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Atheist Vs Christian Online Debates Fruitful?


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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

Hi guys! first post.. So im active on a board for fitness and in the non-sense board there is a Christian debate going on. I have posted two replies and im wondering if its worth it.

In person you can talk to a person and see them, and you are not arguing vs who is better at googling answers etc.

At the same time, just like hearing someing cussing and using Gods name, watching these threads just drive me mental at the ignorance about what "christians believe".


What do you think?

Boards like this between christians learning and sharpening theology I love... but the debate vs an atheist.. fruitful?

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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

Waste of time. They're on the most part a bunch of mockers and gainsayers. I would be a better stewardship of your time to teach someone the scripture who wants to learn it.

Edited by ASongOfDegrees
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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

I nearly had a coC man convert. I had been posting on a board for quite some time, debates got quite heated after some RCC members invaded that old yahoo Baptist message board.

 

I got in a heated discussion with a coC member who was from Nashville, TN, he was a life long members for his parents raised him in the coC,, & he had married a none coC woman but converted her to the coC. More times than not if a coC marries outside of the coC, the one they marry generally converts.

 

I manged to get him really thinking about how one is really saved, & he nearly accepted the grace by faith not of self, not of works, its a gift. I believe he started thinking about the coming out from among them, & separating from his coC family, & the consequences. We had gone from the board to personal emails. Them one day I got an email from him saying do not ever email me again, i will never have any contact with you again, them my emails started bouncing, & he left that yahoo Baptist message board.

 

I think if it has been in person & we had that conversation face to face the outcome might have been different. After that I stopped that approach.

 

Yet, I'm not saying its wrong, a person just has to feel it out & try their best to do what they think our Lord would approve of. Sometimes it would be right, perhaps many times it would be wrong.

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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

What do you think?

Boards like this between christians learning and sharpening theology I love... but the debate vs an atheist.. fruitful?

 

 

I think for the most part its a waste of time.

 

I learned this the hard way debating politics and later the things of God with the lost.  Really, you never know if your efforts have born fruit.  Unless you're able to contact that person some time later and see how they're doing.  Then again, someone passing by or not actively engaged in the discussion may begin to think about their desperate condition and begin listening more about the things of God until finally they come to repentance.  We can't rightly know.  You'll never know if someone's life was save because of what you wrote, but God will.  What ultimately stopped me was Romans 10:17.

 

Remember Isaiah 55:11 and 1 Corinthians 3:6 and Romans 10:17 

 

 

"So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it."  

 

"I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase."

 

"So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God."

Edited by swathdiver
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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

I disagree with many of these.  Like Swath said, someone may be following the debate, hanging in the balance, and truth needs to be known.  We ought always to stand for Truth, although others believe they are also standing for Truth, and it seems endless, at least when we stand before God we won't have that to answer to.

 

1Pe 3:15  But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:
1Pe 3:16  Having a good conscience; that, whereas they speak evil of you, as of evildoers, they may be ashamed that falsely accuse your good conversation in Christ.

 

Always be ready/willing to stand for what's right.
 

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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

I guess I'm a late bloomer, but I just very recently realized it's pointless to debate online with atheists as well as people who claim they are Christians, but follow progressive ideology. Both deny the Bible as the inherent, inspired Word of God and its authority. Both deny eternal damnation. Both deny creation of the world. Both deny that there in only one way to God. Both deny that people are born with a sin nature and need to crucify the flesh daily. Both make a sport of mocking and belittling Bible believing Christians. 

 

That is why, whenever someone who is a non-christian (and I will be so bold as to include "liberal Christians" in that group), is obviously solely interested in seeing believers de-convert thanks to their needling and "shining logic and reason" I ignore them. It's very discouraging to be a Christian online and have people openly ridicule your beliefs. I've never had a single debate with non-christians online in which the person said, "you know, you've given me a lot to think about". It typically devolves into, "you're clearly a brainwashed moron, so I'm done". 

 

Just recently I was on a knitting forum and my avatar is of a man kneeling to pray. No less than five people derailed the conversation we were having about dinner party advice to make childish implications that my avatar looked like a man doing something dirty. When I very politely clarified what the image was, it encouraged them to make even more jokes. They are truly doing the enemy's work via the internet. He's playing them like puppets on strings.

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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

Will you be able to convince the active board members on the atheist forums?  Absolutely not.

There is a (small) chance you may be able to persuade the bystanders who watch the debates from a distance.

I was involved on a Non-KJVO non-Baptist forum for awhile, and it helped ME personally in my own study, understanding, and dissemination of what I believe.  It really forced me to go beyond "what I learned at school" type mentality, and dig deeper into scripture to find solid foundations for my doctrinal positions.  So it was helpful to ME, and that help had a direct impact on my preaching and teaching abilities.

