Don’t bother debating the existence of God


Many Christians I know want to debate with Atheists whether or not God exists (even I am guilty of this); although this is admirable from a Christian point of view, it is a fruitless debate.  What we see as evidence in the Bible, skeptics can easily claim that our book is biased and contradicts other religious texts on who God is.

The main issue here is pinning physical evidence against metaphysical evidence.  In short, we cannot mathematically prove God.  We can use science to advance claims of God, but we cannot prove the absolute existence.

Don’t be discouraged, however, as there is a much better way to stake your claim.  With a lack of evidence of support, there is also a lack of evidence against.  You have to realize that most Atheists have been told their whole education about why God cannot exist, or why He doesn’t.  Of course, no real evidence is used (because of a lacking of evidence), and it is easier to just say, “no evidence, no God.”  So, from a scientific standpoint, because there is no absolute way to verify the claim, it must remain neutral, as it cannot be proven nor disproven.  This means that there is common ground, and leads way to agnosticism.  Christians (sadly) often frown upon agnotisticism because those people claim that they are open to “a god” but have a lack of evidence to pursue one religion or deity over another.  At that point, your life as a testimony can be used.  It’s not a matter of converting people – it’s about being an example to them.  No person has any ability to change another persons beliefs – individuals think for themselves and want to seek out information.  John 13:34-35 says that people will know we follow Jesus by our love for one another.  I can’t count the number of times I’ve heard stories (or had some of my own) that people know someone is a Christian intutively without the Christian asserting (by any means) their faith.

Bottom line – debating God is not evangelism.  It’s trollism, and that doesn’t help anyone.  Live how Jesus taught you to, and that’s the best evangelism you can have!

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7 thoughts on “Don’t bother debating the existence of God

  1. I can not disagree with you more. Pre-evangelism (discussing world views and their implications) with secular people is essential. Would you have known of the gospel if someone didn’t speak it to you?

    1. The gospel concerns who Jesus Christ is, and why we need him. If they’re willing to accept that, then you’re all set to introduce them to Jesus Christ, the fullness of God in flesh, our mediator, and the God who has the universe in His hands.
      Evangelism is about relationships, not bashing people over the head with our beliefs. Yes, they need to hear, but if there is no love or relationship, then what are we doing but shoving a helping of God down people’s throats?
      Forget what the Alpha course (or equivalent) tells you to do to evangelize; just love people, and I can guarantee that they will want to know why, and that’s a great segway to introducting to the lover of their soul, my good friend (and yours, presumably), Jesus Christ.

  2. “Bottom line – debating God is not evangelism. It’s trollism, and that doesn’t help anyone.”

    And as trolls are known to be smelly creatures smelling of flammable fumes, the natural instinct is to light them on fire. Every good adventurer worth his salt knows that fire will slow down and even halt their regenerative properties, but it appears that the new breed of troll actually derives PLEASURE from said flame. Therefore, I have been instructing students into utilizing the troll’s other natural weakness – acid. I understand the instinctive recoiling at the use of such a substance. However, may I propose that acid will weaken the troll’s natural defenses without the risk of coming off as being offensive, oneself.

    This by no way means that one has to be caustic when dealing with a troll. Quite the opposite, really. The best way to use acid to weaken an opponent’s defense? By saying nothing at all. By giving the troll no form of ammunition in response to its presence, there is no ammunition to be used against you. Though it is true that the troll’s favoured weapon is a 10-ft long, 2-ft diameter club, the current breed of troll shows a faux intelligence by using the weapons of its foes against them.

    And the best way to say nothing at all? As our dear Master Alex has said, be an exemplar of one’s faith – not a templar, as many would like to choose. However, if there is one thing that needs to be said to our lovable trolls, it is this: “Jesus loves you.” Say it loud. Say it proud. Say it often, especially when the troll tries to use said weapon against you. Their limited brain capacities can only hold up for so long and the fake intelligence they initially use will eventually wear off and their true natures will be revealed.

    Venture forth and falter not, brave adventurers! Sally forth once more into the breach …………… or something to that effect.

    ———

    In all seriousness (an in part, translation to the above), you are quite right, Alex. There is no point in a debate when there are no “real” facts to begin with. When “the other side” brings this up, all they want is a fight. Don’t give it to them. Anything that we can say in “Christianese” can and will be twisted and thrown right back at us.

    There is a danger to living that “exemplary life,” however – they can see that as ammunition to call said people “perfectionists” and “condescending.” I may be so bold as to postulate that, in order to counter these misguided attacks, a balance may be maintained. Live the life that Christ had led but maintain oneself as an agent of the transitional steps to show people how it can be done at the same time.

    The part of one’s testimony that will be the most responsive will be that time when one went from “sinner” to “saint” through the act of faith in accepting Christ’s sacrifice. Here’s the key to this theory: we STILL make mistakes which make us sinners and we STILL constantly accept the sacrifice for forgiveness to make us saints on a daily basis. If a “troll” calls us a “perfectionist,” confess one’s mistakes right then and there to said “troll” (but after confessing them to God). Other than that, one still strives for that godly life that we are all called to live; give them nothing to throw back in our collective face.

    I know that it seems simplistic (and maybe even contrary to how one perceives the “Christian life” to be) and it still needs ironing out, but what say you?

  3. Well, I don’t know that living like Christ is like being a perfectionist. Yes, we strive toward the goal, but we’ll never be perfect (at least not in our current state) – it’s noteworthy that although Jesus was perfect, he hung out with the “scum” of the time. Not that we should purpose ourselves to find “scummy people” but as Jesus said, he didn’t come for the healthy, but for the sick. Loving people leaves a bigger impact than wearing a mask of perfection.
    Otherwise, I completely agree with you.
    Thanks for the reply!

  4. A Culturalist Presbyterian :
    Pre-evangelism (discussing world views and their implications) with secular people is essential.

    “Discussion,” yes. “Debate,” no. A discussion turns into a debate once insults, or “fire” and “flames,” are used. A discussion is assumed to be engaged for the undertaking of understanding. A debate, as I mentioned earlier, is strictly for the purpose of a fight. It goes from a “tell me about the grass on your side of the fence” attitude to one that is more akin to “my way or the highway” or even a “supremacist” one. Once you smell gasoline, shut down right away. No words nor art of persuasion will get someone in that mindframe to move away from it.

  5. It’s funny; some atheists say the same thing of trying to convince believers. But some atheists do convert, and some believers do eventually leave their faith. And even if no one changes sides, productive dialogue can happen. It’s not easy for either side but with some effort it’s possible.

    As for atheists all being pugilistic and argumentative, be careful not to paint us all with too broad a brush. Some of us are doing our best to extend the same courtesy to you.

    1. I appreciate your input. I’m just speaking from my experience and definitely not painting all Atheists with the argumentative brush. If there can be good dialoge discussing the existance of God between Christians (or other religions who believe in a god) and Atheists, then awesome, but like Bright Man said, if it ends up just being an argument, then it’s better to just end the conversation. Fighting fire with fire just burns everyone.

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