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Our role(s) as Christians on Atheist Forums
#1
Our role(s) as Christians on Atheist Forums
The topic for debate and discussion is our role(s) as Christians on Atheist Forums. 

Moderators: Tiberius, vulcanlogician

Participants: RoadRunner79, Catholic_Lady, SteveII, alpha male, Drich, Neo-Scholastic, Godscreated, A Theist

Debate rules:

1 - Only one post per day but post can be as long as you want. That will limit the amount of back and forth chattiness.
2 - No using the quote function. Respond to each other by restating/paraphrasing the points made by others. That preserves the debate format.
3 - "Wall Street Journal" rule - language must conform to the editorial standards of a respected journal.

Note: I'm going to be pretty loose with the definition of "one post per day". I'm not going to require 24 hours between posts, so you can post at 5pm one day and 10am the next if you want. As a good rule of thumb, try to sleep between your posts. Smile - Tibs
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#2
RE: Our role(s) as Christians on Atheist Forums
I first sought out this place from curiosity back in 2015. I had become loosely acquainted with a girl whom I then became facebook friends with, and she always posted atheist stuff on her profile. She was one of those New Atheists, so she said some pretty "out there" stuff, to say the least. Anyway, I always saw her posts but never commented on them because I was afraid of making her mad or starting drama that would then lead to awkwardness. I did want to comment though. Mainly I wanted to ask her stuff and just have a better general understanding of what was going through her mind, because her's was a sentiment I had not encountered before, and I was curious. 

That's when I got the idea to look for an atheist forum where I could engage with very different minded people and ask them questions about their views, without having to worry about making things awkward with someone I knew in real life. 

So, why did I join? Simply for the desire to engage in discussions with people of differing views, stemming purely from curiosity on my part. 

I was overly polite when I first joined because I wanted to get the message out loud and clear that "I come in peace", basically. 

Nowadays, I stick around for several reasons. One is still curiosity of course, as there's always things to learn about people who are so different from yourself. But apart from that I've also made several "internet friends" here whom I enjoy conversing with online. Everyone is a personality and their own different little character and I enjoy that. Another reason is that its became a great escape/distraction from a very difficult real life thing I've been going through. Because of the type of members in this forum and the general nature of this forum, I hardly ever run into very many triggers here from the thing that has been haunting me in real life. It really has become a great escape for me. 

So now that ya'll know why I'm here, perhaps you're wondering why I didn't list "to spread the word" as one of my reasons. 

Well, for one thing I really don't think it is realistic to convert someone via internet. Especially since everyone here has already heard of Christianity and already heard of Jesus. There is nothing different I can say that will convince anyone here to follow Christ. The belief in Christ and desire to follow Him have to come from within. 

With that being said, if a seed was planted on anyone here (either lurker or whatever) due to something I said, I would love it of course, but I certainly don't expect it. The best I expect I can do in that regard is be true to myself and be a good example of Christianity, and hopefully squash some of the stereotypes people have of us here. If at least that happens, I'm happy.
"Of course, everyone will claim they respect someone who tries to speak the truth, but in reality, this is a rare quality. Most respect those who speak truths they agree with, and their respect for the speaking only extends as far as their realm of personal agreement. It is less common, almost to the point of becoming a saintly virtue, that someone truly respects and loves the truth seeker, even when their conclusions differ wildly." 

-walsh
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#3
RE: Our role(s) as Christians on Atheist Forums
I do not believe why I came here is important any more, what is important is that I've stayed even when I wanted to leave and I stay as I have said many times for those who visit but never join, I believe those are the people that are reachable. I'm not saying I believe those who are regular members are not reachable, only God knows this for certain. I'm sure most of you have noticed that I participate mostly in the Religion and Christian threads and I do so because that is where I find the relevant statements and/or questions that I feel are valuable to answer or defend. I did not come here to socialize I have to many other things outside of this forum to contend with, that said I have come to know people here that I could and would socialize with in my everyday life and then there are those I would reject in a heart beat, I reject those who are biased and bigoted in my world, yes even some Christians. I'm one who doesn't like nor participate in running down others because of their skin color, beliefs or anything else that might differ from what I believe, I do not have to like what others think to know they have rights as human beings. I do have strong opinions on moral life styles and as you all know I will state them.

 I did come here to try and show others that what they think they know is in fact not real and that reality isn't by necessity something you can see and touch. I came in the hopes of changing the minds of those who participate as members here. I soon found that was a mission I set for myself and not what God had in mind. I will say that if anything I've said has caused someone to question non-belief then I'm happy about that and hope it will lead somewhere, but as I've said that is God's part, he calls and He is the One who has to answer, I can't speak for Him in His seeking a relationship with someone else.  

