Tough Questions Answered

A Christian Apologetics Blog

Are Christians Arrogant for Believing They Are Right?

Post Author: Bill Pratt

One of the most common accusations hurled at Christians is arrogance.  If Christians believe that only they are right about who God is, that is arrogant.

Usually, but not always, I hear this accusation from atheists.  They say something like, “If you think that the Christian God is the only true God, then you are excluding the rest of world who believe in other gods.  You are also excluding those who don’t believe in any god.  That betrays an incredible arrogance and narrow-mindedness.”

Typically these kinds of statements put Christians on the defensive and a few of us, unfortunately, will even claim that all religious concepts of God are basically the same so as not to seem narrow-minded.  After all, who wants to be seen as arrogant?

But there’s a problem with this accusation, especially for atheists.  Most religion surveys indicate that there are about 2 billion Christians in the world, which is about 1/3 of the world’s population.  That means that about 4 billion people don’t believe in the Christian God, or 66% of the world.

If we look at the number of atheists, those who deny that any kind of god exists, it’s probably around 150 million people, or 2.5% of the world population (see this link for data).  Even if we double that number, we get 300 million people.  That means that approximately 5.7 billion people are wrong about the existence of god, or 95% of all the people living in the world.

Now who is calling who arrogant?  If anybody is exclusive, if anybody is narrow-minded, it is atheists far more so than Christians.  As an atheist, you have to believe that 95% of all people alive are wrong about the existence of a higher power, a god or gods.  In fact, if numbers are how we determine arrogance, Christians are the least arrogant of any religious group because they have the most adherents!

Do I really believe atheists are arrogant for saying that no gods exist, a belief that contradicts 95% of the rest of the world?  No, of course not.  Truth claims are narrow, by definition, because they rule out falsehoods.  Numbers don’t determine truth, and it’s certainly possible that atheists are right, despite their relatively small numbers.  But that means that the accusation that Christians are arrogant also needs to be put to rest.  The atheist claiming that Christians are arrogant is sawing off the limb he is sitting on.

Let’s drop these silly accusations of arrogance and get back to reasonable and rational discussions about the existence or non-existence of God.  Can I get an atheist “Amen?”


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Comments

  • http://graycourt@triad.rr.com dan

    Spot on, Billy. By the way, I thought your dad was raised Catholic. How did you become a Mormon?

  • Bill Pratt

    Hi Dan,
    I was never a Mormon. Darrell, the other author on this blog, was a Mormon for many years before becoming a Christian.

    BP

  • Boz

    An opinion such as theism or atheism is not arrogant by itself. A person’s feelings about differing opinions; their feelings about people that hold differing opinions; and the tone of their discourse can be arrogant.

  • Bill Pratt

    Well said, Boz.

  • kay

    Heard last night in Bible study that a group of athiests are coming to our small town for their meeting. No idea how our town was picked. The teacher said maybe they will see how Christians act and it will be a good thing they are coming. The meeting will be at the 4 H outside of town, with rooms and probably food. Wonder just how many “christians” they will run into. Any ideas on how or what to do ? We can’t force ourself on them even if we get the opportunity. Thanks.

  • Boz

    why do you feel like you need to do something about this meeting? It does not affect you in any way.

  • kay

    we are to witness to others.

  • Bill Pratt

    Kay,
    I’m not sure how to interact with a group that’s just meeting once in your town. Darrell and I have met a couple times with a small group of skeptics here locally, but we all live in the same city and they have agreed to meet with some Christians to discuss our beliefs and their’s. It looks like we will be meeting weekly with them for at least a little while. Since we’re meeting regularly we can get to know them rather than just a one time deal. This works better for everyone involved, because we don’t end up lecturing each other as strangers.

  • Boz

    Evangelising/witnessing is just like intercourse. It is rude and inappropriate unless there is mutual consent.

    kay, how would you like a group of atheists or muslims or jews to interrupt your bible study meeting and proclaim that there are no gods/muhammad is the messenger of allah/jesus is not the messiah ?

  • johnny

    funny, there are a lot of “silly accusations of arrogance” on this site against the Mormons. hmmm…

  • http://www.toughquestionsanswered.org/ Darrell

    Johnny,

    Sorry you feel that way, but I must say I disagree.

    First, the accusations aren’t against “the Mormons,” but are rather, against their beliefs.