I have debated some atheists on a few forums in the past, and again I personally gained a lot - I learned alot about their positions, I learned how to counter many of their attacks with simple verses, and gained a lot of insight into many things.  I seriously doubt my debates had any impact on the audience, but it was edifying to me personally and helped gain a better handle on Scripture. 

 

So if you want to go at it from that angle, it could be useful.  If you are trying to persuade them, forget it.

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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

I visit very few boards - this one and two 4wd boards are the only ones I regularly visit. I simply do not have the time to be on line all day every day. On the 4wd boards they all know I am a Pastor.
Sometimes there are discussions about faith and belief, or evolution, creation, and science.
I am selective in which discussions I participate in, and how and how long I do so.
Some are clearly baiting "calling me out" so to speak. I rarely join in them - partly because I know it frustrates them.....;)
Sometimes it is appropriate but later gets derailed - I jump ship at that point.
I do not hide who I am, but I am there for 4wd help, advice, and information.
So the majority of my interaction is in that context.
I guess what I am saying is that it depends on the setting, purpose, and attitudes of the discussion as to whether it is worth it.

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  • Advanced Member

Hi Gorship. Perhaps wading into a conversation seems a folly, but we are told to be fools for Christ's sake. At the same time, we don't have to ensure we always have the last word (Matthew 10:14) or spend all of our time wading into every discussion (Matthew 7:6). As Irishman and Swathdiver have pointed out, we don't know how God might using our speaking up to convict someone in even years to come.

 

I've always liked the line in the poem Deserted Village: "...fools, who came to scoff, remained to pray."

 

Btw I came to this forum an atheist with plans to argue with people, so take heart! :icon_smile:

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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

Hi Gorship. Perhaps wading into a conversation seems a folly, but we are told to be fools for Christ's sake. At the same time, we don't have to ensure we always have the last word (Matthew 10:14) or spend all of our time wading into every discussion (Matthew 7:6). As Irishman and Swathdiver have pointed out, we don't know how God might using our speaking up to convict someone in even years to come.

 

I've always liked the line in the poem Deserted Village: "...fools, who came to scoff, remained to pray."

 

Btw I came to this forum an atheist with plans to argue with people, so take heart! :icon_smile:

 

Sometimes we should, sometimes we should not. This is something that cannot be written in stone. Each situation is different! We just have to the best of our ability hope to make a wise decision when to enter into it, & when not to.

 

And when we do we surely need to pray to our Lord:

 

Col 4:3 Withal praying also for us, that God would open unto us a door of utterance, to speak the mystery of Christ, for which I am also in bonds:
Col 4:4 That I may make it manifest, as I ought to speak.
Col 4:5 ¶ Walk in wisdom toward them that are without, redeeming the time.
Col 4:6 Let your speech be alway with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man.

 

That we would have the proper words to say.

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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

What would Jesus do?  if the Holy Spirit can use something we say, or give us some sort of influence with them, He can convert them.  I can't believe the people that just give up because "there is no hope" of reaching them.  At one time, there was no hope for me either.

 

Not many will readily admit that you influenced them for good, but they do have something to think about upon their beds, when alone and all is quiet.  It's like giving out tracts, they may act as if they are offended (and some will be, of course), but many have read the tract later, and given their life to the Lord.  I, for one, will argue or debate, whatever you call it, for the glory of God.  If he has given me a bit of insight, it would be wrong for me to ignore it.

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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

Too many times we attempt to predict how things we say will be taken.  This thinking can hinder soul winning, and leaves out the power of the Holy Ghost working through His Word. 

 

I guess there are a lot of differences of opinion on this matter, One thing is for sure, they need to hear the Gospel whether they accept the Bible as true or not.  My sister was one of those who always questioned, and I witnessed to her any way, right after she attempted suicide.

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Our calling from the Lord is to sow the seed.  He waters.  As we are led by Him in obedience we should follow through and witness.  

 

Many times our ego gets in the way and we may respond in battle mode to "prove" the truth in our might, not His leading.   Then we get in the middle of a debate which is not glorifying or pleasing to him.

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I hope no one would disagree with sowing the seed, watering, or sowing and watering. It's when the discussion begins to trample the word or our Lord in the mud we may need to consider withdrawal. God's word may cause rejection, that is one of the outcomes possible from freewill. So, yes give it with the right spirit and leave with the right spirit.

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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

The Lord knew there would be a time to walk away.

Mat 10:14 And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear your words, when ye depart out of that house or city, shake off the dust of your feet.

There comes a time when it is useless to go further.
Trick is figuring out when that is.

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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

Our calling from the Lord is to sow the seed.  He waters.  As we are led by Him in obedience we should follow through and witness.  

