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Do not quote Bible to atheists.

Discussion in 'Congregation-specific Ethics' started by Skitnik, Jun 4, 2018.

  1. DamianWarS

    DamianWarS Follower of Isa Al Masih Supporter

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    No offence received and likewise my direct words are not to provoke offence.

    Jesus spoke in parables for the revealed purpose that "seeing, they do not see; though hearing, they do not hear or understand" (Mat 13 v13). This is from the immediate context of the parable of the sower (v1-9) where as the sower scattered seed "some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up" (v4) he later reveals the meaning of the path and the birds saying "When anyone hears the message about the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what was sown in their heart" (v19).

    Jesus implicitly calls the people who he is telling the parable to as people along the path, because the seed (the gospel) along the path (the harden hearts) are unable to understand the message, they comprehend the words but miss the point, and so "seeing, they do not see; though hearing, they do not hear or understand" Thus he speaks in parables to them. We too should highly contextualize the gospel so that people can receive it. If someone doesn't want to talk about God (or only wants to argue about it) then the truth must hide in the words and actions we do use. Jesus himself tells us to love our neighbour as ourselves. How do you love yourself, by harping on a topic you don't want to hear? Love them how they will receive love and they will see the glory of God through those actions.
     
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2018
  2. Gell

    Gell Redeemed Supporter CF Ambassadors

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    Good thing to go through apologetics :)
     
  3. Apologetic_Warrior

    Apologetic_Warrior Pilgrim

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    Good point, love can be a door for opportunity to share the Gospel, it can stir up questions in their minds for our "strange" (to the world) behavior for how different we are from so many they might know. I think arguments done with love and in truth, can be helpful for preparing hearts for the Gospel, other times, they may be helpful for other Christians to know and understand that Christianity is defensible, and that our faith is not one of blind credulity. So, I think the best approach might vary from person to person, and may involve a combination of love, arguments, Scripture, and exposition. If only we could read the mind of God to know which combinations and with whom, guess we have to depend on the lead of the Spirit.
     
  4. DamianWarS

    DamianWarS Follower of Isa Al Masih Supporter

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    Some people enjoy debate and we need to gauge how effective it is but if the person simply is not interested in the gospel then we need to look at different strategies to demonstrate it; the reasoning and logic defence need not be our first response.
     
  5. Apologetic_Warrior

    Apologetic_Warrior Pilgrim

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    I agree, sometimes the best strategy might be dinner and getting to know the person, other times simply moving along to someone a bit more interested, honestly I do not see a one-size fits all approach, although I do see a one-size fits all method for Christians, simply put it begins and ends with Christ as Lord over all of life. I'll step down from the soapbox now, I really ought to stop preaching to myself, and I do meant that. Sleep is calling my name, thank you for the conversation. God bless!
     
  6. salt-n-light

    salt-n-light Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I believe that’s why for the non disciple crowd in the biblical days, Jesus ended up telling more parables first before diving into the Holy texts. You have to set a more layman stage for them to help them bridge the heavenly meaning behind it.

    Then again, not everyone will hear and sadly good amount of cases where it’s just them looking to debate to make a point, rather than learn. Some are more genuine but again takes time to build that bridge. Gotta just pick and choose your battles.
     
  7. Kaon

    Kaon Well-Known Member

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    I used to be an adult agnostic. Some of Christianity is still wacky to me, but that is because to takes work to divide what men say VS. what the Most High God actually says.

    For example, atheists have a hard time taking Christians seriously when they condemn a group for being homosexual, but they eat bacon wrapped shrimp - of which both are considered abominable, and of which both are laws given in the same Old Testament Book. In other words, why the talk about Christians not needing to follow the OT Law, but we judge people by some OT standards.

    I think atheists have an understanding of the Most High God, and want to reconcile who He is, and it means for Him to be real. But some of the images of some Christians cause huge stumbling blocks for those who should come to the Redeemer. When they say they don't believe in Him, they usually mean they don't believe in the fantastical one set up by institutions. (I don't believe atheists as a whole would deny a God who is actually justified.) That, plus more vocal Christians do a poor ob of explaining things like why there is pain and suffering. Even, institutions have politically caused stumbling blocks with the Word of the Most High God. At this point, yes, faith is a gift since the world has polluted His character and His gifts to us so much.


    If you say what you need to say, and then move on, God will do the rest. Just plant the seed.
     
  8. GirdYourLoins

    GirdYourLoins Well-Known Member

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    You need to be able to back it up. Take the flood for example. Many cultures have legends of a flood and there is evidence that suppports it. Many scientists believe that the evidence attributed to an ice age cutting into the earth and creating geological features, partly glaziers and partly the melt water could in fact have been caused only by water on a scale such as the biblical flood. You can see similar geological impact on a smaller scale from things like floods, flashfloods, etc and even down to the scale of the shape left in the sand on any beach by the receding tide.

    Using the Bible as evidence wont work, but using evidence to prove the Bible will at least raise wquestions. Most still dont want to believe because of their blind faith in what they were taught at school. In the same way scientists try to undermine the bible and have been indoctrinated into the belief that the bible and science are in conflict with each other so they must try to disprove it, we need to show them how to think for themselves and weigh up the evidence rather than just blindly accept what they have been told.

    I have seen many times where scientists, with clear hatred, attack the bible and Christians , including David Attenborough who I used to like before that.

    P.S. flying monkeys have "tails", books have "tales". My mental image of a book with a tail did make me chuckle.
     
  9. mr_horse

    mr_horse New Member

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    Then it's a waste of time talking to them. They won't agree with us; we won't agree with them; we should go our separate ways.
     
  10. Bobber

    Bobber Well-Known Member

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    Well with atheists I think it's good in as kind a way as possible to relay to them exactly how God considers their fundamental world view.

