eyes, and treat them accordingly, then why are we even talking to them? So we can feel better about ourselves?

Every instance in Acts where Peter and Paul preached, they gave the Gospel. Just straight up, BAM, here it is. Often in the context of where they were placed (such as addressing the "unknown god") and using that as a "hook" or platform to preach it, but always the Gospel, the whole of it, with full confidence that God is mighty to save, when we do things His way. And the fruits of it, show that they were doing it right.

moonglow
Mar 17th 2009, 05:24 PM
No honey, I was addressing your specific concerns about the enemy attacks when it comes to him trying to pull you away from the Lord. The beginning of my post wasn't specifically addressed to you. :hug:

Of course I talk to unbelievers. If they have questions, even better! But I don't argue with them. I give them rebuttals that are based on the solid foundation that God has placed me on. I make sure that everything I say is based on that reality, instead of any assumption on my end. They're lost. Just so very lost. And if we don't keep that in mind, then we have nothing. I've had to learn to "hear" what they're saying and not just take their words as a foundation to come back from. We have to learn to hear people's hearts and hear what they're saying, without them saying it, because so often what comes out of their mouth, masks what's really going on. Can we hear their struggle underneath? Can we sense the true condition of someone's heart? That's what we should be responding to.

I was just as lost as a deist, but I actually thought I was doing alright because I already "believed" in God. We're not here to win arguments and show our own brilliance. We're here to pull people away from eternally being separated from our God, pulling them out of the fire, and if our own clothes get a bit singed in the process, then so be it. And sometimes we have to learn to be content with sowing seeds, praying for that person in front of us, and letting God do the watering and the tilling of their hearts to prepare them for the message of salvation, so that when the time comes, they can receive it. Because if we don't give that person we're talking to the regard of a precious soul in God's eyes, and treat them accordingly, then why are we even talking to them? So we can feel better about ourselves?

Every instance in Acts where Peter and Paul preached, they gave the Gospel. Just straight up, BAM, here it is. Often in the context of where they were placed (such as addressing the "unknown god") and using that as a "hook" or platform to preach it, but always the Gospel, the whole of it, with full confidence that God is mighty to save, when we do things His way. And the fruits of it, show that they were doing it right.

Oh ok...thanks for clearing that up. :)

I do that too...try to 'hear' pass their comments as you said...that is why I pray before I ever reply. I don't just jump to reply to their comment to 'prove them wrong'...but get to the basic's...why are you here...what are you looking for from me...what are the real questions? Many times as I said, their first comment is attacking but I do not respond to it..I don't get all huffy and attack back at all...and its when I don't, they will start really talking to me (not all the times but many times). they see I am not there to argue with them. Alot of these people just love to argue and try to win against a Christian and I don't won't play that game. Not anymore. Before I didn't realize this was just some kind of game to them..that they were out to 'win'...and yes many Christians are out to 'win' the debate too. But I have never seen anyone lead to Christ like this as you said.

God bless

John146
Mar 17th 2009, 05:35 PM
To John:
I have an answer for the hope that is within me. His name is Jesus. I know exactly in whom I believe, and why.So do I. And Peter points out that it's important that we be able to explain it to others.


Sometimes I think, though, that many of us do not. And so we scramble to replace that reality of full assurance with arguments in our own head, and then cry wolf when somebody begins to poke holes in them. And I've seen Christians argue just as arrogantly as atheists. Where is the meekness? Where is the fear of God? Do we have more faith in our own arguments than in the Gospel of the risen Christ?We should "argue" using the gospel of Christ like Paul did.


Really, before we have our next discussion with any unbeliever, we need to spend time with our God and not say another word until we know that we know that we know that we have passed from death to life, and also know that without sharing Jesus Himself, we have nothing to share, nor to give. And if we're going to share Him, then we must partake of Him, first of all, and let Him saturate every fiber of our being. If fear for someone else's soul doesn't make us do what we do, then we're doing it for the wrong reason. I agree.


You can't reason from Scripture if people don't believe them as valid evidence. Paul was reasoning with the Jews from their own Scripture to show them that Jesus is Christ. And the Greeks present at those synagogues would have already known and understood God's existence because otherwise, what were they doing in a synagogue on a Sabbath? They were there because they were no longer heathens, just not yet circumcised. Paul wasn't trying to show these people that God exists, because they already knew that. ;) Are you saying we shouldn't try to reason with unbelievers using scripture if they are not already familiar with it? Can you share the gospel without sharing scripture? Just trying to understand your point here. I think it has to be a combination of loving others by our actions but also sharing the gospel from scripture with them.


