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ATHEIST TUESDAY & The Everyday Club Report for April: Is Evangelism Effective?

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An atheist asked: How effective are your actions at bringing the lost closer to Jesus?

If by “effective” you mean: Do I actually see lots of conversions with people becoming Christians and attending church, becoming missionaries, feeding the homeless, visiting prisoners and adopting babies?

No.

My church, Hope Chapel, has handed out over three million Gospel tracts and has graduated close to a thousand evangelism trainees. I, personally, have had hundreds, if not thousands of one-to-one conversations with individuals, and have preached the Gospel in the open air hundreds of times to thousands of people since making a commitment to share my faith everyday on January 1, 2004.

The result? I don’t know. I would say, at best, we’ve had a hundred visitors— maybe more, probably less—as a result of our evangelism efforts. If I measured our effectiveness by what I see then I’d say that we are doing dismally, miserably—and we ought to give up.  Because, after all, what’s the point?

The good news, though,  is that our evangelism efforts and methods are very effective, because God is effective. You see, if I save anybody, then they are lost forever; but if God saves, then people are saved to the uttermost.

How does God get his word out? Through preachers. And what is it we preach? That Jesus saves sinners.

“How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? 15 And how can they preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!”
(Romans 10:14-15)

The reason we preach in the open air, or share one-to-one, or hand out tracts is because we have been commanded to do it.

[Jesus] said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation.” (Mark 16:15)

Now about the “results” question. We leave that up to God. We do what he’s commanded and leave the results up to him. It’s a work of faith.

I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God made it grow. (1 Corinthians 3:6)

The seed, the Word of God, is what we count on to do the work—even if we do the work ineffectively, stupidly, ridiculously or jerkily. The Word of God, the seed is what matters. It’s the quality of the seed, not the sower, that does the work effectively.

As the rain and the snow
come down from heaven,
and do not return to it
without watering the earth
and making it bud and flourish,
so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater,

so is my word that goes out from my mouth:
It will not return to me empty,
but will accomplish what I desire
and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.

(Isaiah 55:10-11)

It does not matter how much one argues against it, or protests, or offers logical arguments to dispute it, God’s Word will do the work—even in the heart of the most hardened unbeliever. That’s our confidence in evangelism, that’s our hope!

For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.
(Hebrew 4:12)

In American Christianity there is a great emphasis on “getting decisions” for Christ when evangelizing. This puts the pressure on the person sharing their faith to get as many decisions as possible without regard for the “sinner’s” heart. Many people will say the “sinner’s prayer”, walk down an aisle, raise a little hand, do a little dance—and get saved tonight, yeaaaah, get saved tonight!

These questions should arise: Are they really saved? Was there any repentance? Were they forced into a decision?

If there were as many Christians as the media says there are, do you think we would have over 50 million abortions a year? Would we tolerate state sanctioned prayerless in schools? Would there be the level of godlessness that we see in this nation?

We have a nation of false converts.

These people prayed a prayer and bought into the man-centered Gospel that says ”God loves you and has a wonderful plan for your life;” people who made a “decision” for Christ, but didn’t count the cost; people who raised their hands while the lights were low and the piano played , but never repented of their wickedness.

So what is an evangelist to do?

Trust that it is God who does the saving. We get to play the part of a seed-sower or a waterer, but it’s God who causes people to get saved.

Ray Comfort’s ministry, Living Waters, just reported this:

We were encouraged to learn that from 1998–2011 Living Waters has distributed 150 million tracts. We can’t help but wonder how many conversations have been sparked by these, and how many God has used to bring dying sinners to a knowledge of everlasting life.

So is their evangelism effective? Are our evangelism team’s efforts effective? Is my evangelism effective?

This is my answer when I’m asked how many people I’ve lead to Christ: “Every one.”

I lead everyone to the Lord every time I talk about Christ, AND I always get a decision. When I talk about Jesus I lead them to the Savior, and they make a decision to follow Him or not.

So, are my evangelism efforts effective?

In a word: YES!

*****

If you are still in The Everyday Club, post how you did in April in the comments section below. We will be sharing the comments with atheists this month. If you’d like to join the Club, click here.

134 Comments

  1. I found myself becoming lukewarm. In March I missed 6 or 7 days so I resolved to get back to basics: I went on every Saturday with our evangelism team (instead of delegating every other week to my leaders), and I made a commitment to share my faith VERBALLY every day.

    Here’s how I did: I fulfilled my goal. I DID NOT miss one day.

    Praise the Lord!

    • Why don’t you ever take the credit? What exactly did your lord do, exactly? You were the one who went out and did it.

      • The Lord gets all the credit. He’s empowered me to do what I do. He saved me. He gave me a hope and a future. I’m just his servant. I only wish I was more faithful.

      • No, Steve. You don’t believe this, but *you* gave yourself the power though everything. You fought your addictions, you gave yourself the passion that you have for your career. You gave yourself a future, and you provide your own hope. You may be his servant (if that’s how you want to refer to yourself as), but just because you are a servant doesn’t make you powerless against your own demons (figuratively, I should add.) This is why I don’t like religion – they take away credit where it isn’t due.

      • Steve is giving God the glory.

  2. Hey..

    This month was good.. I have done good this month, however I missed one opportunity to share the gospel with anyone yesterday, so that will be my first one this year 🙂

    Cheers!
    Mika

  3. By God’s grace, I only missed one day. I continue to write stories of some of my conversations on my blog.

  4. I myself without tracts or tax exempt status or any financial investment of any kind, have helped 17 people leave behind superstition and become non believers. This is simply through conversation, setting a good example and being open to discussion. If your evangelists which you say number close to a thousand had such success you could point to around 15000 people saved.

    Also the people who I have helped leave religion behind have gone on to be the same sort of open, outspoken, right living sort of atheist I am and have brought members of their social circle to renounce belief in Gods. Most of these are also young people who still have their whole lives to exemplify the idea of “Good without God” and raise their children as non believers.

    I think my success rate is pretty good.

    Not that I should be helping you out but maybe if your thousand simply gave up on the preaching and instead strived to lead by example and be open to those seeking counsel you might have better luck. I know you believe your God works through you but apparently he is not having much success, that might be due to a failure in tactics on your part.

    • Ryk,

      I guess you didn’t read or understand the post.

      Please re-read it.

      Your unbelieving converts weren’t really Christians anyway and were destined for destruction.

      Like you. At least for now.

      • Doesn’t really matter, if being a Christian means “having a relationship with Christ” or some other thing involving God, then no one is a true Christian. Your God does not exist.

        All a Christian really is, is someone who practices the Christian religion. My goal is to convince people to stop doing that. I don’t really care if they were true Christians or not, they are now “true atheists” and will advocate for non belief, lobby against teaching religion in schools, vote against candidates who try to impose religion, and best of all serve as an example to others that one can be good without belief in Gods.

        That is what I am trying to achieve with my evangelism, whether they meet your standards of Christianity is irrelevant, they are working towards a secular and Godless society which is the ultimate goal. Not through force or legislation (both are things I would fight and die to oppose) but through simple education and example.

      • Ryk,

        I hope all my brothers and sisters in Christ will join me in praying that God has not abandoned you to a depraved mind. Perhaps He will open your eyes before it’s too late.

        Father, we will stand in the gap for “Ryk”, and we pray that you will open eyes and ears to understand the truth. Jesus, you said you wished that we were hot or cold, and here is someone that You can use! I pray that you will perform such a radical heart transplant that Ryk will be a force *FOR* your Kingdom and will even proclaim Your wonders to this dying world. Lord, we plead with You to remove the scales and let Ryk see. And then Lord, bring Ryk to Calvary and break his heart under the weight of his own sin and the fact that You paid for him too. Amen

      • Ahh Glenn that was sweet of you.

      • And when God doesn’t answer your prayer and Ryk (along with the rest of us heathens) end up in Hell, you’ll shrug it off as God’s plan all along, as he has to make the effort into converting us.