 I've found that so many here will make a mockery of Christianity without even understanding it's place in the world and what good it has contributed to the world, yes Christians have done many wrong things in the name of God and as Jesus has said, there will be those who will come before Me and I will reject them even though they did things in MY name, He means they did things for themselves and not to promote and represent Him as the Savior. I can honestly say I've struggled with self and I know it is something I will have to deal with till I die, but I realize this and try with God's help to over come this thing that I do not need in my life. Self is the original sin and it is the one that first comes to light in our lives first and it is the one that condemns us all until we recognize it and repent for the acceptance of God.

 I think everyone who has been here for a while knows I do not like to play games in discussions, I dislike "what ifs" because they for certain are not real and reality is what I believe is important to come to an understanding of anything. Yes I do see questioning things as important and most of the atheist here believe I never question and they couldn't be more wrong, I've questioned God on things because of my lack of understanding, I've questioned Christians because of their lack of understanding/knowledge and I expect atheist to have little understanding of God and want to share that with them in a civil way, some want allow such conversation and I only deal with their statements because I believe that there is something important that those who are peeking in can gain from it.

 I have come to see most atheist in a different light than what I presumed before I came here, some have lived up to why preconceived thoughts and I find that sad because it really doesn't have to be that way, I actually would like to be able and have civil, understanding and intelligent conversation with all who are here. But that isn't reality and I accept that. 

 What I really did not count on was all the differing opinions of other Christians, but the common ground we stand on is truly what matters and our differences in the little things should never divide us. I have called out so called Christians and would do it again to stop falsehoods about God and Christianity. I have strong beliefs about foundational doctrine and will not compromise it nor tolerate it, it's much too important that foundational truths be preserved as God intended.

The one thing I would like everyone here to know is that I have a Christian love for them even those who it seems I can not have good conversations with and I want you to know that I am here now because for me it's important in my Christian love to tell people there is always hope in God.

GC
God loves those who believe and those who do not and the same goes for me, you have no choice in this matter. That puts the matter of total free will to rest.
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#4
RE: Our role(s) as Christians on Atheist Forums
I started posting on atheist websites about 20 years ago. My wife found a (now defunct) site called Cygnus' Study. Cygnus (Sam Gibson really) was an atheist similar to Minimalist here, except Sam was much more creative at slinging insults. It was a joy to watch at times, even as the target. Anyway, she made a very bad post on evolution (why are monkeys still here), and when she took heat asked for my help. I joined in, and pretty quickly got hooked. The site looked a lot like AF does now - similar color scheme, similar forum topics. While new features like kudos have been added since, it's amazing how little things have really changed.

Back then, not everyone had internet, and we didn't have social media yet. The caliber of poster was generally higher. While the site owner was like Mini, most of the atheists there at the beginning were pretty reasonable. When Sam gave me grief unfairly, they even stood up for me. The level of debate was really good. We did things like the "virgin" issue, and ended up digging into Blue Letter Bible to use Strong's to find all instances of a particular word, then went into the Septuagint, and even ancient poetry in order to make our cases. It was fascinating.

What does that time say regarding reasons for posting at an atheist forum? 

1 - You can potentially learn a lot that you otherwise wouldn't, just because you have to in order to compete. 

2 - Yes, it was competition. Another reason is the joy of arguing. To me, participating in a good debate is like doing a crossword puzzle, but better, as you have a live opponent.

3 - Challenging your faith. The atheists try to discard Pascal's Wager by noting it's not a proof, and that's true, but that doesn't mean it's without value. I'm speaking here of expanding the concept to other religions. If there's proof Christianity is false, I want to know it, and explore other religions more deeply.

The level of discussion devolved over time until it was something like it is here in terms of respect (not much) and animosity (growing). Cygnus got tired of maintaining the site, and one day it was gone.

I spent a few years at (now defunct) atheist.net, or atheism.net. It was run by some people in Denmark. They had rules on civility and enforced them, so it was really nice to post there. But, more people were on the interwebs by then, and the typical atheist doesn't want civil discussion, they want to mock. So, the site's traffic dried up, and they pulled the plug. This experience is why I don't think that a civil forum would work here if implemented. Atheists occasionally lament the lack of good debate, but they don't really want it, or sites like this one would have thrived.