    Second, stating and demonstrating how a belief is incorrect is not arrogant. Afterall, if I were to say I believe the sun orbits the earth, would you be arrogant for telling me I am wrong?

    God Bless!

    Darrell

  • Brad

    Boz, I agree with you about your first point. I’d add to it that it’s usually fruitless unless there’s mutual consent, b/c the unconsenting party won’t be too inclined to listen.

    As to your second, I know you addressed it to Kay, who may also answer you, but wanted to give you my viewpoint. I don’t think that Kay was advocating “interrupting” their meeting, barging in and hitting them over the head with her beliefs. Maybe she was, but that’s not the impression I get. However, if I put myself in the position of being in a Bible study, and having a “group of atheists or muslims or jews” come in and interrupt and make their proclamations, here’s what I’d say. First, to the first point you made, I’d say it would be rude, and would probably tell them I’d be happy to listen and dialogue with them, but that maybe they could have been more tactful in coming in. But I would be happy to listen to them, and would ask them questions as to WHY they believed WHAT they believe, and would share the same of me, and would attempt to have a good conversation. If they didn’t care about that, then it would be fairly obvious to me that they didn’t want to discuss, just to give their opinion and move on. In those cases, there’s not much that can be discussed, b/c one party isn’t willing. I wouldn’t mind them making their proclamations – I don’t believe what they say, and know why, so them saying it doesn’t affect me. But I’d also ask them to listen to what I believe and why, and then try to discuss with them.

    I’m willing to do that with anyone.

  • Brad

    Johnny, and further to the point that Boz made above (which I responded to), do you desire an open dialogue on each other’s beliefs and WHY we hold them, or do you just want to come on here and make your comment and go?

    That makes a lot of difference.

  • kay

    I am open to learning about other religions. Isn’t that why atheist learn about Christianity?

  • kay

    Why can’t people be reasonable when discussing this subject? Of course we would not interrupt anyone’s meeting. Just wondered about if we saw them out in town. Mostly wondering how they picked out little town. Just curious. Are other religions not curious about Christianity? We probably won’t even know that they are here, but then we might.
    Please be reasonable.

  • Phil

    Great argument! I agree whole heartedly with this article as it applies to atheists, but what about one who is currently agnostic?
    Couldn’t he (and as you probably guessed, I) say the same thing without being arrogant (since he is not condemning ANYONE for being wrong, rather that it is not possible to know what is right)?

    Well I’m going to stop right there; as I was writing this response this thought popped into my head:

    I suppose agnostics are asserting that both theists and atheists are wrong in these two groups’ belief that they truly KNOW they are right.

    So never mind, I suppose NO ONE can say that you are arrogant simply by the number of people you believe to be wrong.
    That is not to say you cannot be arrogant in what you believe or what you believe to be wrong, mind you. :]

  • Phil

    I, an agnostic (raised Catholic), am curious about Christianity, as well as religions other than Christianity. I would hope that you are open minded enough to be curious about other religions as well, in fact more so than I, as you should have find great joy or even duty in exploring something that you believe to be definitely wrong, for in this way you can expose the fallacy in it and “save” those who follow these fallacious doctrines.

    But, in reality most people are NOT curious about other religions, as they find that their own “truth” is good enough for them, or they have discredited the other religions due to malformed ideas of what exactly is the creed and practice associated with that religion.
    For instance, it is not an entirely uncommon “foreign” belief that Catholics are cannibals; since they eat believe they eat the very flesh and blood of Christ.
    Even many Christians, obviously other than Mormons, believe that the not-so-exotic Mormon faith still is a proponent of polygamy (this is not to say there aren’t some that practice it.)
    People take half-truths and just run with them.

  • Bill Pratt

    Thanks for stopping by, Phil. Arrogance is really found in the manner in which a person communicates their beliefs. The idea that any one group is arrogant just because they claim they know the truth is simply silly. If that were true, then every time one of us said anything we thought was true, we would be arrogant.

  • Phil

    Yeah, I can agree with that.
    Thanks, and nice post :]

  • Rayburne

    I enjoyed your comments and answers to questions on this website. The skeptics might find this book interesting and challenging: “A Skeptics Search for God: Convincing Evidence for His Existence” by Ralph O. Muncaster, a former cynical hard-core atheist with an education in engineering. In it, professor Muncaster answers all the tough questions raised by skeptics today, but I must warn the reader: It is not for the proud and the arrogant.