      • I know Swan, prayer to an omniscient being seems an excercise in futility to logical thinkers but theists don’t use logic they use faith. I am sure Glenn believes he is being nice, so I take it at face value. It is not like it matters, no one is listening to prayers anyway so his incantation is not going to do anything. Like I said however it is a nice gesture.

        Now to me the “depraved mind” bit sounds insulting but I’ve heard it enough to know it is just a Christian buzzword like “sin”, it doesn’t mean anything.

      • To say they were never real christians, is to make their lives they lived as christians meaningless.

      • Steve L

        Your assertion that your Gods word is truth is completely unsubstantiated. In fact since your God does not exist it can not have a word at all, the Bible is just the words of a bunch of people who passed on their tribal laws, geneologies and legends. Heavily augmented by mythmaking.

        As to the bit about people who no longer believe never being true Christians, that is just silly. I know it is what you believe and I understand that but again, your God does not exist so in reality the only thing a Christian is, is someone who practices the Christian religion.

        It is not important anyway, it makes no difference to me if they were or were not true CHristians, as I said to Steve S, they are atheists now which means they are going to advocate for non belief, oppose the establishment of religion, vote agains theocratic politicians, raise children in non believing households, and help show that people can be good without Gods. Their status as former Christians or simply false converts makes no difference to this.

      • Isn’t it funny Steve how we repeatedly keep having the conversation where you point out how it isn’t your place to say ‘that person is saved’, or ‘this person is saved’, only Jesus gets to do that. Yet you keep on doing it.

    • Ryker how did you become an atheist? You were a Christian at one time. Is your brother an atheist too?

      • Schmadster.

        I was never a Christian, I occasionally attended church with friends as a child, but can not recall ever believing any of it. My earliest recollection of knowing I was an atheist came at about age 11 or 12. I was attending church with a girl I had a thing for. I was listening to the sermon when it suddenly occured to me that the people around me actually believed the stories in the Bible. Intellectually I knew that people beieved it but emotionally it never really clicked. I found this very disturbing and creepy. That was the last time I ever went to church, I just couldn’t relate anymore.

        I did however develope a fascination with religion that continues to today. I have long tried to understand what it is about Gods that makes people believe in them. Christianity in particular interests me because most of the theists I know are some sort of Christian. I have studied the Bible, its origins, apologetics and hermeneutics more thoroughly than any Christians I know.

        I do not have a brother but my sister is an agnostic as is my father, my mom is an atheist, My parents were nominally Christian when I was younger, though not practicing, they abandoned their pretense of belief years ago however.

      • Rykerman,

        My mistake. I thought you were one of the Ryker brothers who stopped Kip Kinkel at Thurston High. I did some research and I found that both brothers had been, maybe still are, Christian. I was wondering if the shooting turned you into an atheist.

      • No just Ryk, I had not made that connection, I do however know some of the kids shot at Thurston. Not closely but enough that the shooting came close to home. That was something that rocked our whole community.

    • Oh and I did indeed read and understand your post. However as I know your God is not real I do not agree with the conclusions you reached.

      • That is likely due to the fact that we have very different standards of success. Your standard seems to be just having people choose something and not worrying about what. To me that is of no value, I want people to choose to make a better world, if they choose otherwise I have failed.

        You say you have them make a decision to follow Christ or not and call either way a success.

        I say I encourage people to choose to be good and work for a better community, when they do I call that success and when they don’t I call that failure. Despite this I still seem to jave an excellent success rate.

      • Uh, no. I think you missed the entire point. Boy, if you are wrong figuring out a simple article like mine, how can you be sure that you are right about what you don’t believe? Please re-read the article. I want a full report. Right now you have an F+.

      • I get what you are saying just fine, however since your God does not exist, what you are saying is meaningless. You believe it is best to let “God do the saving” that is fine however it is not true. Any conversions or decisions you get or do not get are all about what you say or do not say. I am not giving you an F on your article as you made yourself fairly clear I say C+, however a solid F on your evangelism.

        I do however give you an A for effort though, as you say, you evangelise because the God figure you believe in supposedly commands it. That you do well, in fact I have said that about you and evangelists in general. What you do is not for others but for yourself or in your opinion your God.

      • Oh, my turn! “Boy, if you are wrong about a simple theory in science (such as the Theory of Evolution), how can you be sure that you are right about what you believe?”

        It isn’t a logical fallacy, but rather just a poor argument/persuation tactic in general. Lack of knowledge in subject A does not imply a lack of knowledge in subject B (unless A is related to B in some significant way.)

      • RyK wrote:
        Doesn’t really matter, if being a Christian means “having a relationship with Christ” or some other thing involving God, then no one is a true Christian. Your God does not exist.

        To put it in understandable terms, “Christianity is a way of life!” Once and for all and … for Evermore!

        As for “your god does not exist,”

        “Now to him who is able to strengthen you according to my gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery that was kept secret for long ages but has now been disclosed and through the prophetic writings has been made known to all nations, according to the command of the eternal God, to bring about the obedience of faith—to the only wise God be glory forevermore through Jesus Christ! Amen.
        (Romans 16:25-27 ESV) Can you dig it?

        I missed a few days but overall a very good month! My conversation with “Dennis” at the Long Beach Grand Prix was the highlight as I witnessed the Holy Spirit move in a powerful way!

      • Steve L wrote
        “Christianity is a way of life!” Once and for all and … for Evermore!

        I totally agree with you that Christianity is just a way of life however the evermore part is not true…many people leave the Christian lifestyle.

        Regarding your Bible verse….So…why would I care if your Bible claims to provide evidence for itself, that is still just an unsupported claim….now if someone could actually provide the evidence that might be worth something.

      • People that leave the Christian life were never Christians! 1Jn. 2:19
        God’s word is TRUTH!!

    • Well, although I’m fairly outspoken, I don’t really try to convert anyone. I follow the advice of Matthew 6:5 in that way. (You know, since Steve doesn’t, somebody has to…) I just try to set a good example, showing people how atheism can bring peace and joy into your heart.

      I’ve raised three wonderful, kind, generous skeptical children, who care more for others than they do themselves sometimes (my oldest son, Luke, is a Marine – just got back from his second tour of Afghanistan; that’s been pretty hard on him).

      And none of them will snottily tell people what a terrible sinner they are, or how they’re going to hell, or any of that antisocial behavior you get from some people…

      • And since he won’t, we will; of course we will do it graciously, not snottily. And thank him for his service for me. And thank you for yours. You fought for believers and unbelievers everywhere!

      • Bad news, Steve. There’s really no way to say “You’re going to Hell and I’m not” that doesn’t end up being snotty.

        Sorry.

      • I forgive you, Nameless.

      • Steve

        You lost me on this one..I thought the whole point of this blog was so you could be snotty. The “atheists make great liars, thieves and murderers” bit..or when you said it mostly comes from atheists which is to be expected and many more, are all about being as snotty as possible, you are just like Comfort in that regard. So I have been talking to you and your disciples in much the same way, not always of course I have been serious a few times but for the most part. You and Dog and the other WOTM types have done little besides showing me that snotty is the game you are trying to play here.

        I give props to Schmader, he may have been snotty to some here but in general he has been less so to me than I expect from Living Waters types.

      • Ryk,

        For me, I simply accept that they are the way they are. Sometimes I point issues that are my pet peeves (such as the non-scriptural and arrogant failed mind-readings), and other times I just accept that they say the things that they say.

        I guess I have the advantage of having hung out on Muslim chatrooms and blogs, which really built up a thick skin for this kind of stuff.

      • Nameless

        Oh I can accept what they are well enough, the time I put in on Comforts swamp (before he turned chicken) prepared me for that. I am just sometimes bewildered by their lack of self awareness.

  5. April was a good month for following through with my desire and commitment to do something everyday for the Kingdom. I don’t miss a day. Praise the Lord.

