Faith and A Conversation With a Skeptic

Believing is seeing.  Have faith

Believing is seeing. Have faith

Skeptics/atheists sometimes try to cause trouble on sites run by Christians.  I think they believe  that they are doing the world a favor by exposing people of faith as delusional and/or fraudulent.  Not all such individuals are unintelligent but they easily fall into the trap that is laid for anyone who believes some thing; that anyone who believes in something else is unintelligent or worse idiotic.  I have included in the post a conversation I had with one such self proclaimed “skeptic“.  Ark, maintains that he is a skeptic but , the word skeptic suggests that one is open to the possibility that what one is skeptical of may be true. For instance, and agnostic is a skeptic.  An atheist, simply refuses to believe.
In the end, the atheists' wish shall be granted.

In the end, the atheists’ wish shall be granted.

Ark is a person who “demands” proof that God exists.  The first thing I ever told him is that faith comes first and proof follows. Of course, this doesn’t make much sense to someone who does not have faith.  I directed him to a couple of pictures as proof that God is real and he did not see what I see in them.  “Seeing is not believing,” I told him. “Believing is seeing.”  (Yes,I stole that line from the movie The Santa Clause .)
So that’s the background for our latest conversation.  As one reads this, it becomes quickly apparent that Ark is totally out of his element in this discussion.  He wants and expects an argument but he doesn’t understand what he is asking so he doesn’t know what to do with my answers.  At the end, he throws a tantrum.  I did not “approve” his final comment since it did not match the rules of this blog of being topical and, shall we say, polite.
The point of including this conversation is not to demean Ark but to demonstrate that atheists simply do not understand the concept of faith.   A person of faith sees proof of God’s existence all around him (or her).  Creation screams, “GOD IS REAL!” That’s simply a fact.  But if one is convinced that there is no God, then how can one be expected to hear His voice? Faith in a Biblical sense of the word  is not simply a word that describes a hope that what one believes might be true.  It describes a heart felt knowledge of the Truth that God exists.
Here’s the conversation. I simply cut and pasted it here fromConclusions Concerning Daniel Chapters 9, 10,11 & 12, warts and all.
Arkenaten says:

Question for you: What is the purpose of Christianity? If you can answer this without resorting to dogma I would be very interested in your response.

  • What do you mean by purpose? Do you mean, what is the purpose of the church? Or, what is the purpose of faith in Jesus? You could also be asking me why you should believe in Jesus.
    Also, what do you mean by “dogma “? I know what it means to me but I don’t know what it means to you.

    You might as well ask me to tell you the meaning of life.

    Since you are apt to challenge anything I say, you need to define your terms and question.

    After all, if you want an intelligent answer, need to ask an intelligent question.

    • Arkenaten says:

      If I were to ask what is the purpose of a solar panel you would likely be able to come up with a succinct and simple answer. Don’t look for something super philosophical.
      Apply the same criteria to the question:
      What is the PURPOSE of Christianity?

      • OK. Ark. Since you don’t want to be specific… or define your terms….

        To Love God with all one’s being and to love others as one’s self. That is the purpose of Christianity.

        • Arkenaten says:

          Aaah..which god?

            • Arkenaten says:

              And could you please identify this god by name and tell me how you know he is the god, God?

            • I cannot. Though He is referred to by many titles, He does not reveal His name. Naming gods is a pagan concept which stems from humanity’s desire to be in control. God names. He is not named. God is God, not a god.

            • Arkenaten says:

              So you cannot identify this god’s name? Okay, I thought you were going to say Yashua? Fair enough…no problem. Then, how do you KNOW this is your god…or the god?

            • Because I know my Father just as I know my earthly father.

            • Arkenaten says:

              How do you know?

            • I already answered that. I know my Father.

            • Arkenaten says:

              Okay. And how did you come by this information?

            • Arkenaten says:

              I stated up front I am not interested in what you consider a personal relationship with your god, thus, as this god is also known by others, how did you come by this information: that you know he is your god.
              In other words, what is the source of your information?

            • No. You rejected my offer to define your terminology.

              I have told you the truth and you do not understand it because you do not know God though He wants you to know Him. When you do know Him, you will understand that I have answered your question precisely.