I did a stint at AF.com, but got banned. Then I ended up here. There were a few other places I hit for shorter times over the years, but I don't recall which.

I think Youtube has just incredibly dumbed down the internet. People watch a couple videos supporting what they want to believe and think they're educated. It's pretty much ruined debate.

Other reasons I've considered for posting at atheist sites:

4 - Spreading the word

5 - Learning about the latest in anti-Christian propaganda in order to be prepared to discuss it in other places

So, what do I think about those reasons now?

1-Learning and 3-challenging my faith were valid for a time. But, the quality of discourse has dropped so low that I don't think those are currently valid reasons.

2-arguing as a hobby is as valid as dong crosswords for a hobby I suppose, but it's really a waste of time.

4-evangelizing - this can be used to justify a short time at an atheist site, but not a continued presence. There are general passages on sharing the word and setting an example that can be brought up to justify posting at such a site. But, a rule of interpretation is that the specific overrules the general, and the specific verses on the subject are clear:

Matt 7
6 Do not give what is holy to the dogs; nor cast your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you in pieces.

Matt 10
14 And whoever will not receive you nor hear your words, when you depart from that house or city, shake off the dust from your feet.

5-learning about the latest arguments - I can do that without posting.

So, on reflection, why am I here?

My presence here is nothing more than a bad habit.

Prov. 26-11
As a dog returns to its vomit, so a fool repeats his folly.

Unless I see a convincing argument to the contrary, I'm going to leave the site at the conclusion of this discussion.

@CL: There are plenty of Christian sites where you can make online friends, and those sites would be better for you.
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#5
RE: Our role(s) as Christians on Atheist Forums
I guess it's my go, even though I think I covered most of this in my mission statement in my thread "Thread #1 post #1" when I first got here.

That is; to answer questions, and provide clarity concerning Jesus and the God of the bible. the second half of that provides me with understanding of God I would not other wise had. Fore I believe one of my spiritual gifts is the gift of wisdom. not that I'm smart but I've but to ask God a question and he gives me access to Heaven's libraries metaphorically speaking. Meaning I've but to ask God a question about who/what he is, or our purpose, stories of the bible intentions and or the like (really anything having to do with the God of the bible or his purpose,) and He provides an answer. Now where we/I can always completely understand or relay that answer in a cohesive way so others can understand is another matter. Where this benefits me is I often times am not audacious enough to ask the questions someone who hates God would ask. So I get insite and understand I normally would not.

I started out almost 20 years ago now in a christian web site after my experiences with my wife's heroin addiction... It was through that horridness that I questioned everything about my faith and rebuilt it according to what the bible said. rather than the religions who failed us. Once I did funny thing happened.. God.. showed up. (I have those experiences recorded on this website as well.) Then faith became a non issue it was evidence based belief to the God of the bible. Then shortly after I began manifesting my gifts (primarily wisdom) and began to see why people did not share what God offered. So I started trying to save the 'saved' which is pointless. (As one does not need to have a relationship with God as I have in order to be saved.) they can simply be saved by faith. So I went in search of people who wanted to know God as he was presented in the bible. Found that in the "atheist forum" section of the Christian site. I spent 8 year there answering questions and countering the same argument most noobs bring here. Till one day I finally got to one of you guys. However this guy was very offensive and asked core questions the admins deemed inappropriate so not only did they ban the guy the shut down the atheist questions portions of the web site as well.

So after almost 8 or 9 years I packed my bags and began to search. I was in search of true neutral ground a place where if I played by the rules I would get my voice heard. This by far is the only place I've found that will allow a Christian to "win"/Beat the teeth out of an atheist whether he be noob or established member. Just so long as site rules are not broken.

So my 'job' here is not to save any of you, but to straighten out the bull crap you tell yourself is Christianity. I would honestly say 98% of you have no idea what the God of the bible looks like nor what He expects, nor how much freedom we do have in or under Him. yet you like a bunch of pre programed drones you, all take the same crowder or dawkins arguments dress them up as your own and march against God with them... Here's the thing... you are 'march' against church doctrine which often times has no bearing in what the bible actually says. At best has dawkins toppled the idea of god from one denomination or another, but it's totally wrong to think that all forms of God go down with a contradiction or paradox he may have found in a school of thought. Again 9 times out of 10 it simply means the school is wrong, Not the God the school teaches about. epicurean paradox being a good example

I am here to help those who seek the truth understand who God is without the lens of a given denomination. How is that possible? because the qualifier for a denominational 'doctrine' is that only a particular denomination can provide the sacraments/rights/rituals needed to enter Heaven. What the bible teaches is far different. In that only Christ determines who is and who is not Christian. (no man comes to the Father but by me/ Not some church or doctrine)

"we" our churches have absolutely on say in the matter. we at best can only "follow the way" or follow Christ. Which means there will be people in those denominational churches in whom Christ will identify as Christian and people who lived mirror lives who He will not identify as Christian. That said there will also be many who come from very unconventional places/churches just like this one.