  6. Would we tolerate state sanctioned prayerless in schools?

    Don’t have a whole lot of time this morning, so I’ll just with this for now.

    Individuals can pray in school. It is their right. Having school led and school sanctioned prayer is not allowed.

    Serious question and one I’ll hope someone will answer:

    Of course you would like school sanctioned prayer to be to your One True God, but, things as they are, most people aren’t True Christians.

    So, as a Christian, would you want one of those many not-true-Christians leading impressionable children in prayer? Is it better to have school sanctioned prayer to false gods than just leaving prayer to individuals and their families?

    Of all the competing True Christians (because those many Christians out there are convinced they are True Christians), who would get to determine which True Christians were the real True Christians?

    Who do you consider True Christians (names, not more ‘you’ll know them by their fruit’ because if we go with that there aren’t any True Christians.)? And if you don’t know (because only God really knows) then how are we to determine who should be in charge of school prayer?

    • Oh I think teacher led prayer could be ok as long as every religion got equal time.
      Pastor Fred could pray on Monday, Warlock Crowley on Tuesday, Immam Mohammed on Wednesday, Bagwan Rajipurum on Thursday, and Dread Pirate Bob on Friday.

      Keep changing every day until every faith in town had a shot then repeat.

    • Glad you agree Steve, I don’t encourage that but it would probably pass Constitutional muster and wouldn’t trouble me much. Admittedly there would be more peer pressure to conform to Christianity than Satanism or Rajneesh but I have faith in my kids ability to handle peer pressure. Besides it would be totally worth it to hear the Christian parents outcry when Warlock Crowely led an invocation to the horned God or Dame Lucrecia was chanting to the Earth Mother.

    • Wow, once again, the silence is deafening.

  7. Oh, and April was a bad month for me. I didn’t try to recruit anyone to the godless life-style.

    • I posted a response to this before and it didn’t appear. Maybe censorship or maybe just a network glitch. At any rate April was a good month for me I made strong inroads into leading a young woman to renounce Christianity. She is still unsure but she is an itelligent girl and her doubts about the reality of God and her dislike for the unfairness and bigotry she sees among Christians are clearly working on her. I hope she will soon have the courage to turn her back on religion and live a life as a non believer. She is definitely worth the effort, smart, strong, ethical and moral. Just the sort of person I like to see as an example of being “good without God”.

  8. God bless you, Steve. A couple of years ago, you were so gracious to receive my brother and I, then to show us your ministry and give your testimony. We’ve been teaching evangelism and leading small teams at our church ever since. Not as many opportunities down here like L.A., but God is faithful. Several graduates are sharing their faith everyday. I missed only a fee days this year. Our team helps in Tijauana every other month to pass out tracts and last week filled a hall with almost 500 people to hear the Gospel of JESUS CHRIST in Spanish. Last Thursday, an alcoholic visited the church office to find help. Boy, did he come to the right place! As I gave him the Gospel, God found him! In the middle of praying Psalm 51 aloud, he broke in repentence. He came to church Sunday having already read 11.6 chapters of John. I told him that he left off at a great cliffhanger there! Read the 2nd half of chapter 11 and you’ll know what I mean! Grace and peace, out.

  9. Pastor Steve, thank you, once again, for your faithfulness and remember what Isaiah 55: 10 – 11 says and keep on keeping on. I was able to hand out more tracts this month than I have for a while. I am looking forward to another exciting month. Thanks

  10. This was a good month for me.

    I had several conversations with phone telemarketers and two of them seemed genuinely concerned about their eternal salvation.
    One of them even forgot that they were supposed to offer me their product after taking ‘the good person test’, and she simply thanked me for giving her the test before hanging up.

    I thank God for allowing me and giving me opportunities to share the gospel.

    • Most telemarketers won’t be mean, as their calls are typically monitored and they don’t want to lose their jobs.

      • Very True.

        I mean a good salesman would give his life to Jesus every call just to sell some producr. It is wierd that some didn’t give their pitch though. Maybe they were convinced or maybe they just wanted to go on to better possibilities.

      • I almost reached my goal.
        I handed out tracts everytime I went out with my mom, except the days I wasn’t feeling well when I had a stomach aque.
        BTW, today I mailed 14 ‘business reply mail’ envelopes with million dollars tracts in them.

        Blessing.

  11. April was a good month! The big thing I have been doing almost everyday is internet evangelism on the website Omegle. I have had a lot of chat’s with Atheists, Hindus, Buddhists, Jewish people, Agnostics Catholics, false converts etc. Several of the chats I had went really well and it seemed that those individuals did genuinely want to learn more about Christianity, the Holy Spirit was working on their hearts. I was also able to do some street evangelism handing out some tracts and getting a 1-2-1 with two young girls. I pray to continue to get bolder and bolder in the month of May! To God be the glory!!!

  12. my goal is to share my faith everyday one2one. I think I missed around 3 days but got into soo many conversations. God is faithful in spite of us. I love the fact that sometimes we don’t feel like going but when we go, God does amazing things with sharing our faith! be bold for the gospel! people are perishing!

  13. The good news, though, is that our evangelism efforts and methods are very effective, because God is effective.

    No, Steve. You are not God. Your efforts are not His efforts.

    • Well okay then. Thank you for clearing that up. 😉

      • Why do I get the feeling that my point was just ignored?

        You could be much more effective than you are. This silly notion that your “evangelism efforts and methods are very effective, because God is effective” is simply a cop-out. You’re refusing to take responsibility for the low numbers of converts you get.

        Can I look at other evangelical preachers and find higher rates of apparent conversion? Yes, I can. Since you EPreachers are all on God’s side, what accounts for the differences in effectiveness? God? Doubtfully,

  14. By the way, I don’t like mixing Atheist Tuesdays with the monthly progress reports you have on this site.

    Atheists (and skeptics) generally don’t comment on the latter, since there’s very little to agree with or object to. Mixing the two makes it likely that your critics (Steve) will be seen as criticizing the people who seek only to improve their evangelism efforts.

    By the way, I think it’s very interesting that the informal monthly progress reports here get very little traffic from this blog’s critics. Ever stop to wonder why?

    • For me, I don’t comment on those threads because I think it would be off-topic and rude. I hope that’s why other atheists don’t comment on those particular threads.

      I agree, WEM, that mixing the two is something I don’t feel comfortable with.

    • Yes I usually don’t even read these threads.

  15. Praying that I will be healed for the coming month; I was in a car wreck. I gave out alot of tracts when I had opportunity, but it wasn’t an every day event.

    Ryk knows the God of the Bible exists – the Bible says it (Rom 1:18-26). He spends on awful amount of his time furiously denying His existence. How’s that working for you, Ryk? Crime abounds, school shootings – NEVER happened when I was in school, financial crisis – all due to greed, etc.

    I wonder – does he spend this much time with people who believe in Santa Claus?

    • Beth, I’m sorry to hear of your accident. I will certainly be praying for quick recovery.

      And of course Ryk knows God exists. Why? The Bible says so.

      No matter how much he denies it.

    • Well people who believe in Santa Claus are mostly harmless, they are not out persecuting my Gay friends, trying to outlaw contraception and abortio, making anti semetic hate videos, bullying atheists, insulting atheists on the internet, lying about atheists, and all the other things certain types of Christians do. So I have no readon to spend any time on them.

      I gaurantee if Santa believers were trying to remove science from my kids school and replace it with the “laid his finger alongside his nose” theory of physics I would suddenly become very concerned with stopping them.

      I always laugh at the whole “atheists really believe in God because the Bible says so ” nonsense. The Bible says all sorts of things that are not true, this is just another one. The “no matter how much he denies it bit” is of course just typical semantic dodges, the only people i,pressed by it are the ones saying it.

      • I know your God does not exist because it is impossible for it to exist.

        There are several reasons for this, the impossibility of a being that is both omnipotent and omniscient, the impossibility of an omnipotent, omnibenevolent being that allows evil, the impossibility that omniacience can coexist with free will etc.

