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Pilgrim
Pilgrim
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www.arrogantatheist.com/forum/ #44044
Fri Jan 15, 2010 11:53 PM
Fri Jan 15, 2010 11:53 PM
Joined: Jan 2010
Posts: 3
U.S. Illinois
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Snake Offline OP
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Hello I'm new to this place and I'm very glad to be in it. For about the past 6 months I've been participating in debate at a forum, which is the title of this post. It's been very difficult as I've been going in there and debating as a one man army so to speak. I was wondering if there were any Christian apologists who would like to join me in influencing these atheists. They very often appeal to condescension, ad hominem attacks, and rabbit trailing in order to make it seem as though they are winning, which is their intention. They do not have any intention of being helpful or coming to rational conclusions although they claim to be rational. It has been a slow and difficult process but one or two are actually starting to seem a little more open minded. Regardless, dealing with them is very stressful, and I was hoping for some help from any christian apologists who don't shake the dust off their feet very easily. My username on the forum is snake.

Re: www.arrogantatheist.com/forum/ [Re: Snake] #44045
Sat Jan 16, 2010 5:37 AM
Sat Jan 16, 2010 5:37 AM
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Robin Offline
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While I can appreciate your frustration, it seems to me that the web site is set up by atheists as an atheist apologetic site. It is unwise to sit down with scoffers and mockers, even if they have invited you, promising "honest debate." You will always end up disputing their "facts."

Evaneglizing - sharing the gospel with anyone who will listen is one thing. Casting pearls before swine is a whole 'nother thing.

Been there, done that, got the teeshirt,
Robin

Re: www.arrogantatheist.com/forum/ [Re: Snake] #44046
Sat Jan 16, 2010 11:21 AM
Sat Jan 16, 2010 11:21 AM
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 13,837
NH, USA
Pilgrim Offline

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Pilgrim  Offline

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NH, USA
[Linked Image] to the Discussion Board.

I have to agree with Robin. To jump headlong into the lion's den with the intent of slaying the arguments of those who are openly hostile to Christianity, in general, and the Lord Jesus Christ specifically is often not a wise choice. IF one's intent is simply to present the Gospel and apply it to them, then this is a good thing. But once Christ in the Gospel has been set before them and they rail against it, the Scriptures tell us to shake the dust of our shoes and to move on. (Matt 7:6; 10:14-16)

We have had our share of bone fide Atheists here on the board and most never stay very long OR if they became openly antagonistic, they were banned. We trust in the sovereign providence of God in such matters so that this truth is fulfilled in us who declare the Gospel to sinners: 1 Corinthians 3:6-8 (KJV) "I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase. So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase. Now he that planteth and he that watereth are one: and every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labour.", i.e., we simply do our part, whatever it may be that the Lord has given us.

Quote
2 Corinthians 2:14-16 (KJV) "Now thanks [be] unto God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ, and maketh manifest the savour of his knowledge by us in every place. For we are unto God a sweet savour of Christ, in them that are saved, and in them that perish: To the one [we are] the savour of death unto death; and to the other the savour of life unto life. And who [is] sufficient for these things?"

Here is an excellent model of how one should approach those who deny the existence of God: Why I Believe in God, by Cornelius Van Til.

In His grace,


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simul iustus et peccator

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Re: www.arrogantatheist.com/forum/ [Re: Pilgrim] #44047
Sat Jan 16, 2010 1:54 PM
Sat Jan 16, 2010 1:54 PM
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U.S. Illinois
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Snake Offline OP
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I read the article. I certainly do believe that God should be presented as He is, regardless of whether or not it offends the other person. But to simply leave them with a short presentation without giving them an answer to their objections, is not acceptable. How long should we perservere in conditioning the soil? How many times should we throw out seed? Should we water the crops only once and let them wither for the remainder of the summer? For some of them it is merely to cast pearls before swine. But there are many fields, and it is our responsibility to perservere and influence. We are the means of Grace. Here is an excerpt from the article you gave me: "You may reply to this: "Then what's the use of arguing and reasoning with me?" Well, there is a great deal of use in it. You see, if you are really a creature of God, you are always accessible to Him. When Lazarus was in the tomb he was still accessible to Christ who called him back to life. It is this on which true preachers depend. The prodigal [son] thought he had clean escaped from the father's influence. In reality the father controlled the "far country" to which the prodigal had gone. So it is in reasoning. True reasoning about God is such as stands upon God as upon the emplacement that alone gives meaning to any sort of human argument. And such reasoning, we have a right to expect, will be used of God to break down the one-horse chaise of human autonomy."

Even then, should we not suppress the active centers of social cancer? Should we allow the flame of the already prevalent secular humanistic thought to spread by dismissal of futility? Cancer may not always be curable, but it can be suppressed. I am not necessarily saying you HAVE to come help me, and if the answer is no, then it is no. I can accept that you may not be interested, I was just hoping that there was someone in here who shared the same passion as I.