That is What I believe and why "we" collectively are doing here. At least for me you all are my church body you are my flock, you are the one talent God has given me and I am working to show a return on what he has invested in me, through you. Meaning even if no one else gets converted if I can change the general narrative from a dawkins church view resulting in you HATING God to a bible based view where you are willing to listen to the next worker/minister in line like a GC or CL then I've broken that ice and my primary job is done.
1Thess 5:21 Question all things and hold on to what is good.
That doesn't mean question just the questionable, it also means that we should question the foundational. If you have a biblically based question you'd rather not openly discuss i am happy to receive any PM's discretely, or Email [email protected]

A/S/K= ask, seek, knock. As outlined in luke 11:5-13
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#6
RE: Our role(s) as Christians on Atheist Forums
I know what a Christian's role is supposed to be here and abroad. But speaking in regard to myself, and I'm sure it's obvious to everyone who's read my posts, the way I behave, I fall far behind in measuring up to being a true Christian. Professing to believe in God and believing that Jesus Christ is His Son is only half of the equation and a half way Christian isn't enough. Professing faith and practicing faith go hand in hand. You can't have one without the other. That's where I'm at in my current state, in the same hand basket with the unbelievers. Anyway, I joined the forum in November of 2009. I used to be a member of another atheist discussion forum, Atheist Nation (?), but it no longer exists. I came to AF to discuss politics and current news events. I not only believe the Christian faith but I'm also politically and socially conservative. Bad combination here! All of that aside I thought this was a pretty good idea to have a sub forum where Christians and "in laws to the Church" could discuss related topics to the faith without the ridicule and harassment that it would bring from some of the more obnoxious members here. Some of the topics that I would like to see considered for discussion in this sub forum would be, "Can a Christian be perfect? After all, Jesus said, Be ye therefore perfect even as your Father in Heaven is perfect." Or, "What are your thoughts on the Godhead? Is God the Father, Jesus the Son, and the Holy Ghost one in the same or are they separate but co equal?" "Pre millennialism or Post millennialism?" "Was the U.S. culturally a Christian nation?" "What does God expect of a Christian?" "Are there other ways besides Jesus that will get a person into Heaven?"....these are some of the things that I'd like to see discussed among ourselves. Let's see where it goes.
"Inside every Liberal there's a Totalitarian screaming to get out"

[Image: freddy_03.jpg]

Quote: JohnDG...
Quote:It was an awful mistake to characterize based upon religion. I should not judge any theist that way, I must remember what I said in order to change.
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#7
RE: Our role(s) as Christians on Atheist Forums
So, I guess I'll go ahead and make my post for today. I was hoping to wait for at least Neo to comment so I'd have more to go on, but he hasn't yet so I'm going to put this up now before it gets late. Anyway, I've enjoyed reading everyone's responses and have a brief follow up response to each:

GC - You said this: "I came in the hopes of changing the minds of those who participate as members here. I soon found that was a mission I set for myself and not what God had in mind." Why have you come to the conclusion that God does not have this in mind? And if it is true that He doesn't, what is your motivation for continuing to stay here?

Alpha - You posted 2 bible verses to basically say that there's only so much you can evangelize here before it becomes like beating a dead horse. Since there are always people here coming and going, and since you never know what new person may be lurking the forums, do you think it might justify you staying, since your audience is always changing?

Drich - You said this: "So my 'job' here is not to save any of you, but to straighten out the bull crap you tell yourself is Christianity." Do you think you've been successful in clearing up a lot of misconceptions about Christianity? And why do you think it is important to set the record straight about Christianity if the motivation behind it isn't to "save" anyone?

A Theist - I love the saying "Preach the Gospels always. When necessary, use words." It emphasizes that actions are crucial in spreading God's message. If you feel you haven't been setting a good example here, have you thought about how you can improve in that area? Also curious, why pick an atheist site to discuss politics and current affairs?