 

Many times our ego gets in the way and we may respond in battle mode to "prove" the truth in our might, not His leading.   Then we get in the middle of a debate which is not glorifying or pleasing to him.

 

That is so true, & that is why we need to be careful, in the heat of the moment we can do more damage than good, & that's not good. So this is something we need to be very careful about, & be sure to use wisdom from above, & not our own.

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The Lord knew there would be a time to walk away.

Mat 10:14 And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear your words, when ye depart out of that house or city, shake off the dust of your feet.

There comes a time when it is useless to go further.
Trick is figuring out when that is.

1 Corinthians 2:16 For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.

 

I think the Holy Spirit will help us.

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  • 1 year later...

I enjoy debating with atheists because it challenges me to develop my usage of Bible teaching and philosophy.   I believe that we can have an impact of sowing seeds for the Word of God by being skillful in answering atheistic methodologies.   I think a large part of why our culture and the whole world has become increasingly ungodly is due to Christians throwing their hands up in the air and withdrawing from the discussions.  Public schools, popular music, television, gaming, movies....all have been relentless in promoting the pleasures of sin and the appeal of pride to be independent from God.   Christians have for the most part relented.  Far too many Christians are attending Charles Dickens Christmas plays when they should be focusing on loving the Lord with all of their hearts, strength, mind, and soul.  Christians have become friends of the world rather than occupiers in enemy territory trying to pull people back from the gates of Hell.

Atheism is taught boldly to little children, with poisoning statements promoting prideful hatred against God and I think it's a shame that most Christians today are incapable of standing toe to toe with them in a debate.  Most atheists are incapable of standing toe to toe in a debate and resort to verbal abuse trying to provoke an emotional fistfight.  (Actually, they are incapable of standing toe to toe in debate with a child of God even if they are well mannered and eloquent enough to continue until one or the other drops in death, because the atheist falls into Hell in eternal death to be cast into the Lake of Fire, while the Christian stands in eternal life)  I will engage them for the sake of others who are listening and always believing it is possible that saying the right thing, the right way, at the right time will trigger something to flip that light switch for the Lord so they can see the truth of the gospel and repent and believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and be saved from Hell and know it.

Any fruit is from God, and I believe He has rewards for all who work in His fields trying to sow seeds for Him.  

I type these things prayerfully for any unbelievers who might happen to read them.

Edited by Saintnow
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It sounds to me like a lot of Christians are tired of the battle.  Does it bother anybody other than me that I can't walk down the sidewalks in the city any more without having dirty sin glorifying  atheism pumped into my ears through the music broadcast from speakers posted throughout the downtown area on the tops of the buildings?  They pump that dirty sin glorifying and promoting garbage into my ears, put it in my face with their pornography spirited advertisements, and out of the hundreds of people who pass by me I can't tell if there is one Christian in the crowd because none of them show any sign of discomfort in the dunghill of the world.  When is the last time I heard anybody other than  myself say "wicked" at the glorifying of sin in public?....it's been a couple weeks at least, and that other person would have been a member of my church or one of the missionary visitors.

Edited by Saintnow
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I can understand Christians wanting to avoid the public debates when Nero is using them for Roman Candles to light his garden at night after he's tired of watching them being fed to the lions all day...but in a land where we are supposed to have freedom of speech, the big mouth atheists have pretty much drowned out the voices of Christians.

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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

Saintnow,

I'm sorry, but I'm not sure I grasp what you are getting at in these last two posts.

The world is lost so when we venture out sin abounds in the form of foul speech, sinful music and images, immodest dress, various forms of public indecency and on and on. I don't grimace my face or walk about speaking outloud that here is sin, there is sin so if we passed one another you might not perceive the grieving in my heart over the sin; nor would you likely realize when I'm in prayer concerning such.

I'm not sure if actual Christians are more silent today or it's just that most people tune us out. In some areas I've been the people have no interest in God, the idea of sin or need of salvation. In areas such as where I'm at now, virtually everyone considers themselves to be a Christian to one extent or another regardless of the fact most are not and many know nearly nothing of true Christianity. Even so, they think they are Christians, they've heard enough Christian talk from church or Sunday school as a child and from TV or radio preachers they think they know enough. These people tend to be hardened to the Gospel and take offense at the idea they need to hear the Gospel, they need to examine the condition of their soul, they need to consider in light of Scripture whether they truly are a Christian by God's definition or if they are only secular Christians just as lost as the Muslim, Wiccan, Atheist, Agnostic, or any other lost soul.

The Gospel is being shared, warnings are being given, but the reception of so many in America today is blocked.

Unfortunately, many Christians have taken to politics, debating pet issues and such things rather than obeying Scripture and spreading the Gospel and making disciples of those who are born again in Christ whether few or many.