Re: www.arrogantatheist.com/forum/ [Re: Snake] #44048
Sat Jan 16, 2010 3:29 PM
Sat Jan 16, 2010 3:29 PM
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 13,837
NH, USA
Pilgrim Offline

Head Honcho
Pilgrim  Offline

Head Honcho
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 13,837
NH, USA
Originally Posted by Snake
But to simply leave them with a short presentation without giving them an answer to their objections, is not acceptable.

We here are not modern fundamentalists and thus our understanding of the Gospel isn't some 10 second sound byte. grin In fact, we don't believe that the Gospel can be compressed into some neat little 'package' and parroted to people we meet. One needs to discern where each individual is as far as knowledge of biblical truths beginning with the person and nature of the Triune God, the incarnation, the Fall, salvation, etc. In this way, one meets the person's true needs in understanding the truths of the Gospel. We can see this vividly in the contrast between what Paul taught to Gentiles vs. what Peter taught to Jews who had centuries of exposure to the teachings of Moses and the Prophets. What are the basic elements which must be included in the Gospel, which again aren't necessarily to be covered in one sitting, nor is it often possible? See here: A Gospel Summary.

Originally Posted by Snake
How long should we perservere in conditioning the soil? How many times should we throw out seed? Should we water the crops only once and let them wither for the remainder of the summer? For some of them it is merely to cast pearls before swine. But there are many fields, and it is our responsibility to perservere and influence. We are the means of Grace.

"How long?" is answered by prayer and discernment given by the Spirit and learned through experience. There is thus no definitive length of time. One can generally get a good idea of when to cease from what questions a person asks and/or the manner in which they are asked and the response received when those questions are answered. However, a correction is needed here in that "we" are decidedly not the "means of grace." For, "the gospel is the power of God unto salvation to all who believe." The means of grace are the preaching/teaching/speaking forth of the Word, prayer and the sacraments which are God's 'visible sermons'. We are vessels, ambassadors of Christ to be sure, but again we are not "the means of Grace."

Originally Posted by Snake
Even then, should we not suppress the active centers of social cancer? Should we allow the flame of the already prevalent secular humanistic thought to spread by dismissal of futility? Cancer may not always be curable, but it can be suppressed. I am not necessarily saying you HAVE to come help me, and if the answer is no, then it is no. I can accept that you may not be interested, I was just hoping that there was someone in here who shared the same passion as I.

Our very lives are "salt" and "light" unto the world and thus true Christians are 'influential' in that they are witnesses to the sinfulness of all mankind. It is through our votes during elections that we help combat corruption, lasciviousness, and all manner of evil. Even by observing and sanctifying the Sabbath we shine forth the truth of God to the world. Yet, in regard to dialog there is a limit to how long we should continue with individuals. Remember, it is not our ability to persuade, but rather the Holy Spirit working through the Word which we faithfully proclaim according to God's eternal purpose. To do nothing is to disobey God. To continue beyond what is prudent is to offend God. In all situations we are to rely upon the Spirit of God to guide us. As Solomon wrote under the divine inspiration of this same Spirit:

Proverbs 12:15 (ASV) "The way of a fool is right in his own eyes; But he that is wise hearkeneth unto counsel."

Proverbs 18:2 (ASV) "A fool hath no delight in understanding, But only that his heart may reveal itself."
Proverbs 23:9 (ASV) "Speak not in the hearing of a fool; For he will despise the wisdom of thy words."

THUS...

Proverbs 26:4-5 (ASV) "Answer not a fool according to his folly, Lest thou also be like unto him. Answer a fool according to his folly, Lest he be wise in his own conceit."

CONSIDER...

Proverbs 29:20 (ASV) "Seest thou a man that is hasty in his words? There is more hope of a fool than of him."

Hopefully, even if no one chooses to visit that Atheist site, perhaps for good cause, you will continue to avail yourself of the brethren here and their wisdom as well as the myriad resources on The Highway main website which contains over 1600 books, articles, sermons, etc. bigglasses

In His grace,



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simul iustus et peccator

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Re: www.arrogantatheist.com/forum/ [Re: Pilgrim] #44051
Sun Jan 17, 2010 9:34 PM
Sun Jan 17, 2010 9:34 PM
Joined: Jan 2010
Posts: 3
U.S. Illinois
S
Snake Offline OP
Plebeian
Snake  Offline OP
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Joined: Jan 2010
Posts: 3
U.S. Illinois
Hmmm, ok yeah. Maybe I have gone too far with them. Thanks for the advise, the verses about fools helped me gain a better perspective. Thanks!

Re: www.arrogantatheist.com/forum/ [Re: Snake] #44066
Thu Jan 21, 2010 1:37 PM
Thu Jan 21, 2010 1:37 PM
Joined: Feb 2009
Posts: 149
Georgia, USA
sojourner Offline

Member
sojourner  Offline

Member
Joined: Feb 2009
Posts: 149
Georgia, USA
I took a peek at that site just to see what it was all about . In a word.....disgusting! I can take ridicule and even persecution heaped unto myself but I can not take mocking,cursing and blaspheming of my Lord.
Snake, if you feel that you have a ministry to those at that site ,then I wish you well.Your constitution is thicker than mine. I can only leave those there with Psalm 1:6 which says that the way of the ungodly will perish.


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