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We Are Called To Love, Not "like" Unbelievers


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#1 Remnant of The Abyss

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Posted 16 April 2012 - 11:05 AM

NOTE: This topic relates specifically to online witness, as this type of witness is very much different than the more traditional, interpersonal back and forth that transpires in a street witness for example.



We Are Called To Love, Not "Like" Unbelievers



I do not sugar coat my witness for Christ, nor am I afraid to tell an online unbeliever that if he continues to reject Christ, continues in his ignorance of the Bible as God's Word, and continues to mock God that he will be going to Hell to spend eternity separated from God. But I also make it clear that salvation can be attained even up to the last minute before his dying breath, as the thief on the cross is our Biblical example Luke 23:38-43.

The online unbeliever thinks he possesses a "trump card" and likes to play this card as a way to gain advantage over the truthfulness of the Gospel. Notice I stated truthfulness and not just truth? Because without telling of the ramifications of the rejection of Christ, I believe the witness is incomplete. It's true that it is unsavory, and it's true that it offends. And many churches today are guilty of not telling the whole truth in an attempt to be more inclusive, fill the pews, and not drive people away. But that is another thread for another day.

Back to the perceived "trump card". The unbeliever will accuse the Christian of "not showing God's love as commanded in the Bible" as soon as they are offended, which in many cases is immediately. And many Christians I've seen allow the unbeliever to get away with this accusation. Or the Christian will desperately try to be nice all the time so as not to offend in any way, shape, or form. Is it any wonder that there are so few Christians actually witnessing online?

Here is the crux of the matter. The Bible teaches us to love the sinner and hate the sin. Did Jesus not have "love" when He overturned the tables of the moneychangers? Mark 11:15-17. Was Jesus "nice" when He performed this act? As Christians, the answers are apparent as we have an understanding of this. Jesus was perfect, and He displayed righteous anger towards the sin. It was a display of "tough love", that is for sure. And Christ is our example to follow, as being a Christian is to follow Christ.

Would a Christian today question Christ's love when Christ blasted the Pharisees? Or would they say He should have been "nicer" about it? Or He shouldn't have called them out for what they were? Or that his witness was any less effective because He told the truth?

Matthew 23:29-33
Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! because ye build the tombs of the prophets, and garnish the sepulchres of the righteous, And say, If we had been in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partakers with them in the blood of the prophets. Wherefore ye be witnesses unto yourselves, that ye are the children of them which killed the prophets. Fill ye up then the measure of your fathers. Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell?

When an unbeliever mocks God, or the Bible, or Christianity, I do not "like" them and let them know about it. I rebuke them, as I should since "All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness" 2Tim 3:16.

Unfortunately, too many Christians think that they are not displaying "love" if they don't allow unbelievers to walk all over them in their witness; they fold when it comes to defending God. Or they buy into the false notion that they 'are not to judge'. Well it's true that only God can judge the inward sins of the heart, but the Christian is called to discern the outward sin and then rebuke it. That is not 'judging', and this is yet another "trump card" that the unbeliever likes to throw out in an attempt to gain some advantage.

When unbelievers openly sin, when they outwardly mock God, I many times choose to use Jesus' example in the Temple as my example to follow and will overturn their tables. Sometimes I'll take a softer approach. But If I did not have love for unbelievers, I would just take the attitude "to hell with them" and I wouldn't bother witnessing online, ever. I'm also mindful that realistically in this day and age (what I believe are the End Times), surely the battle lines are drawn and both camps are entrenched. And defending God, and defending the Holy Bible is what Apologetics is all about, as well as telling the entire truth.

Edited by Remnant of The Abyss, 16 April 2012 - 02:47 PM.

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#2 perry_eh

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Posted 16 April 2012 - 03:43 PM

NOTE: This topic relates specifically to online witness, as this type of witness is very much different than the more traditional, interpersonal back and forth that transpires in a street witness for example.