Atheists enjoy more freedom of speech because their speech is deemed politically correct while today Christians are experiencing curtailment of their freedom of speech because true Christianity isn't politically correct and is becoming tied to those things the world is calling evil as we are tagged as intolerant haters.

We know and have the only means of salvation and we are to share that but then it's up to the lost whether or not they open to the Holy Ghost or reject His pleas to receive Christ.

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Will you be able to convince the active board members on the atheist forums?  Absolutely not.

There is a (small) chance you may be able to persuade the bystanders who watch the debates from a distance.

I was involved on a Non-KJVO non-Baptist forum for awhile, and it helped ME personally in my own study, understanding, and dissemination of what I believe.  It really forced me to go beyond "what I learned at school" type mentality, and dig deeper into scripture to find solid foundations for my doctrinal positions.  So it was helpful to ME, and that help had a direct impact on my preaching and teaching abilities.

I have debated some atheists on a few forums in the past, and again I personally gained a lot - I learned alot about their positions, I learned how to counter many of their attacks with simple verses, and gained a lot of insight into many things.  I seriously doubt my debates had any impact on the audience, but it was edifying to me personally and helped gain a better handle on Scripture. 

 

So if you want to go at it from that angle, it could be useful.  If you are trying to persuade them, forget it.

I always believe that it is possible that some snippet of my reasoning with atheist will effectively sow a seed for the word of God.  Sometimes I can almost feel God's finger thumping the atheists on the head forcing them to think about the truth of who they are and what they are doing rebelling against God.....but sigh, far more often than not the atheists quickly brush the truth aside and throw more self-justifying jibberish out there.  I have to believe it's possible that God can use me to say something just the right way at just the right time so that light switch in the darkened mind of a lost person might get tripped and the light of the gospel shine through...and the same hope goes with any tracts I hand out.

I do agree that every born again believer should be equipped in the word to answer all objections of atheists.  Of course they generally will not hear or receive the answer, but we who know God have the answer and far too many Christians become befuddled trying to answer proud and intelligent....or belligerent and obnoxious ...unbelievers.  Debating atheists and developing Biblically supported answers is something I highly recommend for every Christian...but more important than honing our method of explaining our faith is the fact that atheists are dying and on their way to Hell.  Usually I believe that the atheist I am discussing with is hard hearted and will not get saved, but I still try to give them the gospel in a way that hits home to their heart so they can grasp it and I pray for them and any other lost person who might be reading my posts.  

 

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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

Christians are not called to have an answer for every question of atheists, or anyone else. What we are called to is to have the ability to present our testimony and the Gospel; our reason for the hope within us.

When it comes to dealing with the lost, especially those asking a bunch of questions or seeking to "debate", we need discernment so we can recognize if they are sincerely seeking answers, sincerely seeking the truth, or if they are only interested in attacking Christianity or proving their great intelligence or abilities in arguing.

Scripture gives instruction with regards to how much time we should spend giving time and attention to a fool (I would caution here that we need to be careful with the term "fool" and be sure we are considering the term in a biblical manner rather than worldly). We are also told not to cast our pearls before swine. Those only out to trash Christianity are "swine" out to trample the things of Christ in the mud.

 

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  • 1 year later...
  • Members
On 6/21/2015 at 0:58 PM, Saintnow said:

It sounds to me like a lot of Christians are tired of the battle.  Does it bother anybody other than me that I can't walk down the sidewalks in the city any more without having dirty sin glorifying  atheism pumped into my ears through the music broadcast from speakers posted throughout the downtown area on the tops of the buildings?  They pump that dirty sin glorifying and promoting garbage into my ears, put it in my face with their pornography spirited advertisements, and out of the hundreds of people who pass by me I can't tell if there is one Christian in the crowd because none of them show any sign of discomfort in the dunghill of the world.  When is the last time I heard anybody other than  myself say "wicked" at the glorifying of sin in public?....it's been a couple weeks at least, and that other person would have been a member of my church or one of the missionary visitors.

Is it too late to chime in here?

The message of repent is not being put out there. I think that's what Jesus said about the Spirit of Elijah when he was asked about it after i think the Mount of Transfiguration where Yeshua said I tell you that he already returned in referring to John the Baptist and not in a reincarnation way of returning in the flesh.

eta ( edit to add)

people aren't really being that voice like John the Baptist was, but I have a feeling that it will be again heard more than what is now.

Edited by abbey
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On 02/05/2017 at 3:21 PM, abbey said:

Is it too late to chime in here?

The message of repent is not being put out there. I think that's what Jesus said about the Spirit of Elijah when he was asked about it after i think the Mount of Transfiguration where Yeshua said I tell you that he already returned in referring to John the Baptist and not in a reincarnation way of returning in the flesh.

That is correct.  John was not a reicarnation of Elijah, but he fulfilled the prophecy.

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