    The fool says in his heart,
    “There is no God.”
    Psalm 14: 1

    For what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood from his workmanship, so that men are without excuse. Romans 1:20


    I suppose this means when one looks at the things of creation it will be considered and judged that there is no justifiable reason to believe that the universe came about just by chance. Atheists buck at this but the fact is if they don't switch gears in how they're considering this they'll sadly take their place among those where there will be weeping and gnashing teeth or in other words...HELL.

    I bring up this up for the gnashing of teeth signifies people being angry at the judgement that they won't make heaven their home. When people are very angry they clamp their teeth together hard. Won't matter though.

    Atheist need to know the truth that God will define what is just, reasonable and fair NOT THEM and it won't matter how much they scream out unjust. If God says the creative order proves the existence of God and that they are without excuse for not acknowledging it than that's not going to change. Wise is the person who yields to God's assessment. Of course just believing there's a God isn't Salvation. They must also yield to the good news of Jesus concerning eternal life.
     
  11. mr_horse

    mr_horse New Member

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    Did you read the OP?

    They know what the Bible says, and they don't care; they've already decided it's nonsense.

    There is no point in quoting it to them if they already know it. It's patronising, it's disrespectful, and it won't make any difference. They know we think they're fools on the road to hell who need to be saved. They think we're irrational, bigoted and given to myths because we can't deal with reality.

    Again, waste of time.
     
  12. RaymondG

    RaymondG Well-Known Member

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    Can you not see the Gospel in the planting of a flower? are we only able to see/hear the gospel when words are read or spoken to you?
    Is there a scripture or any other reason that you feel that God's primary way of operating is through the hearing of words spoken by other men? Does this theory pose issues for the deaf or the blind?
     
  13. RaymondG

    RaymondG Well-Known Member

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    So verifying one or two things in a book is true is enough for one to believe the whole book? Would this be ok for other books from other religions as well? Seems to me that we should have other methods to prove the power of God besides, A and B are true therefore believe that C-Z is true as well.....especially if there are exceptions....e.g. this is only true for my book, and no other book.
     
  14. mr_horse

    mr_horse New Member

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    There's no way to conclusively prove the bible is true using reason. This is because there's an element of divine revelation involved; this is why Jesus said to Peter: "Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven."

    It bothers me a ton when I see people trying to prove the Christian God's existence using a banana. What are you doing? You can't use something in nature to build a bridge to heaven. God comes down and establishes that link, not us. Our faith isn't based on what we see; it's a divine work, not reason, that brings us to God.
     
  15. Bobber

    Bobber Well-Known Member

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    Even though an atheist with words presents themselves as obstinate to the Bible doesn't mean they do in an absolute sense. No one but God knows what goes on in the hearts and minds of men. It may change by the day or year.

    But that's the question do they already know it? There can be all sorts of atheists that don't have a clue of anything the scriptures say. And I'm not talking about beating people over the head with what Christians might believe. At times they're the ones who challenge believers about their beliefs. I recall years ago what I'll call a history professor tried to center me out in class about Christian belief and I was just sitting there minding my own business having not said a word. Actually I liked the guy and we had a few discussions after class...I'd give him various tapes to hear which he did and we had discussions about them.


    Yeah true but as Christians we're thinking they can't deal with reality either. I wouldn't claim all of them are bigoted but biased but still that doesn't mean they're all altogether mean and not willing to have a good discussion.
     
  16. GUANO

    GUANO Well-Known Member

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    Contrary to popular belief, the majority of Christian apologetics is more geared toward equipping the Christian to combat doubt than trying to convince anyone that it's fact.
     
  17. RaymondG

    RaymondG Well-Known Member

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    Did you reply to the correct post? You asked what i was doing as if I attempted to prove the existence of God somehow.....yet I only responded to someone else attempt to prove God while giving no proof myself.

    But since you reply....God is in all and through all...you should be able to find Him everywhere....even it you make your bed in hell..... So you cant tell us where God cant be found and still be correct...
     
  18. Apologetic_Warrior

    Apologetic_Warrior Pilgrim

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    Sorry I do not see the Gospel in the planting of a flower. Seems we would have to redefine the content of the Gospel in order to see the Gospel in the planting of a flower. I do believe God can regenerate an infant even in the womb, though I would not argue that it is anything like a norm. We are only able to know about Jesus Christ the Son of God through Special Revelation. Of course there is a difference between knowing about, and knowing in a way of personal relationship, but it is difficult to have a relationship with one we know nothing about no?

    Without searching one Scripture that comes to mind is "faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God" and Christ said his words "are spirit, and they are life". The blind person can hear the spoken word, the deaf person can learn to read braille and the Scriptures translated into braille. It does pose a problem for evangelicalism during the time of Christ through the early Church, however it is not such a problem for the predestinarian - monergist, as it is for the foreseen faith synergist. :D
     
  19. GirdYourLoins

    GirdYourLoins Well-Known Member

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    If you think only one or two things in the bible are true and can be verified thats your problem. The approach I was suggesting is to show them that some common preconceptions about the Bible are false. If you can show people that some of the things they believe about the bible are false and the bible can be supported by scientific evidence then it can be used to challenge their views that the whole of Christianity is false. If you can take someone from believing that the whole bibnle os false and nothing more than a story to accepting that what they thought was definitely false could in fact be truth it is a start, no more than that. Its opens the door to deeper conversation.
     
  20. Oscarr

    Oscarr Senior Veteran Supporter

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    The bottom line is that we need to convince them that there is a Personal-Infinite God who is really there and has communicated to mankind. Until we can get over that hurdle, we are wasting our breath trying to convince them of anything else.
     
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