Why are you quoting Bible verses at me?

Why are you quoting Bible verses at me? August 21, 2015

Whenever we encounter an entrenched Christian, the inevitable invariably happens… Bible quotes.

I’ve tried a wide array of tactics, but most seem to bounce off their mental shields… if I get any response at all.

Sometimes, I quote other verses at them that aren’t so peachy… ones that they themselves may outright reject. Maybe that’ll alert the person that he/she is just cherry-picking? Sometimes I’ll just explain that, yes, I’ve read the book. I found it to be a heterogeneous mixture of uninspiring and outright evil. I even had a “I’m surrounded by pod people!” moment, when I became genuinely frightened that I’m surrounded by people who actually buy into this mythology.

Relaxing, I realized that they mostly don’t, and they’ve whitewashed most of it away.

Over the years, I occasionally just ask. “Why are you doing this?” I’m curious… what is the mentality? If you object to being annoyed with random quotes from their favorite book, they often double down, unleashing the floodgates… as though some demon inside me was injured, and they’re now pouring it on, in a hope to drive it out.

… but is that it?

Often, it does seem like they’re trying to cast some kind of spell. They spit a verse at us, following up with “Presto!”… and then watch intently, waiting for me to be surrounded by sparkles and mist, as I’m transformed into… something else.

That doesn’t work, so they conclude that they used the wrong spell, and start flipping through the book, looking for another?

I ask why they do this, but the only answer I’ve ever gotten is “We think you need to hear this“, as though I hadn’t read the book already. I decided to poke around on all of the internets, and see if I can get some answers, and came across this article.

To him, the Bible would be, at minimum, inconsequential, and at maximum, annoying. Therefore, from an atheists’ perspective, there can be no good, better or best scriptures, because scriptural quotations would have no logical bite.

Yes, that’s exactly it!

That’s not to say there are no pearls of wisdom in the book, but they’re usually pearls by their own merit, and not due to what book they originated.

 However, anyone—even the skeptic—may be bitten by God’s word at any moment. So, let us continue in faith.

So, not pod people…. zombies.

The author explains that there’s two types of atheists – the skeptical, thoughtful ones, and then the ones who just want to defy authority and “sin”. But, the author will focus on the thoughtful ones.

An honest skeptic is within his rights to reject what the Bible says about itself as using circular reasoning or being self-serving—I mean, how could he not? But skeptics get saved all the time. How does this happen?

Do they? Invariably, when we examine whatever examples they bring up, they weren’t skeptics… or they had some kind of skeptical breakdown.

Who knows but that the Holy Spirit might find a crack in the armor of pride, and with his word, pierce the heart! But this is not a function of a particular passage, because no verse is better than any other verse. This is a function of prayer. So pray for this atheist, and get others to do so, too. He either listens to the Holy Spirit or he does not. That is not up to you.

So what I’m getting out of this, is that it’s some kind of Voight-Kampff process. The content of the verses themselves aren’t really specifically important… it’s about going through the atheist population, and seeing if different verses provoke a certain response. Then, you’ve found your askeptical vulnerable atheist.

That atheist has a “crack in their armor”, where the Holy Spirit can crawl into and eat him/her from the inside-out… or however the theology goes.

From my perspective, there’s no “holy spirit” to listen to. I’ve got yet another Christian, spitting out yet another pointless quote at me…. the three-thousandth one from this particular mythology. Where’s the Holy Spirit? There’s a guy/gal here. There’s no spirit.

Perhaps a wrong picture of God has soured your atheist friend. It is good to know that he who authored God’s word is one who cannot lie.

Except, the Bible “documents” several instances of just that.

The article then provides a list of verses to try, contradicting some of the decent points the author tried to make. I’ll bold the verses, to separate them from the author’s writing.

In like manner, although we understand that knowing about and repenting of sin is a core (and perhaps necessarily the first) part of salvation, laying out Romans 3:23, albeit softened by the notion that we are all in the same boat, might have a similar effect.

“for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,” (Romans 3:23, ESV)

“Sin” is laughable to me. It’s basically just not doing what their god character wants. If immorality and sin were a Venn diagram, there’d be very little overlap.