One last note: Once we are pretty much done discussing our roles here, I'd be open for discussing the questions put forth by A Theist. And I'm in favor of Vulcan's idea to take questions from other AF members and answer them here.
"Of course, everyone will claim they respect someone who tries to speak the truth, but in reality, this is a rare quality. Most respect those who speak truths they agree with, and their respect for the speaking only extends as far as their realm of personal agreement. It is less common, almost to the point of becoming a saintly virtue, that someone truly respects and loves the truth seeker, even when their conclusions differ wildly." 

-walsh
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#8
RE: Our role(s) as Christians on Atheist Forums
CL I came here with a bit of a chip on my shoulder and got it knocked off, not by any of the atheist, but by God who worked through a few of them to show me I needed to stop what I was doing and to do as I should, what I am suppose to be doing is giving a clear message to those who are questioning either their Christian life or atheist life. Those people are not for me to determine, God sends them when it is an appropriate time, His choosing not mine nor theirs. Nearly 100% of them will be those who peep in to see what's going on here, and see if they can find an answer to their indecision. I like the rest of us let some of the regular members distract from our mission, it's a natural reaction when we should be reacting spiritually. To be honest I personally do not see much hope for most of the regular atheist here but, then I'm not God and have no idea of what His plan for them is. God uses all people in His purpose, believer and none believer alike and I'm an example of that as I stated at the beginning. What I mean about I'm an example is that God used atheist to put me on a right track and it is one I stray from time to time. When I see no hope for someone all I have to do is look at Paul and Paul indirectly said, He was the worst atheist as far as Christ was concerned. When he accepted Christ he became the strength that Christians should  aspire to be like. With this said the ones I witness to will more than likely never have a face or name but they are people too people in need and I'm no more than a vessel for God to use in His calling to them and I'm more than fine with that. Now do I actually believe I am of no use here for the regular atheist members, no, some have made it clear that I have value here for those who will listen and those who have listened have said they appreciate my contribution in their life. Sometimes Christians believe our only mission is to convert non-believers, when in reality we can be effective with what God gives us to comfort people, will they understand our wisdom comes from God for them, no they don't believe. The important thing is that through God we have been helpful in helping someone God wanted to bring comfort to, and for us, to see God's wisdom help even the non-believer is what Christians should cherish and why because we know He hasn't stopped working with them and whether they want to believe it or not He is extending His love to them even though they have rejected Him, their creator. Thanks for the question CL and thanks to Neo for the idea of this debate/discussion activity for me it's already been helpful and I'm praying it will be for everyone else. I also think it a good idea to discuss A Theist's questions and I think that should come before we address questions from the atheist, which I'm also in favor of. One thing I believe we should do is vote on which questions they present, so we can regulate them as those things that are important, I'm sure some of the questions will be thing we have hashed over many times. I believe if we have a vote on them and Vulcan sees what we see as responsible questions will help him in deciding which questions to put forth. I think a simple majority vote would be sufficient and those who do not vote will not be considered as part of the total vote. 

GC
God loves those who believe and those who do not and the same goes for me, you have no choice in this matter. That puts the matter of total free will to rest.
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#9
RE: Our role(s) as Christians on Atheist Forums
(May 4, 2018 at 11:16 pm)Catholic_Lady Wrote: So, I guess I'll go ahead and make my post for today. I was hoping to wait for at least Neo to comment so I'd have more to go on, but he hasn't yet so I'm going to put this up now before it gets late. Anyway, I've enjoyed reading everyone's responses and have a brief follow up response to each:

GC - You said this: "I came in the hopes of changing the minds of those who participate as members here. I soon found that was a mission I set for myself and not what God had in mind." Why have you come to the conclusion that God does not have this in mind? And if it is true that He doesn't, what is your motivation for continuing to stay here?

Alpha - You posted 2 bible verses to basically say that there's only so much you can evangelize here before it becomes like beating a dead horse. Since there are always people here coming and going, and since you never know what new person may be lurking the forums, do you think it might justify you staying, since your audience is always changing?

Drich - You said this: "So my 'job' here is not to save any of you, but to straighten out the bull crap you tell yourself is Christianity." Do you think you've been successful in clearing up a lot of misconceptions about Christianity? And why do you think it is important to set the record straight about Christianity if the motivation behind it isn't to "save" anyone?

A Theist - I love the saying "Preach the Gospels always. When necessary, use words." It emphasizes that actions are crucial in spreading God's message. If you feel you haven't been setting a good example here, have you thought about how you can improve in that area? Also curious, why pick an atheist site to discuss politics and current affairs?

