Author Topic: Witnessing to atheists  (Read 998 times)

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Andromeda_Organa

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Witnessing to atheists
« on: February 26, 2009, 10:15:37 PM »
How do I do it? They just shine with an air of intellectual superiority that makes me doubt my faith.  :dontknow:

Paul Hazelwood

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Re: Witnessing to atheists
« Reply #1 on: February 26, 2009, 10:44:22 PM »
How do I do it? They just shine with an air of intellectual superiority that makes me doubt my faith.  :dontknow:


Make friends, be yourself.

Offline Akira Takahashi

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Re: Witnessing to atheists
« Reply #2 on: February 27, 2009, 06:36:50 AM »
There was a guy at college who was very hostile to the Lord.  I still pray for him, but as we got to know each other, he realized that he'd made a whole bunch of generalizations regarding Christians that simply weren't true, and this was back when I still sometimes referred to myself as a fundamentalist.  He once said I was the most open-minded Christian he knew, and I assured him that not all Christians were narrow-minded.  Thus, he's now at least more friendly towards the Christian community, although he's not a Christian himself.

He seems to have made leaps and bounds, though, in his walk.  He was raised in a Christian home, but he was really just a hippie wannabe.  He turned to hard core drugs and alcohol, is covered with tatoos, some of them pornographic in nature, and he's really an arrogant guy, but once you get to know him, you see that he's just very lost and confused.  Nowadays, he's drug free and has been sober for 1 year.  So, thanks to him, I now see people who look like him on the street and instead of keeping my distance, I wonder if maybe they're just looking for help.

My youngest brother, on the other hand, believes himself to be smarter, wiser, and all around way past those "primitive" beliefs.  I still don't know what to do about him.

Offline sparrow

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Re: Witnessing to atheists
« Reply #3 on: February 27, 2009, 07:05:59 AM »
My youngest brother, on the other hand, believes himself to be smarter, wiser, and all around way past those "primitive" beliefs.  I still don't know what to do about him.

We each have our own path to walk...

Who says you have to do anything?

Walk your own path, and follow God's leading..If you are to share something with others, you will.

We are all drawn in different ways. We are not frozen in time. We all change and grow... the problem with human beings is we all expect others to change and grow ON OUR TIME TABLE. That's wrong. The atheist is where is right now because maybe that is where he is supposed to be. Let LOVE shine through you, and again... if you're meant to share something, then you will.  Just focus on letting love shine through. Your life is your "witness".

We're all here learning together. The "atheist" may well have some things to teach YOU. Remember that. Just because a human being knows one piece of the puzzle, doesn't mean they see the whole picture.  :icon_flower: I'm saying this as much for myself as others.  :winkgrin:

Andromeda, a question... How can you even want to "witness" to others, if you yourself do not seem to feel so rooted in what you believe?

well, just some thoughts...
"I knelt to drink,
And knew that I was on the brink
Of endless joy. And everywhere
I turned I saw a wonder there."

If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing.

Offline Nancy

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I love your responses Sparra!!!
« Reply #4 on: February 28, 2009, 08:30:07 PM »
hi ya andromeda and all,
By the way, Akira, i have a tattoo and am very proud of it!!!!

I love your responses Sparra, you are so open and loving. God bless ya girl

Godbless
Nancy

Offline sparrow

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Re: Witnessing to atheists
« Reply #5 on: February 28, 2009, 10:34:48 PM »
 :mfriends:
"I knelt to drink,
And knew that I was on the brink
Of endless joy. And everywhere
I turned I saw a wonder there."

If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing.

martincisneros

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Re: Witnessing to atheists
« Reply #6 on: March 01, 2009, 12:19:27 PM »
Allegory

Seldom challenged except by those Professors most in need of a laxative.  Plants the seeds deeply while lowering the defenses.  If creative enough, will stay in the imagination for a life time.

Think "Chronicles of Narnia" for an example.  It's not 100% obvious to many people that Aslan is Jesus Christ, and it's not 100% obvious to those who are aware of that to think of him consistently being Him throughout all 7 novels.

Jesus used parables to conceal the truth for people rather than from people.

On the one hand, George MacDonald's novels and faerie tales are much, much better.  On the other hand, they're a lot more preachy and wind up using Scriptures and wind up being a little too obvious.  But C.S. Lewis with the "Chronicles of Narnia" series and "Pilgrim's Regress" (not to be confused with Bunyon's "Pilgrim's Progress") get you there without feeling like you were in Church on Sunday morning or trying to get through a Christian television show.

If I had any atheists or agnostics in my life right now, then for Christmas, birthdays, or whatever, they'd likely have a copy of at least the first "Chronicles of Narnia" movie that was made [about 4 years ago or so] in this new series of them that's being made: "The Lion, The Witch, And the Wardrobe" and probably a copy of "Prince Caspian" that came out last year as well 'cause the first one introduces the solution to the problem of evil and the second movie deals with the "Where's God when you really need the bastard?" quasi-blasphemous quip that comes from many, many atheists and agnostics when they're going through stuff, have gone through stuff, or are just sick of what they're seeing in the world.  It's a subtle way of saying "He's a lot closer and a lot more involved in a good way in what's going on in your life than you'd dare to imagine on your most positive days" without getting the screams of "B.S." thrown back at you because it's spoon fed to folks in that epic mythological format rather than as a sermon, poem, intellectual argument, etc.

