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What is it about nice people that attract total idiots?Nice people are martyrs. Idiots are evangelists.

SOCK IT TO ME BABY!!!

Monday, October 14, 2013

Monday Message

Yesterday, I got into a long drawn out Facebook battle with an atheist.  I know, I know, but it didn't start out on that topic.  A fellow blogger was making mention of Obama saying to the effect that we were not at war with Islam, to which I commented that they had declared war on us, and it was stupid to ignore that.  Being a good liberal (the dude claims he wasn't, but if it sounds like a duck, etc, etc), he fought me all the way back to the Ayatollah and finally as much as said that the Muslims had an excuse for attacking us because we "propped up Israel".  At this point, I shoulda just washed my hands of it. (Keep in mind, when I told him earlier I had to leave to take care of a couple of burning burgers, he said:

 "Translation: "Holy shit, I'm being swamped by unassailable logic, I need to make an excuse so I don't embarrass myself any more." Got it. Enjoy lunch.")

But no, and as his comments got ever more insulting of God, I made the decision to stand up for God, particularly on comments such as:

 "I'm letting him know he can wave off, because I got no use for him if he should happen to exist. An omnipotent being with the capacity to prevent evil who refuses to do so is sociopathic."


So am I posting this to bash him?  No, actually I wasted far too much time on him yesterday.  I'm here to bash myself.

It took me a while- and well after the fact- to realize what I was doing.  And it was a lesson God decided to teach me after I quoted Isaiah 6:

Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?”
And I said, “Here am I. Send me!”
He said, “Go and tell this people:
“‘Be ever hearing, but never understanding;
    be ever seeing, but never perceiving.’10 Make the heart of this people calloused;    make their ears dull
    and close their eyes.
Otherwise they might see with their eyes,
    hear with their ears,
    understand with their hearts,
and turn and be healed.”
 
The problem is, that applied to Israel, not to atheists.  You see, there's a different set of rules that God explained to me about atheists.  Not your "I don't think I believe in God, but I respect your faith" person, but the hardened, vocal, "I neither respect you nor your faith" person like this one and his ilk at the FFRF.  And God had to teach me it in steps.
 
First step:  Their hearts have been closed for a reason.  That reason I'll get to later; but because of this, to argue faith with them is not fighting man, it's fighting God.  The dude was right, he has this unassailable wall between him and God.    God let it be put there, and nothing I say or do is ever gonna break it down.  I cannot win here.
 
Second step:  This upset me because of many things-  I thought God wanted everyone to be saved; I thought, everyone had a chance at salvation;  I thought the only unforgivable sin was dying without having accepted Christ.
 
“I promise you that any of the sinful things you say or do can be forgiven, no matter how terrible those things are. But if you speak against the Holy Spirit, you can never be forgiven. That sin will be held against you forever.” — Mark 3:28-29
 
 
Third step:  The fallacy in the way I took this is believing that the sin being unforgivable required death as a final condition.  God explained to me through much prayer and debate, that Satan is a copier.  Just like we make a decision FOR Christ, and are forever sealed, people like this make a decision AGAINST Christ, against God.  That doesn't have to involve getting on one's knees and giving your heart for Satan;  just making the conscious decision that the concept of God stands in the way of what I want to believe is enough.  And while they are not exactly "saved" as a Christian is, the are..
 
Fourth step:  ...SEALED by Satan against any hope of change.  Thus you end up with someone who thinks like:
 
 "If I'm wrong, and your God *IS* omnipotent and capable of eliminating evil, pestilence, famine, and chooses not to? Then I will deny him to his face and want nothing to do with him, for he is not worthy of either respect or adoration."
 
 
The problem, I tried to explain to him, is that to assign God the same motive and purposes as man, makes man an equal with God... GOD=MAN, MAN=GOD.  Just what Satan wants.  But that doesn't matter to him.  He is sealed against God.  Not by choice of God, nor act of Satan... but by his own damned choice.
 
Fifth step:  Acceptance that I am only bashing my head here.  Despite my heart that says I have to do everything in my power to reach out to him, this is not what God calls me to do.  Encourage, call, learn and teach with... but don't waste time.  I cannot say that I understand why some of the ground sown on is hard-packed- that is God's to know.   I cannot say I will know peace in this life over people like this who are sealed away from God's touch.  But for us to come to God as He wants, it has to be a free-will choice.  Which means there has to be a choice... and choices inevitably come with consequences.