I'm not trying to sound mean and I hope you hear my heart. It's so ... heartwrenching to watch my brothers and sisters get their heads bloodied by running them against the same brick walls over and over again.

Step away from the wall, and get you a dose of dunamos (the life-giving power of the Spirit ... where we get the word "dynamite" from).

We can't get that power, though, while we're yet bound up in our own sin. If Jesus hasn't delivered us, then who do we think we're going to convince? Nobody, that's who. Why are you saying this to me, though? Do you think I am among those who you are talking about?

Dani H
Mar 17th 2009, 06:02 PM
No, again, I wasn't saying that last bit specifically to you.

Maybe I should structure my posts better. :rolleyes:

There is a difference, to my thinking, between showing Scripture to a person unfamiliar with them, and/or not believing in them as divinely inspired, and using Scripture as a reasoning platform.

If you're dealing with a person who alreay regards Scripture as divinely inspired and valid, then that's an entirely different ballgame than dealing with someone who may have read the Bible but doesn't believe in any of it.

The Bible is God's Word and will end up under someone's skin because it carries its own inherent power. Not magic powers, but that which comes from being inspired by God Himself. And so if an atheist wants to read the Scripture, good for them I say. I'm not going to argue with them about it though. Just keep reading it, buddy, it'll get to you eventually. I'm just here to give you however much of Jesus I personally have. Because it is Him you need ("you" being the unbeliever). :)

If you ("you" being any of us, not specifically atheists) look at the great apologists (such as C.S. Lewis and others), they still present the whole Gospel. Because therein lies the power of God.

Why feed starving people crumbs when you can give them a full course meal? Do we not understand that unbelievers are starving? Whether or not they know it? We can't let their arrogance and walls they've built up be our foundation for reasoning with them. We have to approach it from God's standpoint, not our own. Not barrage into their doors and mowing them over, but not letting their own rebellion being our guide, either. Just give them Jesus, however the Holy Spirit leads you to do so. Without Jesus, trying to convince somebody that God exists, will just turn them into lost deists.

That's what I'm saying. :)

John146
Mar 17th 2009, 06:06 PM
No, again, I wasn't saying that last bit specifically to you.

Maybe I should structure my posts better. :rolleyes:

There is a difference, to my thinking, between showing Scripture to a person unfamiliar with them, and/or not believing in them as divinely inspired, and using Scripture as a reasoning platform.

If you're dealing with a person who alreay regards Scripture as divinely inspired and valid, then that's an entirely different ballgame than dealing with someone who may have read the Bible but doesn't believe in any of it.Of course.


The Bible is God's Word and will end up under someone's skin because it carries its own inherent power. Not magic powers, but that which comes from being inspired by God Himself. And so if an atheist wants to read the Scripture, good for them I say. I'm not going to argue with them about it though. Just keep reading it, buddy, it'll get to you eventually. I'm just here to give you however much of Jesus I personally have. Because it is Him you need ("you" being the unbeliever). :)Agree.


If you ("you" being any of us, not specifically atheists) look at the great apologists (such as C.S. Lewis and others), they still present the whole Gospel. Because therein lies the power of God.Agree again.


Why feed starving people crumbs when you can give them a full course meal? Do we not understand that unbelievers are starving? Whether or not they know it? We can't let their arrogance and walls they've built up be our foundation for reasoning with them. We have to approach it from God's standpoint, not our own. Not barrage into their doors and mowing them over, but not letting their own rebellion being our guide, either. Just give them Jesus, however the Holy Spirit leads you to do so. Without Jesus, trying to convince somebody that God exists, will just turn them into lost deists.And once again, I agree.


That's what I'm saying. :)That's what I'm saying, too. We just have different ways of saying it. :D

billy-brown 2
Apr 3rd 2009, 05:11 AM
What a great thread . . . congrats to all.;)

And still, with all the truth that we give out in the Gospel to the unbeliever, they have the God-given right to disobey and say "no" to Christ.

L'Ange
Apr 9th 2009, 08:45 PM
SweetEnigma - I used to call myself an atheist, or an agnostic, too. You make some good points.

I would add that behind much atheism and agnosticism is the belief that evolution has disproved the Bible. This was true for me.

Actually I came to faith in YHWH while still believing in evolution because of personal encounters with Him and the times He would miraculously answer my prayers. (Okay I called myself an agnositic but sometimes I got desperate enough to pray for help! ;))

Later I came to study creation science and was bowled over by how I had been duped into believing evolution. Since then I have seen so many scientists, from a wide variety of fields, say that they were atheists because of evolution, then became Christians after they saw that the "science" they were being taught was not making scientific sense.