Offline Brian

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Re: Witnessing to atheists
« Reply #7 on: March 10, 2009, 07:07:16 AM »
How do I do it? They just shine with an air of intellectual superiority that makes me doubt my faith.  :dontknow:

It's no easy task if you're in an atheist discussion group. They really take you to task. An atheist who knows Christianity, can put your faith to the test.
For it is for this we labor and strive, because we have fixed our hope on the living God, who is the Savior of all men, especially of believers. 1 Timothy 4:10

Offline Brian

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Re: Witnessing to atheists
« Reply #8 on: March 10, 2009, 07:16:04 AM »
Allegory

Seldom challenged except by those Professors most in need of a laxative.  Plants the seeds deeply while lowering the defenses.  If creative enough, will stay in the imagination for a life time.

Think "Chronicles of Narnia" for an example.  It's not 100% obvious to many people that Aslan is Jesus Christ, and it's not 100% obvious to those who are aware of that to think of him consistently being Him throughout all 7 novels.

Speaking of which, C.S. Lewis had been an atheist, until he became friends with J.R.R. Tolkien (a Catholic). I think he addresses that in his book Mere Christianity (one more book I haven't gotten around to reading yet).
For it is for this we labor and strive, because we have fixed our hope on the living God, who is the Savior of all men, especially of believers. 1 Timothy 4:10

Offline Nathan

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Re: Witnessing to atheists
« Reply #9 on: March 10, 2009, 09:29:23 PM »
How do I do it? They just shine with an air of intellectual superiority that makes me doubt my faith.  :dontknow:

It's no easy task if you're in an atheist discussion group. They really take you to task. An atheist who knows Christianity, can put your faith to the test.


They can use the Scripture just as skillfully as a traditionalist . . .you really want to push their buttons, go dimensional . . .they hate that.  But in truth . . . let's keep the cart behind the horse.  Peter felt the same need to defend Jesus as he cut the ear off of the servant of the high priest . . .yet all he got for his efforts was a rebuke from the one he was trying to defend.  The sword isn't supposed to be something i use to defend what I believe . . .it's to affirm it "in me". 

I wonder how many clanging symbols sit in the pews every Sunday that have convinced themselves they are musicians in the orchestra of the kingdom of heaven.  Knowledge of the word proves nothing.  It becomes a debate based on how well I react on my feet . . .rather than a relationship based on love in me.  I make no defense that I am my Father's son in the flesh, why is there the need to do so with my Father in the spirit?

Offline Doc

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Re: Witnessing to atheists
« Reply #10 on: March 11, 2009, 01:38:42 AM »
My experience in talking with atheists online, is that although they will claim to have reached their position intellectually, there is almost always much more to it than that. Many, many of them were "believers" that were in the "church system" who ended up seeing just enough light to get off the Mystery Babylon bus, but then went the wrong way with it. (I knew I should have taken that left turn at Albuquerque!).
 
Anyway, what you'll find more often than not if you talk with them long enough is that they've not actually rejected God, they've rejected one of the many false idols of Him that cultural christianity has produced. These people are smart enough to see through the "BS" taught in most churches today, and reject that, concluding there must be no God because they haven't actually experienced Him yet, mostly through no fault of their own.

Do not try to argue with these people. Discuss with them certainly, but don't put them down. Love them. Tell them the truth. Tell them they have absolutely no problems with God whatsoever, they just haven't realized that yet, mainly due to poor teaching and legalism in the worldly church system. Loving them is going to be the easiest way for them to see God. I learned a lot from talking with atheists on message boards, and they challenged my notions and beliefs. My conversations with them were one of the key factors in God revealing UR to me.
God does not instruct us to pray to change His mind. He wants us to pray so that we'll know His mind.
 
"Prayer doesn't change God, it changes me." --C.S. Lewis

God never had or needed a Plan B. He's still on Plan A.

Res Veritas Loquitur

Paul Hazelwood

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Re: Witnessing to atheists
« Reply #11 on: March 11, 2009, 01:59:47 AM »

I have had personal conversations with literally 100's of athiests,  the vast majority online,  and I have done this through my transition from a belief in eternal hell trying to "Convince" them to save their soul to a position of where I am now that God takes care of humanity and his law is written on every humans heart.

Some of these Atheists have seen this progression in my path and I have spoken to them from both perspectives.


Many Christians including universalists or even Christians who really do not push hell that engage an atheist as if they are wrong in their position will always come away with the idea that each one they encounter simply refuses to believe in God.

I came away with this same thought anytime I put myself in a position before them that I had some truth that they didn't.

However, without exception (in my personal experience),  when I interact with an atheist and have a casual conversation understanding God is in charge of moving hearts, giving truth,  and not me,  I have not encountered one atheist that didn't conceed to the possibility of some concept of a God however slight, however unlikely in their mind.

Even if it is only the understanding that they could not disprove it either. 

What is most often rejected is not Christ as the spiritual "uheeem"  warriors like to lead people to believe.  It is the plain arrogance that you tell someone that they really need to believe what you do.   Because whether it is intentional or not, the message they will get and it often is true, and christians just won't admit it, is that they are looked down upon and this excuse that "it's the message" "not the messenger" is often a load of crap.





Offline Doc

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Re: Witnessing to atheists
« Reply #12 on: March 11, 2009, 02:06:48 AM »
Right on, Paul.  :thumbsup:
God does not instruct us to pray to change His mind. He wants us to pray so that we'll know His mind.
 
"Prayer doesn't change God, it changes me." --C.S. Lewis

God never had or needed a Plan B. He's still on Plan A.

Res Veritas Loquitur