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Faith vs Reason
Have you ever seen or participated in forum debates between atheists and Christians? The arguments are endless from both sides. The worse part and the most embarrassing is when you see many of these atheists know more about the Bible than Christians themselves. This gives atheists more leverage in their arguments because they can tell when a Christian has not read their Bible. Their reasoning is how can anyone believe in a book that they have not read?
Most atheists are well educated, bright, and very knowledgeable about Christianity and world religions. Furthermore, atheists know enough about the Bible because they have read it and have studied its history better than most. Therefore, those that go into arguments with Atheists unprepared and with little knowledge about the Bible will expose their limited knowledge and become the subject of ridicule. Then who do we have to blame for this? Only those that were baited into their debates are to be blamed and in the end, you will come to find that nothing was ever accomplished.
The definition for atheist is no-deity or no-god(s). Atheism denies any existence or belief in God and an atheist’s intent will always be to debunk God and any belief in God. The Bible says that since the beginning God has proven His existence to all and even then people still refuse to acknowledge Him. In Romans 1:19-21, it says “ 19Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. 20For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: 21Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.” (KJV)
If this disbelief has been going on for centuries, then why do many Christians feel that they have to argue about their faith? We are not converting anyone when we get caught up in debates and arguments. I have seen many Christians use 1 Peter 3:15-16 as a reason for this and this is where many are confused. The Bible never said to get into arguments about your faith, it says “15But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:16Having a good conscience; that, whereas they speak evil of you, as of evildoers, they may be ashamed that falsely accuse your good conversation in Christ.”(KVJ) The Bible is talking about being ready to give a reason of the hope in you with humbleness, timidity, gentleness, reverence and respect, so when they slander you for your behavior in Christ, they may become ashamed.
We can answer genuine questions about God but we must also discern the spirit behind any questions asked of us. If you discern a spirit of disbelief and argument, then dust your sandals off and move on to the next town. However, if anyone still chooses to engage in debates about their faith, then by all means be ready to answer intelligently, respectfully, and ready to demonstrate that you do know what you are talking about. However, I must warn you that there will be no winning by either side. Why? Because we are talking about faith vs. (limited human) reasoning, and faith in God is one thing atheists do not have. Therefore, when a Christian begins to quote Scriptures to support their argument, it only serves to inflame the argument more. Atheists do not perceive quoting scriptures rational and demand reasoning from Christians. Christians in turn find they cannot “reason” with Atheists because it is all about faith. Thus the two worlds collide: Spirit against flesh.
Here’s a startling and embarrassing discovery I recently made. In a nationwide survey of different groups conducted by Pew Research Center’s Forum on Religion & Public Life from May 19 through June 6, 2010, 3412 Americans were asked 32 questions on their religious knowledge. On average, only 16 answered the questions correctly.
Surprisingly, the study found that atheists/agnostics, Mormons, and Jews scored best on the religious knowledge survey. Out of 16 questions that were answered correctly the three groups that scored the highest were Atheist/Agnostic at 20.9%, Jewish at 20.5%, and Mormon at 20.3%.
Studies also show that Jews and atheists/agnostics also have “high levels of educational attainment” and “stand out for high levels of knowledge about world religions.” Pew Forum Studies also found that Jews and atheists/agnostics “also score at or above the national average on questions about the Bible and Christianity.”
Furthermore Jews, Mormons, and atheists/agnostics have “the highest levels of religious knowledge.” And when it comes to knowledge about the Bible, Mormons score the highest when posed with questions.
These survey findings are disheartening. Have we become spoon-fed Christians? And what of our Bibles? Are they only used when we sit in church looking for Scriptures posted from the screen projector? Or do we set time aside and meditate on the Word and learn from it?
The authenticity of the Bible has become a major issue and many have turned to science to explain away the Bible and portray it as a myth. Atheists and many others claim that the Bible has many inconsistencies. One atheist argument is that the English translation of 1 John 2:22 does not match the literal Greek translation. Atheist’s state that the literal translations of this verse in Greek states that Jesus is not the son of God and He is the antichrist.
Can you say that this is a stupid thing to say coming from people who were found in a survey to be very knowledgeable and smart? First of all, the whole entire Bible points to Jesus as the Son of God! To use one verse to try to debunk the entire Bible is stupid. Yet they will tell you to read it for yourself and see how the Bible translators intentionally left out the word “not” in order to deceive Christians. You will see what I mean as you read on.
Let me first say that unless you speak a foreign language fluently, in this case Greek, you cannot state such a claim. Often times when you translate a foreign language word by word the definition can change from its actual meaning. It is not easy to translate complex languages, such as Greek, word by word without changing its true definition. Let me illustrate what I mean.
1 John 2:22 the KJV says “Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son.” This is simple enough to understand.
Now let us go to the Greek/English translation (click on the link). In here the Greek word for word translation for 1 John 2:22 says “who is the liar if not the one denying that Jesus is not the Christ this one is the antichrist the one disowning the Father and the Son.”
When reading this, it would seem that there is a double negative and its word for word translation is indicating that the liar is the one denying that Jesus is not the Christ. As atheists claim, it would also seem that the English translators conveniently left out the word “not.” Since I speak two languages fluently, I knew something was not right here and decided to consult a professor and friend of mine I work with at the college, who by the way is Greek by birth and speaks, reads, and writes fluently in Greek.
After reading the verse in Greek, my friend confirmed that the English translation in the KJV is indeed correct. It was a bit difficult for him to explain this verse to me and stated there was no double negative in the translation. To translate it into simple English words, the Greek translation simply says “the liar is the one saying no, Jesus is not the Christ— that is the antichrist that denies the Father and the Son.”
I guess people making this false claim not only missed the mark but neglected to read the next verse as well. If they have read the following verse, they would have found that it confirms what verse 22 is saying “Whosoever denieth the Son, the same hath not the Father: he that acknowledgeth the Son hath the Father also.”(KJV)
So there you have it in plain English! I feel atheists need to stay away from Greek or Hebrew translations if they do not speak the languages. I ask who is looking foolish now? Proverbs 30:5-6 says “Every word of God is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him. Add thou not unto his words, lest he reprove thee, and thou be found a liar.”(KJV)
To claim the Bible is flawed is by far the worst demonic attack made on the Word of God! To make these claims is devastating to any Christian that does not know better; and, it not only plants a seed of doubt in uneducated Christians but in anyone who is listening to only an atheist’s side of the story. Unless one reads Hebrew or Greek, they should not make false claims such as these.
This is exactly what the Atheists are using to debunk God and plant a seed of doubt in the believer and anyone else. They expect Christianity to collapse because they think they discovered a flawed verse or verses in the Bible. These people feel Christians only need to look at these inconsistencies in the translation to make them question the whole entire Bible. How ignorant can anyone be?
However, do not be fooled my friend. There is more to this than meets the eye. This goes beyond Atheists, Agnostics, Satanists, or any other religion that goes against the Word of God. This is a direct evil and vicious attempt by Satan himself to destroy the foundation that holds Christianity together.
Therefore, next time you feel tempted to argue with an atheist or anyone who goes against God or the Word remember what Proverbs 18:2 says, “Fools find no pleasure in understanding but delight in airing their own opinions.” (NIV).
Be blessed in Christ Jesus!