Tag Archives: evangelism
Over the last few days, a fellow I didn’t know sent me a series of messages on Facebook, asking me if I’d explain further a statement I made on another person’s page in response to that person’s posting. I said Sure… It became apparent in just a couple exchanges that this wasn’t a sincere inquiry into what *I meant, but a backdoor effort to bring me to Jesus. There are two most telling items here; his comment in red, and the fact that he NEVER went to read what I suggested. Here is the exchange – with his and his friend’s names removed- initials only. Atheists will find this exchange classic. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had this same conversation, almost word for word, yet each Christian thinks they’ve come up with a new approach. I’ve given him the last word in each case, because he wouldn’t stop until I did.
Here y’are. BEGIN MSGS. (Note as there were three different threads, noted below. G’s comments are in bold, my replies in plain text.)
G- Hi Carol, I am a friend of S’s. I was just curious. Are you a Christian or an athiest or neither?
Carol: Hi G… I am an atheist with strong Buddhist philosophical leanings, and a naturalist – which is very much like a buddhist, in that I think everything is interrelated, and nothing is ‘better’ than anything else. What are you? Why do you ask?
G- I am a Christian. I just asked because I saw your post on his wall. Have you always been an athiest or were you once something else? If so, what caused the change?
Carol – I became atheist – actually agnostic in the usual definition – had a lot of doubts but hadn’t made a decision about the existence of gods- in my teens. Some years later, after a lot of thought, I realized I am atheist. What caused the change? Well, (and I mean no offense to you– you’re asking me!) the tenets of beliefs were irrational to me. The reasons for gods existenses were unjustifiable, in my mind. Just as to you what I believe is inconceivable, belief in gods is, to me, bizarre and irrational.
G- I see. So, why is belief in God irrational to you? Is that your main criteria for determining whether a thing be credible or no?
Carol- It might be easier for you to read my blogs, and other commentary to get an idea of where I’m coming from. The blog is on www.caraleisa.com, and there are other articles I’ve written on www.philosoraptor.com.
To answer the ‘irrational’ bit… it’s ONE criteria which applies to SOME things, and not others. There’s nothing which applies to everything!
G- So basically you belief all Truth to be had is relative, and that there are no universal truths?
Carol – That’s a pretty all-encompassing statement, but if you mean do I think there are absolute truths, then no, I do not. I’m curious why you are asking… are you truly interested in understanding where atheists are coming from, or are you out to save me?
G- Well, actually BOTH! I genuinely care about people and their beliefs and there futures. That is part of being a Christian. I’ll understand if you want to discontinue dialoguing…
Carol – I don’t mind discussing my beliefs with you, as long as you put your agenda aside and truly want ONLY to learn. If you can do that, we can talk. If you want to save me, then no, I am truly not interested. I wonder if you understand how offensive that is – try thinking of it in reverse – if I wanted to talk to you because I said I genuinely care about people but really want I wanted was to get you to recognize and accept the absurdity and falsehood of your beliefs. See what I mean?
So… it’s up to you. I’ll be happy to explain my beliefs to you if you are still interested. I don’t want to hear about Christianity, though! If that’s not what you want, that’s ok, too…
G – Like I said, actually BOTH I DO want to hear you beliefs, but would like it to be fair (i.e. I am able to express mine also). The Gospel by nature is offensive to us all, because it exposes us for what we really are…and we don’t like that.
Carol – Well, I’m afraid I don’t want to hear your beliefs… so I suppose we’re at a standstill. See, YOU asked me about mine, but I haven’t asked you about yours… and don’t intend to. It was not the gospel I found offensive; it is the attitude that only a Christian is right about the issue of gods, and I need to hear from you to fix myself. You don’t know anything about my experiences, or what I DO know about Christianity. . . which is a great deal. I just don’t buy it, and am pretty tired of Christians trying to ‘educate’ me. Also, I really DO like who I am, and am sorry that your gospels make you feel that you don’t like yourself. I am a good person, I care for and help people, and give them respect for who they are, without trying to change them. I think that I deserve the same respect. So, we’re going nowhere, Greg. I wish you well, though! And like I said, there’s a great deal about my beliefs on the websites I pointed out to you if you really DO want to know how I think. Have a great holiday, and Happy New Year!
G- Carol, based on what you wrote, I am afraid you don’t understand the gospel. It doesn’t make you feel bad about yourself. The Gospel is Good News! That is why Christians don’t want to shut up and want to talk about it all the time!
Carol – G***, I didn’t say that, YOU did. And seriously, if you want to save someone, find someone else, it won’t be me. I’m already quite well saved. You need to understand that pushing your faith on others is not always welcome. I really don’t want to be rude, but I really am not going to play…
G- Carol, Whart are saved from?
Carol Everhart Roper – Your evangelism…
G- You enjoyed saying that one didn’t you?
Carol- Well, you DID ask for it! And actually, no, I didn’t enjoy it. I don’t like to be forced to be heavy handed to get a point across, but you sorta left me no choice.
G- Its fine…you didn’t offend me.
It’s funny because between the two of us, you seem to be the less “tolerant” and yet the general charge is that Christians are the ones who are not tolerant of listening and accepting others…
G – I hope… You aren’t afraid of hearing my perspective
Carol Everhart Roper — Haha, no I am not afraid of it. I am simply totally uninterested in it. Sorry!!
NOTE: HERE is where the true colors show:
G- Fair enough. Your choice. I will not be held accountable for not trying to warn you on the Day of Reckoning.
Carol Quote: << I will not be held accountable for not trying to warn you on the Day of Reckoning.>> Wow… do you not think that’s pretty sanctimonious? G***, I am not and have not attacked your beliefs,but am simply stating that they are NOT mine, and I do not wish to rethink what I believe. Now that you realize you’re not going to get anywhere, please don’t throw that stuff at me. It’s meaningless to me, and just feels rude. Again, Best wishes to you and yours.
G– Carol, I didn’t say it to make you angry. I said it out of heartfelt concern. Please don’t mistake that for rudeness. I have not intentions of being rude to you. honest.
Carol Everhart Roper – Good, I am glad you were unintentionally rude, and didn’t mean to be … well, I think we’ve wrapped this conversation up! Happy Holidays!
G- But the Gospel is offensive, and that is what I have been sharing. Merry Christmas! Jesus is Lord!