        My favorite however is the problem of revelation, it is impossible for an omnipotent entity to provide a reliable revelation to man, yet your God supposedly does, therefore it can not exist.

      • I allow this through only one more time. You must refer to our God as a person or I will delete future comments. Thanks.

      • Refer to God as a person? So physically describe him? You can’t use the word being? Are you adopting presuppositional apologetics Steve? Your post is a little strange Steve.

      • You can’t use the word being?

        I think the problem was using ‘it’ rather then ‘him’.

      • I think it was calling God an “it” that made Steve react like this. In all fairness, it’s not an inconsistent rule: rather like capitalising the word “God”, which should be because it’s a title. Even though it’s an odd rule, it is gramatically correct.

        God, whether she exists or is fictional, is a sentient character and correct grammer is to refer to sentient characters with gendered pronouns.

      • Quasar, if you act cute again by calling my God a her, you, too, will be deleted.

        Others: You’ve been warned. Act cute with my Savior, never see your comment. Ever.

      • Sing it with me. Misogyny. Miiiisogynyyyy

      • No idea what you are referencing.

      • Considering all lifeforms start out female essentially Steve, I don’t see what harm it is to refer to God to God as female. Considering God is metaphysical how would gender pronouns really be appropriate. It may sound impersonal, but its the appropriate term to use in reference to a genderless being or if God is bi-gendered it may be appropriate to refer to God as he/she though its a little on the wordy side.

        You could simply be going off the tendency to refer to groups of people as guys if its a mixed group and simply just use the pronoun he for simplicities sake. The question I have to ask, is if biologically all species start out as female, why would you interpret God as being male?

      • Simply because he does.

      • Hi Steve,

        Just for my own curiosity, why is it an issue for you that God be referred to as “He” or “Him” (i.e., a masculine pronoun)?

      • Because he refers to himself with a male pronoun.

      • Well, except for “Elohim”, hence my question.

      • I actually agree with Steve on the male pronoun thing. While I am not sure why it is neccesary to anthropomorphise the Christian God I do see that if one is going to it clearly is described as male. Now of course that only applies to the Christian God, there are plenty of feminine Gods out there to choose from Gaia, Athena, Hera, and Aphrodite are just a few. All of which are every bit as real as Yahwheh or YAhH or Jehova or whichever variant of the Christian God you wish to point out.

  16. An interesting point I’ve noted about Steve’s form of evangelism is that it isn’t at all tailored. It’s one-size-fits-all. He directs exactly the same evangelistic techniques towards skeptics as towards other religons as towards liberal christians as towards the public.

    My approach to evangelism, were I the sort of person capable of such interaction, would be a scientific approach: use my understanding of human psychology to form hypotheses about what appeals to different groups of people, then test these hypotheses against those groups of people. For instance, the general public don’t think too hard about religon, so tracts and public witnessing have a higher chance of reaching the percentage of them who are vulnerable to being swayed by such impersonal tactics. On the other hand, the general public also includes a variety of people who have given thought to their religon: these people will likely respond to such tactics with offense, pushing them further away.

    For dealing with liberal christians, (what you’d call false converts), you’d need to establish whether you were dealing with an ex-conservative or someone who simply calls themselves christian because they were raised as such. In the case of the latter, tracts and witnessing would have a better chance of working, as well as friendly one-on-one conversations. In the case of the former, you’re likely to be dealing with someone who has given their political beliefs some amount of thought, and found that they could no longer support what they see as the bigotry and hatefulness of modern conservative christianity. It’s a difference of morals. To reach them you need to prove to them that your political beliefs are not motivated by hatred.

    This is going to be difficult, because behind you they can see “your side” campaigning to (from their perspective) keep same-sex couples from doing something that harms nobody, keep women from having control over their own bodies, slashing social programs that provide barely enough money for the poor to feed themselves, and so on. These are all actions that, whatever their intention, are painful to the minorities (or in the case of the poor, the majority) they affect. I don’t know whether it would even be possible to convert this type of ‘false convert’, because their consience is telling them that the actions of the fundamentalist conservative bloc are evil. The best approach would probably be a friendly one-on-one conversation: try to convince them that your discrimination against gay people, women and the poor are movitated solely by the best of intentions.

    For dealing with other religons, tracts and street preaching are unlikely to work: someone who already has their own religon is unlikely to swap over just because they hear your religon preached, unless they’re already questioning their own and actively looking for an alternative. The best way to approach such people would probably be to look for points of agreement, and to display a genuine interest in their religon. Slip in a number of probing questions, framed as innocent curiosity, and after they answer within the context of their religon (or admit that they can’t) be sure to explain how your religon answers the same question. This gently plants doubts about their religon while strengthening yours in their mind.

    For dealing with skeptics, things are going to be much harder. Many skeptics have the same problem the ex-conservative liberal christian has: their consience is telling them that denying equal rights to gay people and increasing taxes on the poor is just plain evil. Even those that don’t often have a similar visceral responce to conservative attempts trying to sneak religon into public schools and defund scientific endeavors in general, the emotional responce of which is disgust rather than anger.

    Dealing with these emotional responses is the first step to converting a skeptic, but you have an advantage there: skeptics usually try to think of themselves as unbiased. When making decisions about their beliefs, they often try not to involve their emotions. So with many skeptics (not all) you can simply ignore the emotional aspects, because they will be doing so too.

    Unfortunately, that’s only the first step. The next step is to appeal to the aspect that does motivate their decisions: logic and reason. This is an even bigger issue because, if I may be blunt, not only is there no evidence for beliefs like creationism, it also actively denies many things we do know about reality, like the age of the universe and the history of life.

    The other option is to try to “bypass the intellect”, as Kirk Cameron would say, but you’re talking to skeptics. As I already said, they try not to involve their emotions in their decision making process. Even if you could bypass their intellect, there’s nothing beyond that to appeal to that has any influence on their beliefs.

    So in conclusion, I think relentlessly putting conservative values before christian values is hurting evangelical christianities ability to convert ‘false converts’ and skeptics, as well as the sizable chunk of the general population who support liberal policies. Blending the distinction between ‘republican’ and ‘evangelical’ has made your religon very unappealing, especially outside your country where far-left wing (by your standards) policies have been implemented and shown to work.

    • I was with you in weakness, in fear, and in much trembling. And my speech and my preaching were not with persuasive words of HUMAN wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, that your faith should not be in the wisdom of men but in the power of GOD. 1 Cor 2:3-5

      • The next verse: “We do, however, speak a message of wisdom among the mature, but not the wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this age, who are coming to nothing. No, we declare God’s wisdom, a mystery that has been hidden and that God destined for our glory before time began. None of the rulers of this age understood it, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.” 1 Cor 2:6-8

        Even Paul acknowledges the use of wisdom in addition to spirit “among the mature”, even as he reviles the “wisdom of his age”. He was an interestingly multifaceted guy, Paul was.

  17. Pingback: Are We “Effective” When Evangelizing? » IANA Ministry

  18. My own pastor a few weeks ago called this “Hit and Run” ministries and they do “little to no good” in the area of evangelism.

    How’s that for encouragement for the flock to get out and share the gospel with the lost?

    • Maybe he just wanted you to do something productive and Christ like instead of the sort of self glorifying, attention seeking, street spectacle that Steve and Ray are engaging in.

  19. I almost reached my goal.
    I handed out tracts everytime I went out with my mom, except the days I wasn’t feeling well when I had a stomach aque.
    BTW, I mailed 14 ‘business reply mail’ envelopes today with million dollar tracts in them.

    Blessings.

    • Great job. Never let those postage paid envelopes go to waste! Use them for the Gospel! Here’s my article about that:

      Postage Paid Preaching

      I hate those credit card applications that come in the mail. I get lots of them— three, five, six or more in a week! What can a consumer who wants to stay debt free do? I’ve called the “Do Not Mail” list to no avail—Visa and Mastercard and American Express just keep on sending more.