We Are Called To Love, Not "Like" Unbelievers



I do not sugar coat my witness for Christ, nor am I afraid to tell an online unbeliever that if he continues to reject Christ, continues in his ignorance of the Bible as God's Word, and continues to mock God that he will be going to Hell to spend eternity separated from God. But I also make it clear that salvation can be attained even up to the last minute before his dying breath, as the thief on the cross is our Biblical example Luke 23:38-43.

The online unbeliever thinks he possesses a "trump card" and likes to play this card as a way to gain advantage over the truthfulness of the Gospel. Notice I stated truthfulness and not just truth? Because without telling of the ramifications of the rejection of Christ, I believe the witness is incomplete. It's true that it is unsavory, and it's true that it offends. And many churches today are guilty of not telling the whole truth in an attempt to be more inclusive, fill the pews, and not drive people away. But that is another thread for another day.

Back to the perceived "trump card". The unbeliever will accuse the Christian of "not showing God's love as commanded in the Bible" as soon as they are offended, which in many cases is immediately. And many Christians I've seen allow the unbeliever to get away with this accusation. Or the Christian will desperately try to be nice all the time so as not to offend in any way, shape, or form. Is it any wonder that there are so few Christians actually witnessing online?

Here is the crux of the matter. The Bible teaches us to love the sinner and hate the sin. Did Jesus not have "love" when He overturned the tables of the moneychangers? Mark 11:15-17. Was Jesus "nice" when He performed this act? As Christians, the answers are apparent as we have an understanding of this. Jesus was perfect, and He displayed righteous anger towards the sin. It was a display of "tough love", that is for sure. And Christ is our example to follow, as being a Christian is to follow Christ.

Would a Christian today question Christ's love when Christ blasted the Pharisees? Or would they say He should have been "nicer" about it? Or He shouldn't have called them out for what they were? Or that his witness was any less effective because He told the truth?

Matthew 23:29-33
Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! because ye build the tombs of the prophets, and garnish the sepulchres of the righteous, And say, If we had been in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partakers with them in the blood of the prophets. Wherefore ye be witnesses unto yourselves, that ye are the children of them which killed the prophets. Fill ye up then the measure of your fathers. Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell?

When an unbeliever mocks God, or the Bible, or Christianity, I do not "like" them and let them know about it. I rebuke them, as I should since "All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness" 2Tim 3:16.

Unfortunately, too many Christians think that they are not displaying "love" if they don't allow unbelievers to walk all over them in their witness; they fold when it comes to defending God. Or they buy into the false notion that they 'are not to judge'. Well it's true that only God can judge the inward sins of the heart, but the Christian is called to discern the outward sin and then rebuke it. That is not 'judging', and this is yet another "trump card" that the unbeliever likes to throw out in an attempt to gain some advantage.

When unbelievers openly sin, when they outwardly mock God, I many times choose to use Jesus' example in the Temple as my example to follow and will overturn their tables. Sometimes I'll take a softer approach. But If I did not have love for unbelievers, I would just take the attitude "to hell with them" and I wouldn't bother witnessing online, ever. I'm also mindful that realistically in this day and age (what I believe are the End Times), surely the battle lines are drawn and both camps are entrenched. And defending God, and defending the Holy Bible is what Apologetics is all about, as well as telling the entire truth.


Is it any wonder that there are so few Christians actually witnessing online?


Well my friend, It is very difficult to witness online. When Christ returns, it will certainly not be online. How will we know it is him when he comes? Not by what he says, rather, but by his actions.
I like Ron's post about battlehardened apologists in that you have to listen very carefully to what others are saying, and not to respond in haste.
I think Geode may have recieved a bit of that while he was here. If you listen carefully to what he was saying, you would understand that he wishes so badly to have an institution that has been rooted in his psyche. to be considered Christian. You could tell that he clings to Mormonism just as a child might with his bear. I understanded those that rebuked him and why, but I was left with the sense that there could have been a better way to show him the truth and that he could be still here open to finding such a way.

I know that this has been a sticky point with you on imdb, but the Lord reminded us not to dig the weeds out that were amongst good grain.
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#3 Remnant of The Abyss

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Posted 16 April 2012 - 04:07 PM

Perry, thanks for the reply.

