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Witnessing to Atheists

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  • Witnessing to Atheists

    I'm thinking maybe some of the best apologetics with regards to atheists may be "caught" more than "taught".

    For 10 years, and admittedly not of my own choosing, my executive assistant was an atheist lesbian Jew. From the moment she found out I was a Christian, she was relentless in her mocking of (she used a word not approved of on Tweb due to blasphemy).

    I just decided to continue to be professional, courteous, and "Christian". She never missed an opportunity to flaunt her lesbianism or to bash Christ. She was in charge of arranging our annual Christmas party, which she tried her best to change to "Holiday Party", but the owners wouldn't allow that.

    LONG story short, I treated her with courtesy and respect, and, eventually, I endured an episode where my son-in-law to be was diagnosed with cancer. Sharon (not her real name) was compassionate about this, realizing this was not the time to be combative, and often asked how things were going. I ended up performing the wedding for my daughter and the young man, knowing his cancer was terminal, and the "til death do you part" part was really hard for me to say during the vows. 30 days after marrying them, I buried him. Sharon was paying particular attention to my handling of this whole saga.

    Amazingly, during this same time, Sharon's sister was diagnosed with terminal cancer. It was a Jewish funeral out of state, else I might have attended just to support Sharon.

    When she got back from family leave, Sharon came into my office and closed the door. She asked, "what if you're right and I'm wrong?"

    I had no idea what she was talking about, but she continued.. "about the Jesus thing".

    I explained that if I am wrong about Jesus, then I will have lived a pleasant life, loving family, avoiding a lot of ugliness, and die in peace, apparently dissolving into nothingness, or "whatever" -- no regrets. IF, however, SHE were wrong.... and she interrupted "then I'm in a hell of a lot of trouble".

    I don't know that she has taken that any further, or thought much more about it, but I do know that I had an opportunity to witness to her that I never would have had if I had "taken the bait" and "battled" her antagonism and hostility.

    I don't discount AT ALL the admonition from scripture to "always be ready to give an answer...." -- in fact, it's a fundamental part of my approach to witnessing. But at some point, there has to be "fertile ground" to plant the seed, and it's amazing to me how the Holy Spirit prepares the soil.
    The first to state his case seems right until another comes and cross-examines him.

  • #2
    Despite our religious differences, I commend you for meeting hostility with patience.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by seasanctuary View Post
      Despite our religious differences, I commend you for meeting hostility with patience.
      It's the Christian thing to do!

      (Thanks, Sea)
      The first to state his case seems right until another comes and cross-examines him.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Cow Poke View Post
        When she got back from family leave, Sharon came into my office and closed the door. She asked, "what if you're right and I'm wrong?"
        I had no idea what she was talking about, but she continued.. "about the Jesus thing".
        I explained that if I am wrong about Jesus, then I will have lived a pleasant life, loving family, avoiding a lot of ugliness, and die in peace, apparently dissolving into nothingness, or "whatever" -- no regrets. IF, however, SHE were wrong.... and she interrupted "then I'm in a hell of a lot of trouble".
        So the religion bullies her when she is at her most vulnerable. There is nothing good about that. Sorry to hear about your son-in-law. Into every life a little rain must fall.
        “I think God, in creating man, somewhat overestimated his ability.” ― Oscar Wilde
        “And if there were a God, I think it very unlikely that He would have such an uneasy vanity as to be offended by those who doubt His existence” ― Bertrand Russell
        “not all there” - you know who you are

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        • #5
          Originally posted by firstfloor View Post
          So the religion bullies her when she is at her most vulnerable.
          "bullies"? wow

          There is nothing good about that.
          You seem bitter.

          Sorry to hear about your son-in-law.
          Yes, I can see the empathy oozing....

          Into every life a little rain must fall.
          ... and all who live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.
          The first to state his case seems right until another comes and cross-examines him.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by firstfloor View Post
            So the religion bullies her when she is at her most vulnerable.
            Let's try another scenario --- the thief sat in her jail cell, thinking about the dumb thing she did when she stole that family's Christmas presents..... her conscience "bullied" her when she was "at her most vulnerable".

            Yeah, you're right, FF.... nothing good about that.
            The first to state his case seems right until another comes and cross-examines him.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Cow Poke View Post
              Let's try another scenario --- the thief sat in her jail cell, thinking about the dumb thing she did when she stole that family's Christmas presents..... her conscience "bullied" her when she was "at her most vulnerable".

              Yeah, you're right, FF.... nothing good about that.
              CP, firstfloor is a . He's demonstrated that very clearly in many threads. You're probably not going to have very fruitful discussion with him.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Cerebrum123 View Post
                CP, firstfloor is a . He's demonstrated that very clearly in many threads. You're probably not going to have very fruitful discussion with him.
                Yeah, I'm seeing that. He seems like one of the more "rabid" atheists.

                Thanks, Brum!
                The first to state his case seems right until another comes and cross-examines him.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Cow Poke View Post
                  Yeah, I'm seeing that. He seems like one of the more "rabid" atheists.

                  Thanks, Brum!
                  Yup, although he tends to be more passive aggressive in the way he does it.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Cerebrum123 View Post
                    Yup, although he tends to be more passive aggressive in the way he does it.
                    Jesus still loves him.
                    The first to state his case seems right until another comes and cross-examines him.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Cow Poke View Post
                      Let's try another scenario --- the thief sat in her jail cell, thinking about the dumb thing she did when she stole that family's Christmas presents..... her conscience "bullied" her when she was "at her most vulnerable".
                      Yeah, you're right, FF.... nothing good about that.
                      This is a little different to Pascal’s wager. I cannot imagine why God would be impressed by anyone who played that game; by someone who backed down too easily when threatened or by people who threaten others with the promise of damnation.
                      “I think God, in creating man, somewhat overestimated his ability.” ― Oscar Wilde
                      “And if there were a God, I think it very unlikely that He would have such an uneasy vanity as to be offended by those who doubt His existence” ― Bertrand Russell
                      “not all there” - you know who you are

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by firstfloor View Post
                        So the religion bullies her when she is at her most vulnerable. There is nothing good about that.
                        Wow, just...wow. I take it you also think that it constitutes bullying when reality throws something unpleasant in your way.
                        ~Formerly known as Chrawnus~

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                        • #13
                          So if somebody is deathly ill and doesn't know it and a doctor tells them what they have and what they need to do about it, using this logic, that doctor is a bully.
                          "I am not angered that the Moral Majority boys campaign against abortion. I am angry when the same men who say, "Save OUR children" bellow "Build more and bigger bombers." That's right! Blast the children in other nations into eternity, or limbless misery as they lay crippled from "OUR" bombers! This does not jell." - Leonard Ravenhill

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by KingsGambit View Post
                            So if somebody is deathly ill and doesn't know it and a doctor tells them what they have and what they need to do about it, using this logic, that doctor is a bully.
                            Or, the classic example of the guy yelling that the bridge is out -- should he REALLY "bully" drivers into not driving off the cliff? Perhaps it would be much more compassionate if he just stepped aside and stayed out of the road.
                            The first to state his case seems right until another comes and cross-examines him.

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                            • #15
                              She asked - why would lying have been a nice thing to do? Does anyone actually believe she came in wanting to be lied to?

                              Hey, FF, I hate to break it to you, but you can't fly. Sorry, but gravity isn't a suggestion - hate to 'bully' you by telling you that just 'cause you wanna jump out a window and fly doesn't mean you can.
                              "He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose." - Jim Elliot

                              "Forgiveness is the way of love." Gary Chapman

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