      But I have a solution: Revenge through redemption!

      Learn to lighten the load of loathsome loan letter litter lovingly. It won’t cost you a cent, but will cause the credit card companies to count the cost…

      Read the rest here.

      • Hmmmm. combining vengeance with evangelism, interesting plan. Doesn’t strike me as something Jesus would do. I know the God of the Bible was cool with vengeance so it can not be evil but I understand he kind of reserved it for himself though.

        Fine with me though, it is your religion you can make the rules.

  20. Steve
    I typically refer to Jesus as a person but not your God in general. I was unaware that it was considered impirtant to do so. That is no problem though, I will anthropomorphise him if that is what you like.

  21. I was successful in my efforts to share the good news of Christ to athiets…………..

    WHO BELIEVE IN GOD!!!

    How can this be?

    Romans 1:18-23 explains

    “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse. For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man and of birds and four-footed animals and crawling creatures.”

    I was glad that this month God used me to proclaim His word to lost souls.

    • That’s right! They do know but suppress the truth in unrighteousness.

      • Steve, have you ever found it strange that we all say that we don’t believe, even though you supposedly know that we all know that God exists?

        Isn’t that bizarre?

        Also, I would be FASCINATED to know what my own personal “unrighteousness” is… anyone have any idea?

    • Again why would what the Bible says provide any evidence to what I do or don”t believe. The Bible is full of falsehoods, this is just another one. I get that you believe what it says but that is just your indoctrination forcing you to deny the truth that your God does nt exist.

      I believe you really know that your God does not exist but cling to your belief because you lack the will and strength to face life without the crutch of a diety. Many like Ray Comfort obviously do not believe in your God at all but simply profess to for profit but I think you may still be deluding yourself into thinking it is true. I hope you will one day realize you have been lying to yourself and toss aside the crutch of faith and face the world bravely. However if you don’t that still does not mean that either your delusions or the delusions written down in your Bible have any bearing on what I believe.

      I am sure it gives you comfort to pretend that those of us who are brave enough and strong enough to face the world on our own are secretly as deluded as you, but it just isn”t so no matter what your book says to the contrary.

      • If you want proof that God exists, the read the following:

        Taken from: “Proof that God Exists”
        Do you believe in ABSOLUTE TRUTH? If you don’t, are you ABSOLUTELY sure that there is no ABSOLUTE TRUTH? If you are sure of that, then you are showing that ABSOLUTE TRUTH EXISTS, based on your surety that ABSOLUTE TRUTH does not exist.

        Do you belive that LAWS OF LOGIC exist? If you do not belive that the LAWS OF LOGIC exist, then how do you make everyday choices, when water you could drink today could become poison tommorow without LAWS OF LOGIC.

        Do you belive that LAWS OF MATHEMATICS exist? If you don’t, then think of this scenario:

        Let’s say that you walked into a bank and asked for change for a $100 bill. If the teller handed you only 2 $5 bills would you be satisfied with his or her personal interpretation of mathematics or would you appeal to a universal law of mathematics to show that he/she was wrong?

        If you deny the LAWS OF MATHMATICS, you are denying that you use them all the time.

        Do you believe that there are LAWS OF SCIENCE? If you don’t, then you would have no way of predicting what matter does. This line of thinking is inconsistent with how you live your life. If you feel pain from stubbing your toe one night, would you try stubbing it again the next night to see if it becomes a wonderful experience, or would you expect matter to behave in a law-like fashion and try to avoid the object? When your cat is pregnant, do you fret about the possibility that it might produce an elephant or do you trust the laws of science for a kitty litter? If you deny the LAWS OF SCIENCE, then you are denying that you base your life on the predictability of nature.

        Do you believe in ABOSOLUTE MORAL LAWS? If you don’t, then do you think that molesting children for fun is ABSOLUTELY WRONG? If you truly believed that there was no such thing as absolute morality then there would be no ‘right’ or ‘wrong,’ just things that you or your society happen not to like. Rape and child molestation would not be wrong, they would just become manmade objections. The question then becomes: ‘If man is the measure of all things – which man? – which society? If someone with enough power happened to like rape and molestation, what right would we have to impose our morality on him? What would be wrong with the person, or society, with the power imposing their morality on you? Why do we condemn the Nazi society for following their self-imposed morals? Why did the Nazi society not have the right to break from the tradition of morality in western civilizations?

        There is no question that societies have different interpretations of morality but if you examine the following sentence you will see the illogic of thinking that societies determine morality. “The majority of the people in our society participated in that evil deed.” If morality was up to society, that sentence would never make sense, but we know that morality is beyond societies and such a proposition is possible.

        Do you believe in the NATURE OF LAWS? Are the Laws above material, or are they immaterial? In other words, are they made of matter, or are they ‘abstract’ entities? – are they physical or non-physical things? If you believe that laws of logic, mathematics, science, or morality are made of matter, please show me where in nature these laws are. Can you touch them, see them, smell them, hear them, or taste them? Rather than have you produce a material, physical law I will narrow down the field for you… just show me the number ‘3’ somewhere in nature. Not ‘three things,’ not a written representation of the number 3 but the real physical, material number 3.

        Again, do you believe in the NATURE OF LAWS? Are the Laws of logic, mathematics, science, and morality, UNIVERSAL? For example, does 2+2=4 apply only where you are, and only because you say it does, or is this a universal law? If you believe that the immaterial laws of logic, mathematics, science, and absolute morality are up to the individual, then it would be perfectly alright for anyone to come up with their own laws in these matters. Not only would these alternate laws be common, they would have to be ‘right’ since there would be no universal standard to evaluate their correctness. Not only could no conflict ever be resolved, there would be no conflicts since everyone would be right.

        We know however that this is simply not the case. In base ten mathematics, when you add 2 + 2, you expect the correct answer to be 4, and would not accept a different answer as being correct from someone who lived down the street, or in Bangkok. You would not accept that child molestation would be right anywhere in the universe. You would not accept a logical contradiction as being acceptable no matter where or when you were confronted with one.

        If you deny that laws of logic, mathematics, science and absolute morality, are universal, you are denyong that you base your life on their universality.

        AGAIN, do you belive in THE NATURE OF LAWS? Do you belive that these laws are changing or unchanging? If you believe that laws of logic, mathematics, science, and absolute morality are changing, then living with the expectation that they do not change would be inconsistent with your belief. No doubt, you wake up every morning expecting these laws to be the same as they were the day before. You don’t think twice about drinking pure water because you know that the properties of water that nourished you yesterday will not kill you today. You don’t wonder whether it will still be right to love your children tomorrow.

        You see, if you deny that the universal, immaterial laws of logic, mathematics, science and absolute morality are unchanging you are denying that you base your life on their unchanging nature.

        The Bible teaches us that there are 2 types of people in this world, those who profess the truth of God’s existence and those who suppress the truth of God’s existence. The options of ‘seeking’ God, or not believing in God are unavailable. The Bible never attempts to prove the existence of God as it declares that the existence of God is so obvious that we are without excuse for not believing in Him.

        Romans 1 vs. 18 – 21 says:

        The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness, since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities – his eternal power and divine nature – have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse. For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened.

        The God of Christianity is the necessary starting point to make sense of universal, abstract, invariant laws by the impossibility of the contrary. These laws are necessary to prove ANYTHING. Therefore the proof that God exists is that ….

        The Proof that God exists, is that without Him you couldn’t prove anything.

        Note that the proof does not say that professed unbelievers do not prove things. The argument is that you must borrow from the Christian worldview, and a God who makes universal, immaterial, unchanging laws possible in order to prove anything.

        This type of logical proof deals with ‘transcendentals’ or ‘necessary starting points,’ and the proof is called a ‘transcendental proof.’ Any contrary view to the God of Christianity being the necessary starting point for rationality is reduced to absurdity. You have to assume God in order to argue against Him. Only the Christian worldview can logically support rationality.