  • Bill Pratt

    Thanks for the book recommendation!

  • Rayburne

    I have been reading some of the comments on different topics (i.e. What is the cause of our salvation?) and there seems to be much confusion between regeneration or the new birth and being saved. “Being born again” and “being saved” are not the same thing. They are two parts of the one whole and must not be confused. Both are essential to true conversion. It is impossible to experience one without experiencing the other. The question is not one of time and sequence, that is, which is first and which is second, but rather one of cause and effect. Does our faith cause the new birth or does the new birth cause faith? People will answer the question of why one person accepts Christ and others reject according to their understanding of the nature of regeneration. In one case, we will attribute the cause of man’s faith to his “free-will” , and in the other case we will give the Holy Spirit the glory for enabling us, by regenerating us, to believe and be saved.

    “Being saved” has to do with benefits–it is the work and act of the sinner. God does not repent and believe for us; we do that ourselves and we do it freely and willingly (Acts 16:30-31) However, the real question is the SOURCE of the spiritual power and ability that enables us to respond in repentance and faith to the gospel. Does that spiritual ability and power lie within ourselves (Is it intrinsic to ourselves?) or does it come from above–from God Himself. Regeneration (new birth) has to do with spiritual power (ability) or life–it is the work and act of the Holy Spirit. The work of the Holy Spirit in regeneration is likened to the blowing of the wind. A sinner can no more command or stop the regenerating work of the Holy Spirit than he can make the wind blow or stop a tornado (John 3:7-8). Now it is true that the new birth is “second” in that it is after the first (physical) birth, however, the emphasis iin scripture is not on whether it is first or second but rather its SOURCE. It is from above us; it is not from within us. It is not from the outside of us or around us; it is from above–from God. It is a life giving birth that comes down to us by His power. We do not do anything to bring this birth down to us–we have no more to do with our spiritual birth than with our physical birth. You did not decide to be born spiritually anymore than you decided to be born physically? The new birth has nothing to do with heredity, education, environment, culture, or church ceremonies; it comes down to us from God alone.

    Now the big question: Does faith cause regeneration (i.e. somehow through “free-will” co-operating with God’s Spirit) or does regeneration cause faith? Again, we are not talking about time/sequence, but cause and effect. The new birth and repentance/faith are simultaneous; however, regeneration makes faith possible and not visa versa. Lydia’s conversion is a classic example: “And a certain woman named Lydia, a seller of purple, of the city of Thyatira, which worshipped God, heard us, whose heart the LORD opened, that she attended unto the things which were spoken of Paul” (Acts 16:14). Everyone agrees that Lydia must have heard, understood, and responded in personal faith to the Gospel message of grace before she could be saved (see NIV rendering). The text clearly shows that all of these things happened. Lydia heard, understood, and responded–and that most willingly–to Paul’s preaching. The question is this, however. What was it that enabled Lydia to respond in faith? Did she, with her own free will, open her own heart and invite Christ to save her? That is not what the text says. The text explicitly states, “the Lord opened [Lydia's heart] that she attended unto the things which were spoken (or preached). Lydia willing, believing response was clearly made possible by God regenerating (opening) her heart. A spiritua dead (Eph. 2:1), blind (Eph. 4:18), hostile (Romans 8:7) cannot open his/her own dead heart.. He bolts iit shut with fear and ignorance. Yes, sinners can and do resist the Spirit of God (Acts 7:51-52). Again the text is clear here (Acts 7:51-52). The people Peter was addressing were stiff-necked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, and could therefore do nothing but resist. Every lost sinner will always resist as long as his heart and ears have not been circumcised (spiritually, by the power of God). Regeneration is the Holy Spirit circumcising our hearts and ears so that we want to believe (not resist). This verse does not refute irrestistible grace but shows how essential irrestible grace (See also John 6:44, 45) is is in true conversion. Moreover, In regeneration, the Spirit does not go contrary to our hearts, minds and wills. The same mind/heart and will that fervently resists the gospel desires most freely and willingly with all his being to repent of sin and receive Christ as lord and Saviour when the Holy Spirit reveals the corrupt nature of sin and reveals the beauty and glory of the Son of God (see Psalm 110:3). Let’s look at a few texts to further show this truth: “Whosoever that believeth that Jesus is the Christ is (already) born of God” (1 John 5:1). John does not say that one will be born of God if he believes, but rather, if one believes it proves that he has been born of God. Faith is the fruit, effect, or evidence of being born again and not the cause. I am not quibbling over words. The text can mean nothing else. Compare 1 John 5:1 with 1 John 2:29. The text…”everyone that doeth righteousness is born of him”. Is it quibbling over words to insist that no one is born of God because he does righteousness? Do you not agree that we do righteousness only after, and only because, we have been born of God? We clearly know hat is the cause and what is the effect in this text. No one believes that “doing righteousness” causes one to be born of God. The same identical truth is set forth in 1 John 5:1: Our faith is not the cause of the new birth, but, like “doing righteousness” our faith is a living proof that we have been born of God. To deny this clear fact is to destroy the clear doctrine of regeneration. I know many will disagree, but answer this question? Do you believe a sinner has a free will and also believe that a saint can never be lost? When they affirm that they believe a sinner has the will power to either accept or receive Christ, then I ask “Can a saint will, or choose, his way out of grace”?. When they answer almost always “No”, I reply, “Well, if the sinner has power to both accept and reject, but once he accepts, he can no longer choose to be lost, it sounds like you believe a sinner has twice as much will power as a saint. They are, in effect, saying that we lose part of the freedom of will that we supposedly had befopre we were saved. The dialogue usually ends here. It is nonsense to hold to a doctrine (“free-will”) that teaches that man loses half of his will power when he is converted. It is impossible to believe “free will” and eternal security. They are self-contradictory. Of course, I do not believe the natural [unregenerated] man, spiritually dead (Eph. 2:1), spiritually blind (Eph. 4:18), spiritually hostile to God and spiritual truth (Romans 8:7; 1 Corinthians 2:14) has the moral/spiritual power or ability, unassisted by regeneration, to make a moral decision to come to Christ in repentance and faith. He may have free moral agency (which is freedom to make a decision without outside coercion) but not free moral will and ability to perform spiritual acts of repenting and believing on Christ. Much could be said, but for space, about spiritual depravity and man’s absolute need to be regenerated or born of God before he can respond to the Gospel.