            • Arkenaten says:

              Then if this is the case, and your god, is the god, a and he wants to know me, and I assume, everyone else, then why are there tribes in the South American rain forest and also in Papua New Guinea who have no idea what you are talking about?
              Also, are you reluctant to actually say you know this god through the bible or are you suggesting he has communicated with you in some other fashion totally independant of this text?

            • Not exactly.
              I said that God is God and that He wants you to know Him. I know this because I know Him. If you truly want to know how I know, you must first get to know Him.

            • Arkenaten says:

              Just to clarify so we don’t go round in circles. You have already identified what you consider the purpose of Christianity, and that is duly noted. What I am trying to establish now is the source, and how you are able to confirm its veracity.

            • Arkenaten says:

              I get the feeling you are being obtuse on purpose and can’t figure out why?
              Are you afraid to reveal how this knowledge was communicated to you?
              Or how your god, communicated it, if you feel more comfortable?
              And why have you not mentioned Yashua?
              Is this not your god?

            • Not true. I have been completely honest. You do not understand what you are asking so you do not understand my answers. When you know God you will understand.
              Then we can unpack the other stuff.

            • Arkenaten says:

              Why have you not stated that your god is Yashu’a?

            • Yashu’a, Yeshua, Joshua, Jesus, Iesu…..

              All the of these are variations of the same name. Which one do you really mean? Which name is really correct? Even if you chose correctly, that’s still too simplistic. I understand that you do not know what you are asking.
              Affirming the divinty of Jesus is one thing. To simply say that Jesus is my god is not the same at all. To explain why would mean delving into a treatise on the Trinity and you have already stated elsewhere that you don’t believe in that. Of course you don’t, because you doubt the existence of God, anyway. Once again we are at a point where you won’t get it until you believe.

              PS I erased the beginning of your comment because it had nothing to do with our conversation.

            • Arkenaten says:

              Well, there you go.
              You won’t answer where you received the information pertaining to god,which clearly demonstrates that it was NOT through a divine word or a whisper in the night.
              No, sir, like every other religious person, your belief stems from inculcation, from parents, peers and the bible or some other religious text.
              A fact that is so easily demonstrated because half the world and then some does not even acknowledge the god you revere, and some of these have no idea who this god is and would return a completely blank expression should you try to explain it to them.
              Which brings us right back to the bible,the history of its compilation and its veracity.
              You may claim divine revelation, but this is clearly not the case.
              Once you are prepared to be a little more honest than maybe we will be able to have a decent mature conversation.

            • I will pray for you Ark. God willing,you will find the answers you seek.

              God Bless you.

It brings to mind a Scripture verse:

Trust in the Lord with all your heart,

and do not lean on your own understanding.

In all your ways acknowledge him,

and he will make straight your paths.

Be not wise in your own eyes;

fear the Lord, and turn away from evil.

It will be healing to your flesh

and refreshment to your bones. (Proverbs 3:5-8, ESV)

As we see trusting the Lord (That’s faith) comes first.  The rest will follow.

God Bless,

Christopher

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8 thoughts on “Faith and A Conversation With a Skeptic

  1. Smile…good for you. A nice little condescending post with the rejoinder stating that you are not demeaning. LOL!

    So I have to believe; ie have faith unreservedly before I will see proof? Fair enough. I used to feel the same way about Santa Claus, but no matter.

    So how does one obtain faith?
    From the bible, from the minister, from prayer, from you?
    All of the above?

    Where does one even begin to look for this faith? How am I supposed to convince myself in the existence of your god when I don’t even acknowledge him?
    Why cannot he make me believe? Not compel me, but demonstrate. He is so powerful, right?

    Honestly, I prefer Mark Twain’s rather insightful definition concerning faith: “Faith is believing something you know ain’t true.”
    Maybe I am completely wrong? It has been known to happen. Really, I mean it. Difficult to believe but true nonetheless.

    If you fancy a proper crack at this I have a post where you may come and contribute your thoughts on my blog. There is another Christian having a go at this, I think he could use some support.
    I am happy I made enough of an impression that you felt motivated to do a whole post just because of little old moi! Shew! My ego, hey?

    http://attaleuntold.wordpress.com/2013/06/21/the-burden-of-proof-why-the-fight/

    Pop over. Even you are welcome. Can’t promise an easy ride , but your god’s got your back, right? 🙂

    Like

    • Your comment confirms my contention that you don’t understand what you are asking.

