Saturday, January 21, 2012

Stop Debating With Atheists

Psalm 14:1
The fool says in his heart, "There is no God."

Atheists say there is no God, therefor they are fools.

Proverbs 23:9
Don’t try to teach fools. They will make fun of your wise words.

Proverbs 26:4
There is no good way to answer fools when they say something stupid. If you answer them, then you, too, will look like a fool.

Some people argue that Jesus told us to spread the Gospel to all nations.  I believe these are the verses they are referring to (and why I don't believe they are instructing us to debate or enter into heated arguments):

Mark 16:15
He (Jesus) said to them, “Go everywhere in the world. Tell the Good News to everyone." 
 -We are commanded to tell the Good News to everyone, not to debate them on their own grounds of scientific proof, evidence, logic, etc. 

1 Peter 3:15
But keep the Lord Christ holy in your hearts. Always be ready to answer everyone who asks you to explain about the hope you have.
-We can explain what we believe simply and truthfully.  It is perfectly alright to let people know that you aren't sure about the answers to somethings, that certain things each person must figure out through their own personal relationship with GodYou can usually tell pretty quickly if a person is asking out of genuine interest - possibly looking for help with their search for truth - or if they are just trying to lock you into an argument meant to put you down personally and/or denigrate the Bible, GOD, or Jesus.

Luke 12:8
“I (Jesus) tell you, if you stand before others and are willing to say you believe in me, then I [a] will say that you belong to me. I will say this in the presence of God’s angels. 
-We should never deny Jesus, or our GOD.  He has claimed every one of us as his own, imperfect as we are.

Matthew 28:19
 So go and make followers of all people in the world. Baptize them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.
-How can we make followers of all people if we can't debate and shoot down the arguments of atheists and others that would mock and belittle our beliefs and our GOD?  We can show them Christ's love and acceptance through our actions.  We can be the Body of Christ - an instrument of healing and compassion, not a weapon of cruelty and condemnation.

It is always best to not only look at Jesus's words, but his actions as well.  Here are a few scriptural referrences to Jesus chosing not to engage in the arguments of fools:

Luke 22:67
They said, “If you are the Messiah, then tell us that you are.”
Jesus said to them, “If I tell you I am the Messiah, you will not believe me.

Mark 14:60-62
Then the high priest stood up before everyone and said to Jesus, “These people said things against you. Do you have something to say about their charges? Are they telling the truth?” But Jesus said nothing to answer him. The high priest asked Jesus another question: “Are you the Messiah, the Son of the blessed God?” Jesus answered, “Yes, I am the Son of God. And in the future you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right side of God All-Powerful. And you will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven.”

Matthew 27:12-14
Then, when the leading priests and the older Jewish leaders made their accusations against Jesus, he said nothing.  So Pilate said to him, “Don’t you hear all these charges they are making against you? Why don’t you answer?” But Jesus did not say anything, and this really surprised the governor.

Matthew 4:3
The devil came to tempt him and said, “If you are the Son of God, tell these rocks to become bread.” Jesus answered him, “The Scriptures say, ‘It is not just bread that keeps people alive.    Their lives depend on what God says.’”
(This sounds very similar to the standard argument, "If GOD is real, prove it")

Jesus set a clear exmple for us with his actions.  When asked a specific question he gave an honest answer.   But when asked to speak against accusers, he chose silence. Do not argue with a fool who is not really looking for the truth, only looking to condemn you or your beliefs.  Let's save our energies for doing good and loving each other rather than trying to prove a point to keep our pride.  Remember, Jesus has already won the battle, we just need to get the message out.