        How do Christians account for universal, immaterial, unchanging laws?
        Christians account for universal, immaterial, unchanging laws as they reflect the very nature of God.

        The Bible accounts for immaterial entities as in John 4 vs. 24 it states: “God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth.”

        In Malachi 3 vs. 6 God says “I the Lord do not change.” accounting for His unchanging nature.

        Psalm 90 vs. 2 states: “Before the mountains were born or you brought forth the earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting, you are God.” and Psalm 139 vs. 7 – 10 states: “Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast,” accounting for God’s universality.

        The laws of logic, mathematics, science, and morality, reflect the thinking and character of God and what He has created in order to accomplish His purposes.

        In Jeremiah 33 vs. 25 God speaks of how He has ‘fixed the laws of heaven and earth.’ These universal, immaterial, unchanging laws are the basis for all knowledge and are rooted in God’s word. The apostle Paul said in his letter to the Colossians: My purpose is that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love, so that they may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely, Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.” (Chapter 2 vs. 2 – 3)

        Of course everyone uses universal, immaterial, unchanging laws, but many do so denying their only possible source. Christianity proclaims the source which can be summarized with Christ’s declaration: “apart from me you can do nothing.” (John 15 vs. 5)

        Do you now believe that God exists? If you don’t, then denying the existence of God is not unbelief but an exercise in self-deception. You may know things, but you cannot account for anything you know. Arguing against God’s existence would be on par with arguing against the existence of air, breathing it all the while. You use the universal, immaterial, unchanging laws of logic, mathematics, science, and absolute morality in order to come to rational decisions, but you cannot account for them. These laws are not the only way God has revealed himself to you, but they are sufficient to show the irrationality of your thinking, and expose your guilt for denying Him.

        There is a reason that you deny the existence of God and it has nothing to do with proof. I can show this to you. Examine what your initial reaction was to the proof of God’s existence offered here. Did you think that you could continue to deny God because you are not a scientist, or philosopher but ‘Surely somewhere, sometime, a philosopher or scientist will come up with an explanation for universal, immaterial, unchanging laws apart from God?’ Did you try to come up with an alternate explanation on your own? OR Did you even consider that the proof was valid?

        Hoping that an alternate explanation for universal, immaterial, unchanging laws can someday be found apart from God, is a blind leap of faith, or wishful thinking. Isn’t it interesting that this is exactly what professed unbelievers accuse Christians of?

        Please examine the real reason why you are running from God.

        Another reason that you may God, can only be found in this short test:

        1. Are you a good person?
        2. Have you ever told a lie?
        3. Have you ever stolen anything?
        4. Have you ever looked at someone lustfully (Jesus said that this adultery of the heart)?

        If you have broken these commandments, then you are a lying, theiving, adulterer at heart. On Judgement Day, you would be found guilty, and would end up in hell. Could it be that you deny God because the thought of being morally acountable to Him, is horrifying to you? God loved you so much that He sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to bear your sins, and take God’s Wrath, that you deserved. I pleae beg you to obey the Gospel, REPENT (turn away from sin), AND TRUST IN JESUS TO SAVE YOU FROM HELL. PLEASE DO THAT TODAY!

      • Sorry, Joshua, but cutting and pasting from Sye’s site only persuades me that you haven’t considered your audience, and nothing more.

        I’ll also notice that you (through Sye) are equivocating on the word “law”, and talking about things that neither or you understand.

        I do believe in objective moral laws, but I do not believe in absolute moral laws, and I don’t think your copy n paste understands the important difference between the two.

        In short, it’s some weak failed mind-reading that is not completely covered by scripture.

      • Joshua is 12 and is learning how to deal with atheists.

      • Joshua I have actually dealt with presuppositional apologetics at length both on my own blog and in debates with Sye TenB. It fails on a number of levels but I will simply present my counter argument.

        I posted this to Richard Dawkins forum where he asked for possible counters to the transcendental argument for the existence of God. I have been playing with this for a while. This is the simplest most straightforward one I could achieve. It declares that the presupposition of an interventionist God precludes any possibility of logic or reason.

        Here it is.

        If there were an omnipotent being in charge of the universe then natural laws and logical causality would be arbitrary and subject to its whims. In a universe so governed there would be no truth and no standards upon which logical thought could be based.

        The only universe in which a logical chain of cause and effect is possible, is one in which the laws governing that universe are themselves the framework upon which the universe rests. This is precisely the universe described by non theistic science.

        When one says that the universe is subject to a God, they deny that there is any possibility of knowledge, logic, or fact. Theistic people must assume that there are no truths or logic, and therefore they can not claim any knowledge without basing it upon the standards belonging to the atheistic perspective.

        I would also add that even the attempts by theists to demonstrate the existence of their god are only possible using the concepts of truth and evidence which are only possible in the absence of God.

        This becomes axiomatic. If there were a God then there would be no standard of logic upon which I could argue against it’s existence. Since I do make such an argument there is no God.

      • Also Joshua the very premise of the transcendental argument rests on some arbitrary and false definitions, here is a short essay I wrote a few years ago refuting such.

        They must for example claim that logic is Absolute, Immaterial and Universal. Their argument rests on logic being something that has to come from a perfect and divine source. They need for it to be not explainable as a result of natural processes. Fortunately this is easy to avoid. This is the reason I ended up withdrawing from the last discussion, I asked the person to address the validity of these terms, and presented the following argument. The presuppositionalist in question just ignored it entirely and tried to change the subject. These really do mess up the position taken by the transcendental argument.

        First I address absolute.
        Absolute is a qualifier which is applied to the property of true. This seems either non valid or false, depending on the intention. If it is simply an adjective describing the property of true there is no reason to do so, in logic there is either true or not true applying a qualifier in this regard is non valid. If you are using the qualifier to add an additional value to the property of true then the statement must be false.

        Call true T and absolutely A. and a Statement S. S=T describes a true statement describing a statement as absolutely true would be S=T+A for this to be true A=0 if a has no value it is a non valid qualifier if A>0 then you have a contradiction T+A does not =T so you have a false statement.

        To sum if A=0 then there is no reason to call something absolutely true, so therefore a statement can not be absolutely true it can only be true or false.

        If A>0, for instance if if the term absolute adds meaning then an absolutely true statement is false because the qualifier absolute makes it non true. So again in this instance a statement is not absolutely true it is simply true.

        Logic can not be absolutely true in any possible circumstance so it is simply true.

        Now that I have addressed the question of absolute and demonstrated that it is either a useless qualifier or a false one. In addition to being contradictory it also violates the law of the excluded middle, by implying that there are degrees of truth, which is not possible. If something seems partially true then the question asked is insufficient. Probably because it is either not specific enough or improperly stated.

        At this point I will address universal. This is another adjective used to set up the transcendental argument. One which I question the relevance of. At least it is not a logical contradiction like absolute. However it is without value in this context.

        If it means the common usage as in it would apply in every appropriate situation. Then yes it is universal, however since that is a basic concept of logic I am not sure why the term would be added. If it means something beyond that, such as the laws of logic having meaning apart from intelligence then no, universal does not apply.

        Logic is a symbolic representation of the function of thought. It is not an entity in it’s own right. It describes an entity, thought. Since logical axioms are self evident and irrefutable and the laws of logic are based on axioms, it must be true that any intelligence in any possible world would be subject to them.

        However absent intelligence they could not exist. This does not of course mean that without intelligence the universe would behave any differently. It would do what it does regardless. Light doesn’t move at a certain speed because we have a theory that says it does. It moves at that speed because that is the nature of light. Gravity does not attract because we have laws of gravity describing how it works it attracts because that is the nature of gravity. Logic allows us to understand these things it doesn’t create or guide them.

        The absence of intelligence would simply mean that there would be no observers measuring and quantifying things therefore there would be nothing for logic to describe.

