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Conversations With Christians... We Can Win The Lost! Really!


Johnny Smith
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A conversation I had with a Christian friend today made me think of that old Christian phrase, "let's win the lost!" I am now convinced that we can "win" the "lost" Christians who are stuck in archaic thinking.

 

I told this friend today that I had begun to think more along the lines of an agnostic than a Christian.

 

This friend was with me during many of my most fanatical Christian years. We attended a charismatic mega-church together. She has since moved to Germany and has become a "Celtic Catholic." http://www.celtic-catholic-church.org/ Nevertheless, her response to me was, "Oh come on. Don't say that. I know you still believe in Jesus. Call yourself a believer if anything."

 

I responded that I no longer believe in a literal Hell. I also posed the following question to her:

 

"If today you decided that Christianity was a sham and that Jesus was not Lord, according to Christian theology, you would be destined for Hell, right?"

 

She said, "Yes."

 

I then asked, "Did you choose to be born?"

 

"No," she said.

 

I responded, "How is the justice and mercy of a just and merciful God demonstrated in this scenario? Given this hypothetical situation, you will spend eternity in Hellfire simply for being born. You did not choose to enter this mortal existance. Think about how fair and just this situation really is! If Jesus is full of forgiveness and mercy, then he surely could not let one of His creation be consumed in the flames of Hellfire for eternity. If so, then God is an abusive father. "

 

This seemed to silence her, and she then admitted some of her secret doubts on Hell. She wants to talk more about these things.

 

Progress! And to think she and I used to speak in tongues and participate in casting out devils together...

 

My how things change.

 

Has anyone else had any similar conversations with "true blue believers" lately? I was shocked and pleased at how this conversation ended up.

 

Johnny Smith

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Its good that you're able to tell your friends what you honestly think. Shakespeare said, "to thine own self be true." :grin:

 

If there is a god and if there is a true will, then god would not mind people rejecting him/she/it and would understand our reasons for doing so. Therefore I don't see the point in hell either.

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I think that god, if there is such an entity, should not require people to believe in it, know it or worship it. There would be no fear and no threats of hell for all eternity.

 

 

Why do I think that? I don't know, I just do. ;)

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It might be possible, but why would you want to? I find it incredibly arrogant to think that you know what other people "should" believe, or that your beliefs would be better for them. Whether you're trying to convert someone to Christianity, atheism, Islam, or the Church of the IPU, you're still working under the assumption that you know what's best for someone else better than they do. Religion, or lack thereof, is a personal decision every has to come to on their own. It's great that you don't feel the need to hide your new beliefs, but that doesn't mean you need to become an evangelist for the other side. There's a middle ground where you can have and express your beliefs while letting others have and express theirs.

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It might be possible, but why would you want to? I find it incredibly arrogant to think that you know what other people "should" believe, or that your beliefs would be better for them. Whether you're trying to convert someone to Christianity, atheism, Islam, or the Church of the IPU, you're still working under the assumption that you know what's best for someone else better than they do. Religion, or lack thereof, is a personal decision every has to come to on their own. It's great that you don't feel the need to hide your new beliefs, but that doesn't mean you need to become an evangelist for the other side. There's a middle ground where you can have and express your beliefs while letting others have and express theirs.

 

Great point. Thanks.

 

My original topic for the post, "We can win the lost" was mean to be satirical. But I understand and agree with everone's comments. I simply found the conversation exhilerating, and wanted to share with my friends here on Ex-C. When I spoke with my Christian friend, it was not an attempt to "evangelize" her. The conversation simply went in the direction of pointing her toward a new and different alternative.

 

Peace.

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A conversation I had with a Christian friend today made me think of that old Christian phrase, "let's win the lost!" I am now convinced that we can "win" the "lost" Christians who are stuck in archaic thinking.

 

I told this friend today that I had begun to think more along the lines of an agnostic than a Christian.

 

This friend was with me during many of my most fanatical Christian years. We attended a charismatic mega-church together. She has since moved to Germany and has become a "Celtic Catholic." http://www.celtic-catholic-church.org/ Nevertheless, her response to me was, "Oh come on. Don't say that. I know you still believe in Jesus. Call yourself a believer if anything."

 

I responded that I no longer believe in a literal Hell. I also posed the following question to her:

 

"If today you decided that Christianity was a sham and that Jesus was not Lord, according to Christian theology, you would be destined for Hell, right?"

 

She said, "Yes."

 

I then asked, "Did you choose to be born?"

 

"No," she said.

 

I responded, "How is the justice and mercy of a just and merciful God demonstrated in this scenario? Given this hypothetical situation, you will spend eternity in Hellfire simply for being born. You did not choose to enter this mortal existance. Think about how fair and just this situation really is! If Jesus is full of forgiveness and mercy, then he surely could not let one of His creation be consumed in the flames of Hellfire for eternity. If so, then God is an abusive father. "

 

This seemed to silence her, and she then admitted some of her secret doubts on Hell. She wants to talk more about these things.

 

Progress! And to think she and I used to speak in tongues and participate in casting out devils together...

 

My how things change.

 

Has anyone else had any similar conversations with "true blue believers" lately? I was shocked and pleased at how this conversation ended up.

 

Johnny Smith

 

 

I think it would be easier to show her the old testament passages on death, and ask her, were Job, abraham, david and Paul wrong about death? Also in Ecc 9:10. 10 Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, where you are going.

 

(Heb. xi, 13):- "These all died in faith, NOT HAVING RECEIVED THE PROMISES, but having seen them afar off."