The number one anti Bible argument I have personally encountered from non believers centers around their faith in evolution. That is one reason I have spent a lot of time being prepared to answer, scientifically, their objections. Atheists and agnositics are just as misled and uninformed about "science" as they are about the Bible.

Philemon9
Apr 11th 2009, 04:49 AM
SweetEnigma - I used to call myself an atheist, or an agnostic, too. You make some good points.

I would add that behind much atheism and agnosticism is the belief that evolution has disproved the Bible. This was true for me.

Actually I came to faith in YHWH while still believing in evolution because of personal encounters with Him and the times He would miraculously answer my prayers. (Okay I called myself an agnositic but sometimes I got desperate enough to pray for help! ;))

Later I came to study creation science and was bowled over by how I had been duped into believing evolution. Since then I have seen so many scientists, from a wide variety of fields, say that they were atheists because of evolution, then became Christians after they saw that the "science" they were being taught was not making scientific sense.

The number one anti Bible argument I have personally encountered from non believers centers around their faith in evolution. That is one reason I have spent a lot of time being prepared to answer, scientifically, their objections. Atheists and agnositics are just as misled and uninformed about "science" as they are about the Bible.

I'd love to hear your explanations on how bad the "science" is with evolution, and of course, your scientifically supported replacement theories.

Seriously the most aggravating thing to me is when I read Christians turn evolution into a huge divisive issue. "U better turn from ur evolution beliefs or you'll burn"

apothanein kerdos
Apr 11th 2009, 04:56 AM
I'd love to hear your explanations on how bad the "science" is with evolution, and of course, your scientifically supported replacement theories.

Seriously the most aggravating thing to me is when I read Christians turn evolution into a huge divisive issue. "U better turn from ur evolution beliefs or you'll burn"


I think what L'Ange is referring to is the naturalistic philosophy inherent within the "science" of atheists. They buy into naturalism and subsequently use naturalistic explanations to interpret the data they receive.

losthorizon
Apr 11th 2009, 01:50 PM
I'd love to hear your explanations on how bad the "science" is with evolution, and of course, your scientifically supported replacement theories.

Seriously the most aggravating thing to me is when I read Christians turn evolution into a huge divisive issue.
But it is the atheistic scientists (Richard Dawkins et al) who refuse to allow God into evolutionary theory thus inserting a wedge between science and God. And why do they do this Phil because God is anathema to their godless worldview and Christians who wish to place their *faith* in Darwinism are forced to pay obeisance to their godless overlords in the faith. Are you a Darwinist, Phil?

Kharisma
Apr 21st 2009, 02:50 AM
Oh ok...thanks for clearing that up. :)

...Many times as I said, their first comment is attacking but I do not respond to it..I don't get all huffy and attack back at all...and its when I don't, they will start really talking to me (not all the times but many times). they see I am not there to argue with them. Alot of these people just love to argue and try to win against a Christian and I don't won't play that game. Not anymore. Before I didn't realize this was just some kind of game to them..that they were out to 'win'...and yes many Christians are out to 'win' the debate too. But I have never seen anyone lead to Christ like this as you said.
God bless


My experience has been the same as yours with Atheists for the most part except my experiences are in the real world. I refuse to converse with them online because I have seen how nasty, vulgar, and disrespectful they are towards Christianity and Christians in general. I find dealing with Atheists in the real world tend to be more civil in religious discussions since we're face to face and lack the anonymity of the computer screen. Unfortunately, many are just looking for an opportunity to shoot down anything positively said about God, the Lord Jesus Christ, or the Bible. I refuse to get into a debate of proving the accuracy of scriptures, the historical accuracy of the bible, or the proof that Jesus actually lived. As someone else said most Atheists know about (as opposed to actually knowing) the bible better than most Christians. They have also read many books written by historians, secular scholars, and scientists about the fallacy and errancy of the bible. Of course these scholars and scholar's books have no credence with me but I can't force Atheists to believe the way I do. I simply continue to live my life for Christ and I treat them, as I treat all people, with respect. I leave it to the Lord to move on their hearts and draw them unto himself in His timing.

TheAnswer99
Apr 21st 2009, 05:40 AM
I think a lot of atheists/agnostics are immediately turned off when Christians start throwing out Bible verses. It's much easier to make an argument mixing logic and Biblical truth without directly reciting verses. You may get them to agree with some Biblical statement by paraphrasing a verse without them realizing that you are taking something out of the Bible