It's true that we will recognize Christ when He returns by His actions. And you are so very correct, it is very difficult to witness online.

As far as Geode, well I really didn't have him in mind at all when I posted this.

I had another Christian on IMDb accuse me of "hating" because I had blasted the unbelievers, saying they didn't deserve to be wished a "Happy Easter". I said that they mocked God 24/7/365 and didn't deserve to be included in a thread that stated "Happy Easter". So I wished "Happy Easter to all the Christians on this board" and another Christian, who hadn't witnessed at all came out of the woodwork to accuse me of many things. He didn't like my "style" so I'm stating my style here so it can be vetted and perhaps found useful for some.

I have street witnessed face to face with unbelievers in very bad neighborhoods. It was nothing like what I've seen online.

#4 Remnant of The Abyss

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Posted 24 April 2012 - 09:47 AM

Update (warning: contains some vile information):

Last week on the IMDb forums a member who spends many, many hours on the "Religious" board trolling Christians and badmouthing God/The Bible/Christianity decided to troll "The Passion of the Christ" Forum and posted a particularly disgusting and vile thread. She made a thread stating that Christ was ejected (she used a different, vulgar word) from the Virgin Mary's behind (she used a different, vulgar word). Then she taunted Christians by stating "Why don't you just admit it's true?"

So, in a discussion with another Christian there, I was speaking in a general sense about "not casting pearls before swine". Well, this woman got all indignant over that comment and played the old "trump cards". She demanded answers to Why don't you *LOVE* us? and Why are you so *HATEFUL*??? These are the same perceived trump cards that I've discussed here. Remember, this is the SAME woman who started that disgusting thread just last week. :rolleyes:

The thing is, unbelievers like this who object to Christians having the moral upper hand only go to prove, time and again, how incredibly lost they are and how desperately in need of God they really are. And while Perry summed this all up nicely about it being "difficult to witness online", unfortunately it's one of the few tools some of us have at our disposal at the moment.

#5 agnophilo123

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Posted 16 November 2012 - 03:07 PM

"But If I did not have love for unbelievers, I would just take the attitude "to hell with them" and I wouldn't bother witnessing online"

Many (if not most) non-believers that argue with religious folks feel the same way (being motivated by concern for believers). Most outspoken atheists I know would want someone to shake their faith if they were religious and make them question their assumptions about the world, and in this way they are following the golden rule when they argue. Granted there sadly are also atheists who are bullies or just use atheism to condescend to others because they're insecure etc - but there are plenty of religious people who use their religion as a way to feel superior too.

The song "I alone" by the band "Live" I've always interpreted as being about this sort of love from a secular person to a religious person.

The lyrics:


it's easier not to be wise
and measure these things by your brains
I sank into Eden with you
alone in the church by and by
I'll read to you here, save your eyes
you'll need them, your boat is at sea
your anchor is up, you've been swept away
and the greatest of teachers won't hesitate
to leave you there, by yourself, chained to fate

I alone love you
I alone tempt you
I alone love you
fear is not the end of this!

it's easier not to be great
and measure these things by your eyes
we long to be here by his resolve
alone in the church by and by
to cradle the baby in space
and leave you there by yourself chained to fate

oh, now, we took it back too far,
only love can save us now,
all these riddles that you burn
all come runnin' back to you,
all these rhythms that you hide
only love can save us now,
all these riddles that you burn yeah, yeah, yeah

#6 Salsa

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Posted 17 November 2012 - 03:27 AM

Most outspoken atheists I know would want someone to shake their faith if they were religious and make them question their assumptions about the world


Really? How do you know that atheists want? According to the Bible "the heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?", but obviously you do.

Very rarely have I met an atheist, "outspoken" or not, that has displayed any desire to have someone question their assumptions.
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#7 gilbo12345

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Posted 18 November 2012 - 08:06 AM

"The heart of the human problem is the problem with the human heart" :D




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