Jesus was supposedly sinless, yet he executed a fig tree for not bearing fruit out of season, and another time, made a whip, and went to go assault some “money changers”. That’s not “sin” because anything Jesus does is automatically what God wants, and therefore, not “sin”.

Yet we reject this idea of a “holy spirit” due to lack of evidence, and that’s the most horrible unforgivable “sin” of all.

It’s like Jesus parked in a handicap spot, and did nothing wrong, yet we parked in an evenly-numbered space, and get a ticket… because reasons.

The whole concept is completely warped.

We live in a world of non-truth—so much so that truth can be refreshing. Perhaps challenge him with the simple statement that God’s word is truth itself.

“Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth.” (John 17:17, ESV)

Truth isn’t established by decree, unless it’s completely axiomatic (like someone’s name).

I like truth. Unfortunately for you, what you’re peddling is, at best, undemonstrated. We have methods for determining what is most likely the truth. Most of the time, Christians don’t even attempt to use those methods.

Additionally, God’s word is different from anything else. It is uniquely inspired, that is breathed out by God, and given a chance, it will change your life.

“All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness,” (2 Timothy 3:16, ESV)

And yet, I can’t distinguish it from any other mythology, in terms of truth-value. I don’t find it compelling.

Everyone thinks their favorite music, book, movie, and sports team are uniquely, and clearly the best. That’s called a “bias”.

God’s word is not just ideas. It is a spiritual gymnasium, full of every imaginable piece of equipment. It is a place to work out.

“For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.”
(Hebrews 4:12, ESV)

I kind of agree. It’s a great obstacle course for identifying bad thinking, logical fallacies, and discussing different epistemic frameworks, and what actually works at learning what’s true in reality.

… it just doesn’t work in your favor.

Perhaps a wrong picture of God has soured your atheist friend. It is good to know that he who authored God’s word is one who cannot lie.

“Paul, a servant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ, for the sake of the faith of God’s elect and their knowledge of the truth, which accords with godliness, in hope of eternal life, which God, who never lies, promised before the ages began” (Titus 1:1–2, ESV)

I love it when I get a variation on this. Yes, clearly, we just haven’t heard the right version of the god. Maybe if Lord of the Ring’s Saruman was recast as light-hearted and funny, I’d believe he was real.

… because apparently, demonstrating that this character is real is a secondary concern.

Here’s another thought. An atheist might respond to the person of Jesus Christ. You see, Jesus is not an idea. He is person—the most written about person of all time—and that is the witness from culture, not only from the Bible.

“For we did not follow cleverly devised myths when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty.” (2 Peter 1:16, ESV)

I would definitely respond to an actual, real person, yes.

… as to whether he had magical powers, and was some kind of instantiation of an invisible magic man… that’s a different set of assertions that need demonstration. Lots of people today claim to have magical powers. I don’t believe them either, even if I can directly witness their tricks.

Finally, God’s word is interactive. We who are born-again enjoy the indwelling Holy Spirit. He interacts with us and the written page—but one must step inside the family to experience this fully.

“When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come. He will glorify me, for he will take what is mine and declare it to you.” (John 16:13–14, ESV)

I agree, the Bible is “interactive” in the sense of being a chose-your-adventure book.

That wasn’t all the verses… but it’s more of the same. I didn’t find any of that to be compelling… and yet these are the select verses for atheists like me. The problem is, you have to regard them with some level of credibility before they are of any interest. You have to be willing to set aside any capacity to discriminate between truth and falsehood, before granting that credibility.

The only reason I’ve ever been given to do that, are evil threats from the very same mythology… which are also not credible.

If I did find them credible, I’d be more likely to build some kind of resistance to a clearly evil, tyrannical dictator. That’s what free people do. Maybe I do fall into the author’s second category… but not without merit… and not because I just want to be “naughty.”

 

(Yes, I do see the arguments link) Edit: Nevermind, it’s just your typical previously-refuted-a-thousand-times logical-fallacy-filled arguments asserted as “evidence”, like the Kalam Cosmological argument, argument from design, etc… and there aren’t even 48 of them.

 


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