14 comments:

  1. I've struggled with this issue many times myself. Mostly when receiving negative comments from fellow believers about how "I must not be a true believer, because a TRUE believer wouldn't just give up and walk away." It definitely is a fine line there between standing up for God and defending your faith vs wasting time on deaf ears. As you said though, just as people are sealed off by Christ, people are also sealed off FROM Christ and it's all part of God's great plan. Something that no human will ever hope to comprehend.

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    1. I really needed this for a first comment. Thank you.

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  2. I thought God wanted everyone to be saved...

    Paul does tell Timothy that He does want that and Job says that no purpose of His can be thwarted...

    I like those two put together.

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    1. Of course the problem comes in with that nasty concept of choice. God will not, like Jean-Luc Picard, point a finger and say, "Make it so."

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  3. The way I look at it, as silly as it may sound, is to go by three phrases: Live and Let Live and Love As Jesus Did. I had to make it simple because I was making things too complicated for myself. Enter the third phrase. Keep It Simple. I wanted people to see things the way I did because once I really found God, not just believed in Him but began listening to Him, things in my life became so much more positive, I wanted others to feel the same way. Unfortunately, it falls on deaf ears too many times. I realized it's not always my place to carry His message but I tried so I live and let live. I love them the way Jesus loved everyone for who they are and I accept it. Just like you. I know I'm not in control, God's in the driver's seat and I'm just the passenger. It's His will that some people "get it" and others won't. Not sure if any of that made sense.

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    1. Yes, it makes sense. Yes, it seems to fall on deaf ears too many times. And I am grateful for those of you who comment here who haven't been deaf.

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  4. I think this is probably the number 1 reason Christians do not share their faith. However, we are called to go into the world and create disciples. All we can do is share the gospel message and hope that we plant a seed that grows into a tree that produces fruit. You are absolutely correct in that deciding to give your life to Jesus has to be a free will choice. I would only add that He has to call you to that choice before you can make it. Hopefully some of the things you said to this athiest will sink in and a tiny little seed will be planted. Let God do the cultivating.

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    1. I keep hoping that, but, it's in God's hands at this point.

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  5. I learned a long, long time ago after seeing two senior citizen men almost come to blows in the bank I worked at...never get into it over politics and religions. It's just not worth it.

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    1. My family on dad's side considered arguing a spectator sport. It's hard to "kick against the goads", as it were.

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  6. It took me years to fully understand what Jesus meant when He said "Do not cast your pearls before swine..."

    It took me even more years to get the "shift" in motivation that is required.

    At a certain point, I realize that "this atheist" is NOT willing to hear The Truth. But I also realize that other readers will possibly come across this Internet discussion / debate for many years. So I make the Motivation Shift: My goal is no longer to convince THIS atheist of The Truth, but to so overwhelmingly defeat him/her in the debate with facts and logic that future readers who may be on the fence will realize that the "believer" utterly wiped out the "atheist". The fence-sitter may then start moving toward The Light when he/she discovers that informed believers NEVER lose debates to atheists; in fact, they win CONVINCINGLY! Every... single... time!

    The Motivation Shift makes the debate relevant and worth continuing, for me, anyway.

    Also... in my opinion (and I got it from Jesus Himself), a "Good Shepherd" goes after and saves every lost "sheep". In the end (and who can say where the end is in eternity) EVERY soul that God created will be saved by "The Good Shepherd"... and you KNOW Who that is.

    The Good Shepherd does not quit until His job as The Good Shepherd has been completed. We, as individuals, are NOT The Good Shepherd, but we can assist Him in some ways.

    Souls can choose against God and Christ for as long as they wish, but the Patience of God and His Good Shepherd Will win out in the end... whenever that end comes. Put more simply: God Will Win; What God Wills Must Come About... Eventually... In Eternity.

    ~ D-FensDogg
    'Loyal American Underground'

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    1. For me though, the lesson is, fight the battle where it counts. I don't have to make the atheist look like an idiot, and God doesn't want me to. I convince the undecided why God is, and if they hear me, the atheist will look like an idiot all on his own. I'd rather, though, they saw themselves that way, and changed...

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    2. Well, I guess we all have our own unique, individual jobs to do. Me, I am doing as God's Holy Spirit directs me to do and literally trained me to do. I was trained by God for this.

      ~ D-FensDogg
      'Loyal American Underground'

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  7. CHris:
    Excellent points made here...

    Do I believe in redemption?
    Positively!
    (I'm still here aren't I and trying to do good by HIS word for HIS glory)
    Do I believe that SOME people are beyond redemption?
    Most certainly...(and many of them happen to live all around us).
    I think God created atheists to make HIS followere shine that much brighter...

    Great post and comments.

    Stay safe up there.

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