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Thread for Atheists & Christians - STFU
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[quote:Don'tBeAfraid:MV8yMTI2NzkzXzM1OTE3MjA1Xzk4QkZEMEE=] [quote:Anonymous Coward 85989:MV8yMTI2NzkzXzM1OTE3MTA1X0JDRDQzNTM=] [quote:Don'tBeAfraid:MV8yMTI2NzkzXzM1OTE2MzM5XzkyNkVFRkIw] So, how the heck can one Christian convince a nonbeliever? It isn't by using the Bible. That's getting the cart before the horse. 99% of the time, when witnessing, we're creating a relationship with another human being. We genuinely care about others, for Jesus said to do very specific things if we are His Sheep. If an atheist, you could stop listening if the Bible offends you, for I'm preaching to the choir (the Christians) for a moment: "The Judgment 31“But when the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him, then He will sit on His glorious throne.32“All the nations will be gathered before Him; and He will separate them from one another, as the shepherd separates the sheep from the goats;33and He will put the sheep on His right, and the goats on the left. 34“Then the King will say to those on His right, ‘Come, you who are blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.35‘[b]For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me something to drink; I was a stranger, and you invited Me in;36naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick, and you visited Me; I was in prison, and you came to Me.’37“Then the righteous will answer Him, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry, and feed You, or thirsty, and give You something to drink?38‘And when did we see You a stranger, and invite You in, or naked, and clothe You?39‘When did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’40“The King will answer and say to them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.[/b]’ 41“Then He will also say to those on His left, ‘Depart from Me, accursed ones, into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels;42for I was hungry, and you gave Me nothing to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me nothing to drink;43I was a stranger, and you did not invite Me in; naked, and you did not clothe Me; sick, and in prison, and you did not visit Me.’44“Then they themselves also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry, or thirsty, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not take care of You?’45“Then He will answer them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.’46“These will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.” Matthew 25: 34-46 When we do these things in a sincere selfless manner, as many missionaries have done in countless nations, then many other people seeing their good works will say, "Sir or Madam, why are you here doing all of these wonderfully kind things? It's expensive for you to be building schools to educate our children. That hospital is saving so many lives. Those wells you dug for us, we are getting healthier now that you have built them. Why do you do these things for us?". Now the missionaries can say, "We do it out of love. We don't do it out of reason. We do it because once someone helped us and they were Christians. Jesus told us to do these things. He is our Master. He said it, so we do it. He must increase and we must decrease. We want to share that goodness from our Master with you, if you are interested. We will do these things even if you're not interested, for there is Free Will. It's up to you to listen if interested." Many will listen then because we're doing what Jesus said to do. Jesus Saves...not us. We are frail beings and make mistakes. Jesus is undeniably kind hearted and good. Seldom will people say the opposite of Jesus. [/quote] Don'tBeAfraid, thanks for bringing truth and eloquence into the conversation. I agree with your approach in sharing truth in love. It's also reassuring to know that no argument I give for the truth of Christ will win someone over-- unless God is softening that person's heart and mind to receive the gospel. We must be faithful in doing what we've been called to do in Christ and trust Him with the outcome. God can use a highly-intellecual argument to loose the chains of the oppressed or He can use the simplest of scriptures from the mouth of a child to do that same work. God can use my 7 year old daughter as much as a William Lane Craig or Ravi Zacharias. [/quote] Thank you for your kindness. Jesus said that we must be called by God for us to become aware of God. People think they chose God, but actually the Bible says that we cannot find God on our own. http://www.godlikeproductions.com/forum1/message1587908/pg34#35499582 You must be called to know the Source Part One People think that they can find the Source. They look in a book called the Bible. They might attend a church service. Perhaps they go on a spiritual retreat. They explore the wilderness trying to find the Source. They search the eyes of their friends for the Source too. You cannot find YHWH that way. One could search a whole lifetime and never find YHWH. Doing so, you will only find glimmers and disappointment in the end. Many fall away because of this, even though they begin with good intentions. Because