        So I can say that universal is either a useless qualifier or a false one.

        Now another adjective frequently referenced is “immaterial.” This seems the most vague to me but probably the least fallacious. Again it depends on what is meant.

        Thoughts and concepts are immaterial in the sense that they are functions of intelligence not matter so that is true enough, however since this is pretty much part of the definition of thought again the qualifier is unneeded.

        However it means they transcend the material world then no. Concepts may be in a sense immaterial, but they are formed in a mind that is tied to the material. If there was no material there would be no thought. As I said regarding the term universal. Logic is a tool to describe thought and facilitate argumentation. Even though it is perfectly accurate it only applies to thought and argumentation. In the absence of thought logic has nothing to describe so it is irrelevant.

        So again the qualifier is either pointless or false.

        Therefore the laws of logic are not absolute, universal, or immaterial.

        They are simply true. The law of the excluded middle prevents partial truth so absolute doesn’t apply. Logic is a function of intelligence so universal doesn’t apply. Consciousness is a function of the material therefore immaterial does not apply, even though as a general rule concepts are defined as not material they could not exist apart from matter and energy.

      • Also Joshua the heart of presuppositional apologetics relies on the false concept that the basis for “laws of logic” can not be explained apart from a lawgiver. This is clearly false, the laws of logic are extensions of axioms which are themselves self evident. There is in fact a simple logical chain which proves the existence and validity of logic in its own right without the need for a lawgiver. The following is my version of this chain. The premise itself is not my own work but is drawn from a number of sources, this particular expression of it however is my own work. It is not he most perfect or comprehensive such chain but the simplest to understand that I have encountered.

        Step 1. Perception exists. If I were presented evidence otherwise, I would have to perceive the evidence thereby proving the existence of perception.

        Step 2. Consciousness exists, perception requires consciousness therefore consciousness not existing would contradict step 1. However since step 1. is axiomatic consciousness must exist. Also since perception and consciousness are established as discrete entities, solipsism is false because an entity apart from perception is proven to exist.

        Step 3. Something exists, proof otherwise would contradict step 2 because step 2 shows that consciousness exists.

        Step 4. Multiple things exist, Any disproof would lead to nonseparable identity, i.e. only one identity is. But my TV is black and my chair is not, as given by my sense perceptions. But this is a contradiction. Therefore multiple things must exist. Additionally as it has been established that perception and consciousness are distinct entities, this is further proof that multiple identities exist.

        Step 5. Causation exists any proof otherwise would be the result of evidence causing a change in my consciousness, thereby proving causation exists.

        Step 6. What our consciousness is aware of through perception is an exact representation of external reality. If this were false it would require that consciousness create perception which is not possible due to Step 1. and 2.

      • Joshua
        If you want proof that your arguments are NOT proof read the following.
        Ignoring the arguments from the bible which is merely a circular argument let’s move onto the tag argument.
        1) Logic is NOT absolute! Logic has changed many times as more and more limitations to various rules in logic became apparent.
        For example first there was classical logic. Then modifications were introduced by Leibniz, Frege introduced still others and so on. Why would classical logic need to be modified at all if it’s rules were absolute?

        Absolute truth by the way means true in all times and situations. Since logic has needed to be modified it cannot be absolute truth. So what is it? Logic is objective truth. Objective truth is truth which which is independent of my [or anyone’s opinion] and is held tentatively [that is held as true until evidence shows otherwise].

        2 now let’s get to your rendition of Ray’s non-argument.
        Let’s direct the question at you shall we? Have you ever told a lie [even a white lie]? Then according to Ray you’re a liar. Now you may reply “well everyone has told at least one white lie”. Then according to Ray we are all liars. And we don’t trust liars do we? After all they could be lying. Now if everyone is a liar [according to you and Ray] then that MUST include the authors of the bible. So we can’t trust the bible because it was written by liars.

        Now you might reply “God wrote the bible!” Says who? You? But you’re a liar. The men who claimed they were being used by God? But they’re liars too.

        I think Ray’s non-argument is one of the best arguments AGAINST fundie Christianity I have ever read.

        I don’t think the Ray argument or the TAG argument can be considered proof that God exists though.

      • Also Joshua you finish with the “good person test” This has been shown as absurd many times in the past but I will present my take on it.

        You say
        1. Are you a good person?
        By what standard? By the standards of Christianity no one is apart from Jesus, by my standards however I am an excedingly good person. As I am known to exist and Jesus is only assumed to exist I must consider my standards superior to that of the Christian religion.

        2. Have you ever told a lie?
        As an adult? No. I did tell a few lies as a child, according to my mother anyway, I do not recall them. However this is not relevant. Having ever told a lie does not make one a liar it only makes one a former liar, a better question would be are you prone to telling lies? or do you lie frequently and recently?
        3. Have you ever stolen anything?
        Not as an adult, I did as a teenager steal some beer, again this is not relevant, I do not steal any longer, people change it is not really about what one has done in the past it is what they do in the present that matters. Yes one should pay the consequences for past misdeeds when that is an issue, however those past misdeeds do not determine who they are today. This condemnation for past deeds is a CHristian thing it is meaningless to me
        4. Have you ever looked at someone lustfully (Jesus said that this adultery of the heart)?
        Well for starters nothing Jesus supposedly said makes any difference to me, however I will answer anyway. Yes I most certainly have, why just this evening I looked lustfully at my wife, of course that can’t be adultery can it? Prior to being married I looked lustfully at a great many women however they were not married so that could not be adultery either. Since being married I have never looked lustfully upon a woman other than my wife, so I have never committed adultery in the heart or in reality. However if I had that would not matter, as I said just because Jesus said something doesn’t make it important

        If you have broken these commandments, then you are a lying, theiving, adulterer at heart. No I am not, I may be according to your religion but that doesn’t matter On Judgement Day, you would be found guilty, and would end up in hell.No I won’t that is just something your religion made up Could it be that you deny God because the thought of being morally acountable to Him, is horrifying to you? NoGod loved you so much that He sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to bear your sins, and take God’s Wrath, that you deserved. Yes I know this is what your religion says but it is not truepleae beg you to obey the Gospel, REPENT (turn away from sin), AND TRUST IN JESUS TO SAVE YOU FROM HELL. PLEASE DO THAT TODAY! No I have no sin to repent from, there is no hell to fear and no Jesus to trust, it is just stuff your religion made up

      • And of course this is your choice to not believe!

        Cheers!

      • Steve, thanks for pointing out that Joshua is 12, I am glad I chose to address him respectfully in this case, despite his choice of using presuppositional apologetics which I normally pounce upon.

        Joshua, you should probably study some basic logic and philosophy before attempting to cut and paste these arguments, they are easily refuted and only through dishonesty is it possible for the proponents of them to continue using them. My daughter is your age and has studied logic and philosophy, I understand it is not taught in most middle schools, even my daughters school doesn’t offer these subjects. However your local library surely has some books appropriate to your age level.

        Here are a few you may enjoy.

        Being Logical by D. Q. McInerny

        A Rulebook for Arguments by Anthony Weston

        Whatever Happened To Good And Evil? by Russ Shafer-Landau

        The Fundamentals Of Ethics by Russ Shafer-Landau

      • Joshua, don’t waste your time with empty and hollow philosophies that rely on man’s wisdom. You know what to read.

      • Joshua is 12 and is learning how to deal with atheists.

        Regurgitating poor arguments, not learning why they are poor arguments, and treating people as unworthy of being listened to is not a good way to deal with anyone.

        Joshua, don’t waste your time with empty and hollow philosophies that rely on man’s wisdom. You know what to read.

        And yet, what Joshua is spouting is misinformation, misunderstanding, and equivocations. If you really have the truth, why must you resort to such humbug?

      • It is also your Choice to believe Steve, thanks for making my point for me.

        The difference of course is that my choice can withstand evidential scrutiny and yours can not.