 

If they are in heaven, (and we know for sure, David and Abraham will be there) how is it that they have not recieved the promises? Or is it because the are literally DEAD! heh.

 

Hell certainly doesn't seem like eternal torments now does it?

 

The bible never taught hell as eternal torments, that's people not knowing how to interpret the bible in the first place. It shows they really never cared about KNOWING the bible, they just wanted eternal life without having to do the serious study required.

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Having a mind free to learn and free of guilt is awesome. I wish everyone could be free from religion. However, most Christians/Muslims are not only deceived, but militant in their ignorance. The main stumbling blocks are that they WANT to believe, and that to discover the truth may wipe out their social life and alienate their friends and perhaps family.

 

I don't think it's arrogant to want people to think rationally-- the less religious radicals we have running around the less violence and terrorism we'd have in the world. I would feel much safer if all Arabs were athiests.

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When I first deconverted, I felt a strong desire to counter-evangelize but as time has gone on I've realised that there are several good reasons to not counter-evangelize.

 

Firstly, I think some people actually NEED their religion. As opposed to me - my moral compass is based on empathy - their morals are truly founded in their religion and without it I think some of them might go off the rails.

 

However I think that it takes a questioning/doubting mind on the part of the believer to make it possible for them to free themselves from the matrix. They're believing because they want to believe, and that belief defines their reality. I think for many people it takes a significant event that truly shakes their worldview to its foundations before they start to question the internal coherence of their belief system. Arguments based on logic and reasoning do little other than to mark you as an agent of Satan, and so you're actually indirectly reinforcing their worldview.

 

So I think it's generally a waste of time and effort, but if a believer comes to me and wants to know why I no longer believe - to me that's an indicator of a questioning mind and so I'd be happy to share my experiences and thought processes with them.

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So I think it's generally a waste of time and effort, but if a believer comes to me and wants to know why I no longer believe - to me that's an indicator of a questioning mind and so I'd be happy to share my experiences and thought processes with them.

 

I'm at the same place you are here. I'm glad to see I'm not the only one.

Ditto. It really is futile, and doesn't really matter. Chances are, even if you do get one to get away from Christianity, they will go right back. And it could be damaging to them as well, like other have said before me.

 

I personally would prefer to be out enjoying my life opposed to anti-evangilism. There are better things to do, you know? Life is too short to waste breath on trying to deconvert Christians.

 

I understand where you're coming from though, and it was a good thought. But some things are better left alone.

 

But then again, I agree with the above quote. If she asks, by all means tell her about your disbelief and your reasoning. But don't set out to deconvert her. You would be no better than them if you did.

 

Just my 2 cents.

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A conversation I had with a Christian friend today made me think of that old Christian phrase, "let's win the lost!" I am now convinced that we can "win" the "lost" Christians who are stuck in archaic thinking.

 

I told this friend today that I had begun to think more along the lines of an agnostic than a Christian.

 

This friend was with me during many of my most fanatical Christian years. We attended a charismatic mega-church together. She has since moved to Germany and has become a "Celtic Catholic." http://www.celtic-catholic-church.org/ Nevertheless, her response to me was, "Oh come on. Don't say that. I know you still believe in Jesus. Call yourself a believer if anything."

 

I responded that I no longer believe in a literal Hell. I also posed the following question to her:

 

"If today you decided that Christianity was a sham and that Jesus was not Lord, according to Christian theology, you would be destined for Hell, right?"

 

She said, "Yes."

 

I then asked, "Did you choose to be born?"

 

"No," she said.

 

I responded, "How is the justice and mercy of a just and merciful God demonstrated in this scenario? Given this hypothetical situation, you will spend eternity in Hellfire simply for being born. You did not choose to enter this mortal existance. Think about how fair and just this situation really is! If Jesus is full of forgiveness and mercy, then he surely could not let one of His creation be consumed in the flames of Hellfire for eternity. If so, then God is an abusive father. "

 

This seemed to silence her, and she then admitted some of her secret doubts on Hell. She wants to talk more about these things.

 

Progress! And to think she and I used to speak in tongues and participate in casting out devils together...

 

My how things change.

 

Has anyone else had any similar conversations with "true blue believers" lately? I was shocked and pleased at how this conversation ended up.

 

Johnny Smith

This seems like an excellent strategy. Rather than saying outright that you are atheist just let her believe that you are Christian and question just only one part of Christianity. I'm not sure a full deconversion would work though. But its better progress then I've ever had with an Xian.

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  • 2 weeks later...
Guest cocidious

I have one very Catholic "friend" that I constantly make abortion jokes to and talk about how I hope the pope gets murdered.

 

And yet she still talks to me.... I'll have to go more extreme so she'll stop bothering me.

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So I think it's generally a waste of time and effort, but if a believer comes to me and wants to know why I no longer believe - to me that's an indicator of a questioning mind and so I'd be happy to share my experiences and thought processes with them.

 

I'm at the same place you are here. I'm glad to see I'm not the only one.

 

Exactly. At this point I'm able to state my unbelief and defend it with conviction, but I don't make it a point to do so with those who are uninterested. In your case, Johnny, you've used well thought reasoning in a discussion with a friend, and you've found it personally satisfying. If you want to be a "witness for ex-christianity", the best way is to simply be a person to be respected. Example is the best testimony.

 

"Theology is the effort to explain the unknowable in terms of the not worth knowing." (H.L. Mencken)

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Same here, if my friends want to discuss some points or just ask, I will share what I think but outside of that I simply don't bring the topic up... unless they say something so stupid I just can't let it pass. :HaHa:

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