The God of this age has blinded unbelievers...

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by evangelist6589, Mar 10, 2016.

  1. evangelist6589

    evangelist6589
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    Trying to witness to an atheist and no matter what I say, how I try to use logic and reasoning, or even recommend books with plenty of defenses of Christianity, or even websites with defenses the atheist become illogical and base their rejection of christian on "bad experiences" or "bad people." I would then respond and ask them how experience is objective fact when truly it is very subjective. Or how a bad Christian can bring down an entire viewpoint? I mean how would I know the person has not had a run in with a Catholic, cult member, or progressive liberal Christian? All too often do these people get confused with real Christians when they are not, but simply false converts. As one who does lots of street evangelism I am finding out that 99.9% of atheists are of this way, and absolutely refuse to use logic and reasoning and look at Christianity differently. Do you know why? Because unless God grants repentance and regeneration which proceeds faith they can never come to faith. God knows His elect and has called them to salvation. For them books on evidences of Christianity are valuable. To them to Bible is pure gold. But to others the Bible and everything is worthless and they will never consider it.
     
  2. InTheLight

    InTheLight
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    The reason why atheists don't believe in God is because they don't want to be accountable to anyone.
     
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  3. evangelist6589

    evangelist6589
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    Thats part of the reason but ultimately they have been blinded by Satan as scripture teaches.
     
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  4. Baptist Believer

    Baptist Believer
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    It sounds like your mistake has been to try to reason someone into the Kingdom. It doesn't happen on the basis of reason. It happens through a work of God's Spirit. Now, saying that, it often involves reason, but reason takes a backseat to the Spirit's work.

    Yes, I agree.

    As someone who has more than a dozen atheist friends (they seem to be drawn to me), I can tell that they are looking for evidence of the supernatural in my life. If Jesus is Who He said He was, then that is a legitimate test. If I can love them in the midst of their brokenness, can demonstrate intellectual honesty and brutal honesty about faith, can stop worrying about what they think of me, can confront their foolish ideas in an appropriate and loving way, and can see evangelism and apologetics as spiritual assistance and not a game to win, then God is glorified and perhaps they will come to faith as the Spirit leads.

    I have seen a few make that journey. Shortly after each one was converted, they were "replaced" with new atheist friends.

    Apparently God uses my personality and gifts to do a work in certain hard hearts. Now, there are not too many who have made that leap - I think four in the last 10 years - but it's not my job to keep score, just be faithful

    Here's something to throw out to an atheist who demands "proof": Ask them what try of proof they would like to see. Most of the time you will get a blank stare because they suddenly realize that they are actually not open to "proof" at all, at least, they don't even know what they claim to be looking for. That's where you can tell them to figure out what proof/evidence they would like to see before making a huge arrogant claim that there is "no evidence for God."

    In the unusual case that they do give you something, rationally walk them through all the reasons why they would/should disbelieve it based on the standards they have previously used. You can then make the point that they probably have inoculated themselves to proof, so why should God do tricks for them. However, if you do actually reach an acceptable proof, enter into prayer with them about it and let them know that God may actually provide it if they are sincere about their openness.

    I have used that line of response on a number of occasions and it never fails to underline that the atheist often claims things that they haven't thought through. Moreover, it can set them on a path to humility and intellectual honesty and open up other opportunities to talk. But be ready to be able to provide your evidence - that you have personal knowledge (that is, the knowledge of Persons) that we all experience when we meet someone/Someone. Experience *is* evidence even though it doesn't fit within the scientific method. But using the scientific method to measure *all* things is reductionism of the worst kind.

    In short, don't get in a debate with an atheist. Have a conversation. And don't be afraid to stop the conversation if things get a bit heated. Tell then, "I'd rather let you claim victory than for you to lose sight of the fact that I care deeply about you and your welfare as a person." That shifts the point of the conversation from who is right, to who is loved. And they are love passionately by God.
     
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  5. evangelist6589

    evangelist6589
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    Well spoken response
     
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  6. Darrell C

    Darrell C
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    One of the things I dislike about face to face encounters is that it is brief and does not have the visual aid we have when we debate atheists on a forum. I agree that repentance is granted by God, and that enlightenment is something only He can do, however, that does not mean that He does not use men within the process of enlightenment.

    One good thing about atheists is that they all have the same basic beliefs (and we can't forget that an atheist is not someone devoid of beliefs, but someone who has beliefs based on a similar reasoning among them), which is a little easier, in my opinion, than the diversity we see among those of so-called "faiths." We don't have to contend for the meaning of particular passages, we understand they reject the Bible outright. We understand they reject the supernatural as they understand it. But at the same time, those who call themselves atheists are a diverse lot also.

    Now consider that among those that are atheist might be someone who is saved who is simply angry at God. Ran into a man who was once a "faithful" church-goer, who, when his 8 year old son died...became angry with God and renounced his faith. His reasoning was a similar atheistic pattern of thought, "If there is a God, He wouldn't let the horrible things that go on in this world go on." We've all heard that argument, right?

    So I ask you, hypothetically, if you thought this "atheist" was a believer in need of restoration, rather than an atheist in need of salvation, would you minister to him/her differently.

    The only other question I would ask at this point is...

    ...why?

    Should we not minister to atheists and false religionists alike, viewing all in need of a Savior and treating all of the lost equally? If we do not, are we not guilty of respect of persons, which is not a characteristic we receive from God?

    Atheists can be among the Elect. All unbelievers are atheistic at the core of their being, because one does not stop being an atheist until God enlightens their minds to truth, and they embrace the One True God. Not much of a difference between a Tare and a kid that thinks the Force is real.


    God bless.
     
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  7. Van

    Van
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    Did you see any reference to scripture to support:
    1) The god of this age (Satan) has blinded all unbelievers?
    2) Unless God grants repentance and regeneration which precedes faith. ​

    2 Cor. 4:4 teaches that Satan has blinded the minds among those who are perishing. Thus some who reject the gospel have been blinded, but this verse does not say or suggest everyone who rejects has been blinded. Note that some who first reject Jesus come to their senses later on, thus not blinded or totally blinded.

    And just how does God grant repentance? Thru irresistible grace? Nope. God's revelation allows us to choose life or death, and some choose life.

    Bottom line, do not blame Satan for the rejection of the gospel. The person rejecting Jesus is largely responsible, and we if we have disqualified ourselves, may need to look inward.
     
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