      If you truly want proof of God’s existence, you need to ask God for that proof. If you truly want to meet God, that is.
      That is the only way you will receive the “proof ” that you so desire.

      Like

    • OK Ark,

      I am going to provide you with proof. I am not sure what you will make of it but I think that you are actually an okay guy so my one request is that you read this carefully with an open mind and an open heart and if you choose to reply, please do so in an honest, polite, and inquisitive nature.

      There was a time in which I was not a born again Christian. I had heard of Jesus all my life and was even confirmed in my home church, but I never truly committed my self to our Savior, Jesus Christ. I was of the opinion that Jesus never said He was God, that there were many paths that would at least get one going in the right direction. Faith/religion was a matter of personal preference. I even explored other religions/spiritual paths at least as tangentially as my foray into Christianity. I was noncommittal about the whole thing even as I had contacts and relationships within my church.

      I drank too much smoked too much swore too much. I had no direction in my life. My college degree didn’t mean anything to me. I traveled abroad, hoping I would find direction somewhere else. Started and failed in business. Failed in my personal relationships.

      I finally ended up in the “back wing” of a local psych ward on suicide watch. Ever look down the barrels of a twelve gauge side by side? Not a good place to be.

      But my “little voice” told me that I had to at least leave a message of good by to my best friend before I blew my face off. So i called his number. By “coincidence” he just happened to be having trouble sleeping that night so he was up. It was two am.

      By coincidence he had gotten my brother’s phone number for some reason I cannot remember anymore. He called my brother (my friend was living out of state at the time) who arrived at my place soon after. By “coincidence”, he was not working that day. He convinced me to check myself into the local hospital.

      The associate pastor from the church I attended came and prayed for me. I cannot say “with” because I was beyond caring at that point. That is when God “proved” to me that He is real and that He loves me (and you). I was surrounded and filled by what I now know was His Holy Spirit and my life has never been the same since. I now have a career a family, direction in my life. I think it’s fair to say that people who knew me in my high school and college years would tell you that I have basically the same personality but am otherwise a changed person.

      In other words, my changed life and the fact that I am still alive, is proof that God is real and that he loves me and you.

      That is my testimony. You can read more about it in this introduction to a magazine article I wrote here:

      https://christophercrandolph.wordpress.com/2011/08/10/out-of-the-fog-in-the-pentecostal-evangel-magazine/

      Or go right to the article here:

      http://www.pe.ag.org/articles/index_2011.cfm?targetBay=ff479279-680e-4b02-ba0b-8f9ff830e632&ModID=2&Process=DisplayArticle&RSS_RSSContentID=19749&RSS_OriginatingChannelID=1321&RSS_OriginatingRSSFeedID=4677&RSS_Source

      You too can have that kind of experiential proof if you simply ask God to come into your heart and ask Jesus to be your Lord and Savior.

      If I am wrong and you are right, then you have nothing to lose.
      If I am right and you are wrong, though, then having heard the Truth and rejected it, you have eternity to lose.

      I encourage you to read the article with an open mind and an open heart and then ask God to prove to you that He is real like He did for me.

      God Bless you Ark.

      Like

      • Sorry, but this is an all too familiar story. While I sympathise, it in no way demonstrates any proof of god whatsoever.
        The “on my last legs” scenario is so prevalent throughout Jesus conversions it is almost a cliche.
        While I am happy you got your head together and pulled through ,one being a very dear friend, and so have millions of others who have found themselves in similar scenarios…and as many have sorted themselves out without any form of supposed supernatural intervention as those who claim to have ”found god”
        If anything, this shows that your god’s timely interventions are arbitrary an this doesn’t bode well for an all loving god.

        ”If I am right and you are wrong, though, then having heard the Truth and rejected it, you have eternity to lose.”
        Furthermore, veiled threats such as these, tacit or otherwise do nothing to instil any feelings of warmth toward you or your obtuse deity claim. In fact they, remind me of the wonderful stories of deconversion, from such admirable bloggers and wonderful individuals such as Nate: http://findingtruth.wordpress.com/ and merely hardens my resolve to refute every irrational ridiculous claim every time I encounter one.
        May you come to sanity.

        Like

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