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    • By 1Timothy115 in Devotionals
         11
      Psalms 119:1-8                                         Sep. 5 - Oct. 2, 2019
      1 ALEPH. Blessed are the undefiled in the way, who walk in the law of the LORD.
      2 Blessed are they that keep his testimonies, and that seek him with the whole heart.
      3 They also do no iniquity: they walk in his ways.
      4 Thou hast commanded us to keep thy precepts diligently.
      5 O that my ways were directed to keep thy statutes!
      6 Then shall I not be ashamed, when I have respect unto all thy commandments.
      7 I will praise thee with uprightness of heart, when I shall have learned thy righteous judgments.
      8 I will keep thy statutes: O forsake me not utterly.
      The following verse stood out to me...
      5 O that my ways were directed to keep thy statutes!
      At first glance it seemed to me this person’s soul is poured out with intense desire to have God’s direction in keeping His Word.
      I made a small wood fire in our backyard for my granddaughter, Julia, since she would be staying overnight with us. My wife and Julia stayed outside at the fire for about half an hour. Then, I found myself alone to watch the fire die out on a particularly lovely evening. So I took my verse from above and began to repeat it for memorization. As I repeated the verse, I tried to contemplate the words and apply them to what I was seeing around me. 
      The moon and stars were out now peering through the scattered clouds above.
      [Genesis 1:16 And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also. Genesis 1:17 And God set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth, Genesis 1:18 And to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness: and God saw that it was good.]
      Thought 1         
      The moon has stayed his course since the day God created him, also the stars, obeying the statutes directed by God from the first day they were created. Can you imagine God’s direction to the Moon and stars, “moon you will have a path through the sky above the earth, stars you will occupy the firmament above the moon and be clearly visible in the cloudless night sky.”
      Then, the trees, grass, even the air we breathe obey the statues God gave them from the beginning. None of these creations have souls, none have hearts, none have intelligence, but they all observe God’s statutes, His instructions for their limited time on earth.
      Thought 2
      What if we were like the moon, stars, trees, grass, or the other creations which have no soul? We would be directed to keep God’s statutes without choosing to keep them. This is not the image of God, there would be no dominion over other creatures, or over the earth. We would not be capable of experiencing the joy and peace of learning the love of God
      Genesis 1:26 And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.
      Philippians 4:7 And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
      Thought 3 (October 2, 2019)
      Is the psalmist pleading God to force God’s statutes to become the man’s ways? No, he is speaking of his own failure in keeping God’s statutes and his desire to keep them, very much like Paul in Romans 7:14-25.
      God doesn’t work through force to turn men from their ways that they would desire His statutes or desire God Himself. Men must reject (repent) put aside his own ways and voluntarily seek God and His statutes.

Atheist Vs Christian Online Debates Fruitful?

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Gorship
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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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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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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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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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There is the old saying...(Author unknown)

"Don't wrestle with a pig, you'll both get dirty, and the pig likes it."

 

From this web site...

When it gets to this point (see Luke 8:5), the birds/people begin eating up the contradiction to God's word and turning away from God, I would be prayerful about how the Lord wants you to proceed.

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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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