people look for the Source that way, and then cannot understand the Bible, then they assume if it a meaningless book. They go to a church service, see some things which are good and others as hypocrisy and never find the Source. They go on a spiritual retreat, and though surrounded by passionate believers, they feel lost. They walk in the woods, and when no one is around, they speak to the Source...even aloud...and silence is the answer. They see good works in their friends who believe and yet no matter what, they also see that they are human and fallible and the Source does not appear in their midst. How then to find the Source of All Love? You must ask to be found by YHWH and called. John 3:27 To this John replied, "A man can receive only what is given him from heaven. John 6:44 Jesus said "No one can come to Me, unless the Father who sent Me draw him: and I will raise him up on the last day.'' John 6:37 All those the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never drive away. John 15:16 You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit--fruit that will last. Then the Father will give you whatever you ask in my name. We can only draw near to the presence of YHWH if allowed. It is the Source's decision for it to occur. Don't think you choose to believe in YHWH. First you were known and then called. If you are not called, then something must be impeding the call to happen. Have you ever wanted to meet someone, have a relationship with them, and it didn't happen? When that occurred did you get upset ? Maybe the one that you so longed for, that you felt was perfect, that was right for you, and still it didn't occur. Did you then say very negative things in your mind about them? Did you tell other people that that person wasn't any good, anyway? Were things awkward from then on? Now years later, do you find that your mind turns to that special time and “what might have been?” Is the Source cruel then? Does YHWH evade us? That can't be correct. What does Jesus say? John 3:3 In reply Jesus declared, "I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again." What does that mean? What an unusual statement. He's speaking to Nicodemus. Nicodemus was a wise rabbi who was a Pharisee who spent an enormous amount of time searching the Torah and the Prophets looking for the Source. He was respected and a member of the Sanhedrin, the council of those with special authority. He also was kind to Jesus (Yeshua) and we know later that he did special things when Jesus died. At his own expense he made burial arrangements. If there was one good man in Jerusalem, then everyone would have assumed it was Nicodemus. Jesus says he must do one thing...be born again, and then he shall see the Kingdom of God. That seems like a paradox until you read the entire chapter. Jesus has come, not to condemn. The world condemns you. Mean cruel people condemn you. Maybe your parents condemn you. Jesus saves you. You have been swallowed by the darkness. You are fearful of the Light of the Source. It exposed your darkness within. The only way is....shhhh it's secret: John 3:19-21 For everyone who does evil hates the Light, and does not come to the Light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. “But he who practices the truth comes to the Light, so that his deeds may be manifested as having been wrought in God.” Fear of exposure. That is what is impeding you. When we decide that we will practice truth and be born again, then YHWH allow us to see the Kingdom of God. Only then will you be found by the Source of All Life. The impediment is YOU, not God. Being born again is the door to discovering the Source. Jesus is here to save us from the darkness. When the collapse comes, the we will need Him. The only way is stop being afraid of being exposed for the darkness in our hearts, and then practice truth so we can see the Kingdom of God. [/quote]
Let's get right to it.
No one can prove that "God" or any variation thereof the concept is real.
No one can prove that "God" or any variation thereof the concept is NOT real.
All arguments are moot without assuming a "given".
How can I say all this with certainty?
BECAUSE NO ONE CAN PROVE THAT THEY'RE NOT DREAMING RIGHT NOW, with fabricated memories and all.
No matter what, FAITH is required just to participate in whatever you think is reality.
Both atheists and God-believers base their beliefs on FAITH in experiential data.
A true atheist "lacks a belief" and that is a perfectly honest position to hold. However, the rabid atheists who argue endlessly that "there is no God" are taking the same leap of faith that the proselytizing Christians are.
SO--is there a GOD?
My experiential data (a near-death experience that was seemingly as "real" as anything else I've experienced) says YES.
That's why I believe in God.
But I'd be a liar if I said that my NDE provides "proof"--even to myself. After all, my dreams are as "real" as anything even when I'm walking on the ceiling and lightsaber fighting and flying a MIG--all with a head full of outlandish memories.
So...all of you know-it-alls arguing FOR or AGAINST the concept of "God" need to
because your arguments ARE DEMONSTRABLY FLAWED.
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