One last note: Once we are pretty much done discussing our roles here, I'd be open for discussing the questions put forth by A Theist. And I'm in favor of Vulcan's idea to take questions from other AF members and answer them here.

Well, to be honest CL, It was never my intention to join the forum to try and win souls over to Christ, although I made no pretense about my Christian beliefs or where I stood as far as being any kind of a true Christian. I've always enjoyed discussing and debating politics and current affairs with others who enjoyed doing the same. In another forum that I participate in politics and religion are strictly forbidden. AF offered those outlets that many other discussion forums forbid. Also AF has other pages where members can just kick back and mingle and share and enjoy each other's company and experiences. These are areas where everyone can actually get to know each other and find out more about the people we debate with in the other discussion threads. In fact, I would suggest that members at least try and participate in some of the other threads that doesn't involve debating and arguing all the time. Get to know each other. We'll all find out that not everyone here are 24/7 assholes. Laugh together, have fun together, get to know each other. We'll also find out that many of us have a lot of common interests, experiences, and likes that we share. In my experience on this forum I have found that we're not all the rotten sobs we seem to envision of another in the more intense discussion threads. As much as Min and I have gone at it with each other we have had civil discussions in other threads. I've been here since 2009. I don't guess I'll be planning on going anywhere unless I get banned 😉 So, to sum up, visit the more laid back threads and get to know each other. There's no chips on my shoulders and I have no hard feelings against any member here despite what others may see of me in the politics and current affairs threads.

Good follow up posts from CL and GC.

But yeah, I'd happy to begin discussions on the questions I put forth if anyone's interested.
"Inside every Liberal there's a Totalitarian screaming to get out"

[Image: freddy_03.jpg]

Quote: JohnDG...
Quote:It was an awful mistake to characterize based upon religion. I should not judge any theist that way, I must remember what I said in order to change.
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#10
RE: Our role(s) as Christians on Atheist Forums
First, I would like to thank Tibs for generously setting up this debate/discussion and generously volunteering to moderate. That, in addition to all the other things he has done to create and preserve AF.

Second, I would like to apologize to the other participants. I initiated the creation of this conversation at the worst possible time for me personally. As such I do not have the time to give this flywheel the push needed to get the momentum going and my insights at the start will be meager at best. Thankfully CL, GC and alpha have filled that gap and I look forward to all the participants’ comments and responding to them as thoughtfully as possible.

By asking about the role of Christians on AF, I’m not concerned about our personal motives, such as finding community, verbally joisting, or playing games. I question, in general, if there are any justifications for Christians, as Christians, to participate on AF and if so what such reasons could be. Throughout this discussion I will argue that Christian participation on AF, and similar venues, does little to glorify God or further the Kingdom. Additionally, I will argue that participation on atheist forums, ultimately, is of little benefit to developing and strengthening an individual Christian’s faith.

Overall, I find myself echoing the sentiments of Alpha_male, i.e. if there is a good reason for us to subject ourselves to this kind of abuse, I would like to hear it. Alpha’s quotes are indeed the relevant texts. Psalm 1 advises us to not associate around with people who, by adopting the title of atheist, have already signaled their intentional rejection of belief. (I do not believe their self-delusion that an atheist simply lacks belief.) When you work with dirt, you get dirty.

I would further argue against Godscreated, Drich, and others about spreading the Gospel. This is not a mission field. It is the hard ground that will not accept the sower's seeds. Our participation on AF is not at all like going into places where sin and darkness dwell in ignorance. Those are people potentially yearning for hope who have not yet heard the Gospel. AF members do not yearn for hope. The Light dwells in the darkness and the darkness knew it not. This lot have put blankets of falsity over their windows having already closed their eyes to truth.

@ Catholic_Lady – you suggest that exposing yourself to the opinions and ideas on AF provides insight into the thoughts and feeling of other atheists with whom you interact elsewhere online or in real life. You also write about a desire to “engage with people of differing views”. But merely gaining insight has only personal value unless it in some way brings glory to God or builds the Kingdom. I see knowledge as a means to an end, not an end unto itself. As such, if you have no ambitions beyond educating yourself such as overcoming objections of non-believers so they may come to Christ or strengthening your faith to be more effective in other missions?

For me, learning about atheism is a non-issue. As a former atheist, I already had extensive knowledge of atheism as expressed by the major philosophers such as Russell, Nietzsche, and Sartre. The majority of AF atheists are New Atheist groupies who spit out one-liners the way candy pops out of Pez heads.

Enough for today.

@A Theist – please remember the “no quote” rule.
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