        Yoy proved you know this, when you dis ouraged Joshua from learning logic. Studies have shown that those who learn rational and analytical thought, rezist religiouz .

      • Mr. Alvarez,

        Please do not attempt to recycle Eric Hovind’s arguments. They were dishonest in conception: they are still dishonest.

    • Hmmmmm its amazing how many Christians denounce psychics, tarot card readers, and fortune tellers but yet they try their hands at mind reading so often….

    • I honestly think that chapter one of Paul’s epistle to the Romans is the most damaging, in the end, to the Christian faith.

      It didn’t have an affect on my loss of faith, but having experienced it multiple time from LW-affiliated Christians, I now see the problems.

      It encourages a Christian to think someone is lying when they say they’re a nonbeliever.

      Question: I know you believe that everyone knows that there is a God, but does that include Allah of the Muslims? Not that Allah exists (we can all agree on that, at least), but do you believe that all Muslims know that the God of the Bible exists, but they suppress that truth in unrighteousness and worship Allah instead?

      I would be interested to hear anyone’s point of view on this.

      I will say that hearing “yes you do” when I say “I don’t believe in God” is pretty fruitless and annoying. But, eh, shrug.

      • All religions are work righteous religions.
        All religions are trying to find everlasting life.
        They don’t want to die, so they think that they can
        earn God’s favor -and- find everlasting life by doing
        good things: sitting on hard pews, fasting, praying, doing good works,
        facing mecca…
        They suppress the truth in unrighteousness by trying to bribe God
        when the 10 Commandments condemn them.

        The only thing that works is the moral law.
        When faced with the commandments we are shown that we
        are criminals . Anything we offer
        The Judge ie. works are only an attempt to bribe
        the Judge of the universe.
        “The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination” Proverbs 21:27

        God will not be bribed. He is not corrupt.

        But He provided a way: the sacrifice of Jesus Christ.

        Everyone who repents will be free of judgement.

        “the truth will set you free” John 8:32

      • Joshua what you are doing here is reffered to as a circular argument, pared down to the essentials you are saying God is true because the Bible says so. This is not valid, unless what the Bible says provides objective evidence for Gods existence. The verses you cite do not do this. They merely assert that God exists.

        Also your assertion that other religions are trying to bribe God and God can not be bribed etc. are also unsupported objectively. You provide no actual evidence that your God is more real than others you simply say your way is better. You have not shown that being bribed as you put it makes a God less real nor have you objectively shown that facing Mecca is any more of a work than repentance or faith. What you are doing is asserting that your God is true and then saying other Gods are false because they are different than yours. This is not a logically valid argument in any sense, not only does the conclusion fail to follow from the premise, the premise itself is flawed. Again I suggest studying logic before entering the fray with those who have.

      • Tell you what, Ryk. Why don’t you take this over to Joshua’s blog? Your arguments are tiresome and bogging down the original intent of this post. Here it is: http://www.oddinterviews.blogspot.com/

        I will delete any more of your foolish nonsense.

        Of course, there’s a God. Every thinking man knows this.

      • Steve your cowardice is showing again. Thanks fir admitti.g tour God can not withztand truth. Lol

  22. But Joshua
    We can’t trust the bible remember?

    Allow me to remind you.
    Everyone who has told a lie is a liar [according to you and Ray Comfort].
    Since everyone has told at least one white lie [according to you and Ray Comfort] then every one is a liar.Since everyone is a liar that MUST include the people who wrote the bible.
    And we can’t trust liars because they lie.

    Conclusion: The people who wrote the bible are liars and can’t be trusted – at least according to you and Ray Comfort.

    Or are you saying that you and Ray misinterpreted the bible?

    • What we’re saying is: all manner of men, liars, murderers, sinners in general, wrote under the inspiration of God. You can convince yourself of anything you like to not believe in the truth since you suppress the truth in unrighteousness; you will still be held accountable.

      And watch out for that millstone!

      • LOL

        Such mindless spinning, shows how void of truth your position is.

      • Steve… why would God need liars, murderers, sinners in general to write a book? Especially when its been proven that translation errors have occurred in the various texts which have been passed down and rewritten over the centuries? If God loves everyone and wants them to be saved then why not take some of his seemingly endless power and create a perfect tome for everyone on the planet… or write the words on the side of every mountain, or carve them into the moon, or something that is just ‘divine’ in nature and not so obviously the work of men.

    • Steve wrote “What we’re saying is: all manner of men, liars, murderers, sinners in general, wrote under the inspiration of God.”

      My reply: since liars wrote the bible and we can’t trust liars then we can’t trust the bible. At least according to Ray Comfort and yourself. Good one Steve. Yay just demolished any trust in the bible if your argument is correct.

      Steve then went on to write “You can convince yourself of anything you like to not believe in the truth since you suppress the truth in unrighteousness; you will still be held accountable.”

      My reply: I agree totally Steve. You have done exactly that. And as you so rightly added “watch out for that millstone!”

  23. I find it amusing that Ray, Steve, and the otherWOTM types hide on their own blogs where they can censor whatever proves them wrong. I remeber when I was blogging and they would vrnture over, only to be completely destroyed, despite the fact that I had a no moderation policy and allowed them to say whatever they chose. Proving again that the only people who needt to censor are the people who are wrong.

    Joshua should question why the proponents of his belief fear honest discussion. I think I will join his blog. My millstone is feeling a little light today.

  24. Thank you Pastor Steve for refering them to my blog. Two of them have already left comments.

    (“Joshua, don’t waste your time with empty and hollow philosophies that rely on man’s wisdom. You know what to read.”)

    Thank you for your encouragement. I can say that I will never consider their philosophies . Since the moment that God rescued me, I want to dedicate my energy on learning ways to deliver the Gospel message to these guys.

    Praising Him comes first, evangelizing others second.

    Oh, I am 13 now.

    Thank you for your blog.

    • You’re welcome, Joshua. Some advice concerning the atheists: Don’t let them get you. Don’t get angry. Remember they are blind and are following their father, the devil.

      Like we once did before the kindness and mercy of God saved us.

      They are fun to practice on, though.

      • Comments like this fascinate me. Thank you, Steve, for giving me this view.

      • This, in my eyes, is one of the purest examples of child abuse.

        Also, Steve, I’d greatly appreciate it if you’d actually let atheists speak for themselves and actually take their words with at least some type of respect and consideration. Of course, if you merely think that we’re all controlled by ‘the devil’, why even bother preaching to begin with? The point of preaching makes absolutely no sense then.

      • Joshua, remember that the Devil is the master of disguise. Don’t believe anyone that tries to sensor you from the realities of this world and universe. Be careful of who you listen to that has an agenda. Light can be just as blinding as darkness.

      • Steve: “Remember they are blind and are following their father, the devil.”

        This reminds me of what a an Orthodox Jew told me about Christians and Westerners in general. He said that we don’t have souls.

      • “Remember they are blind and are following their father, the devil.”

        I’m curious Steve, if the Devil is such a great deceiver, and because of a lack of empirical evidence that is testable and observable, and seeing as how there are thousands of different sects of Christianity that all seem to have different takes and beliefs… how do you know that you’re not simply being deceived yourself and are truly following the devil?

    • Joshua the books I mentioned are not atheistic in nature They are simply guides to logic and philosophical argumentation. I specifically looked for theistically nuetral material.

    • So let me guess this straight Joshua,..

      You will refuse to consider anything from them… And you want to learn ways to deliver the gospel to them…..

      You don’t see the disconnect here?

      I often bring up how quickly the Christians here refuse to learn to approach the lost better. Instead we get endless streams of insults.

      Do you know think learning to be a better evangelist would be a useful approach?

  25. So the answer, as with Ray, is “No”.

    Why don’t you take the built in audience you have to make your evangelism techniques better?

    • I have a few guesses as to why, but I’d love to hear the point of views of the Christians here regarding this issue.

  26. I missed alot of days in April. I need to refocus on the eternal things and not the demands of business

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