  • Rayburne

    The following long comment was taken from “The New Birth” by John G. Reisinger. I must apologize for spelling mistakes. I could not go into much detail, because of space and time, but I could have included many more biblical texts to support the biblical truths herein. I hope the readers will check out the scriptures themselves (Acts 17:11), as did the Berean Christians. God bless.

  • http://tangenttalk.blogspot.com Rob

    I am an atheist, but agree with the general gist of the posting as well as the comments – arrogance is in the attitude. Being confident in your beliefs is not inherently arrogant, whether you’re a theist or an atheist.

    Not that all Christians believe this, but I would find it troubling to think that 2/3 of the world are headed to eternal damnation due mainly to the geographic location of their birth. This would be something I would struggle to reconcile.

    As far as confidence in being right, my preference would be that people took a softer stance. I’m not sure that I’m right. It’s simply the hypothesis that I live by (which probably makes me an agnostic atheist). I could see a scenario where some intelligence created our universe and life, but that’s about as far as I can stretch. Renowned atheist Richard Dawkins takes a much harder line that I would, but sometimes I think that he does so to keep from leaving a crack in the door in his debates with theists.

    My only real point of contention with the post is the premise that the number of people on one side or the other gives inherent legitimacy. I would imagine that an overwhelming number of Greeks were followers of Zeus at that time in history. Likewise, there was a time when very few people that believed the world was round. I’m not saying that means “we’re right and you’re wrong”, but just that it’s a possibility.

  • Rayburne

    Rob.. says “Not that all Christians believe this, but I would find it troubling to think that 2/3 of the world are headed to eternal damnation due mainly to the geographic location of their birth. This would be something I would struggle to reconcile.”

    This absurd statement fails miserably to understand the Bible teaching regarding the nature of God’s revelation to humanity irrespective of geographic location. The fact of one’s physical birth and location, as Jesus made abundantly clear to the Pharisees, the religious leaders of His day, has absolutely nothing to do with God’s saving grace in Jesus Christ and eternal damnation. Indeed, when the Pharisees claimed to be sons and daughters of God by virtue of their physical descent from Abraham (the seed of Abraham by physical birth), Jesus told them plainly “Why do you not understand my speech? You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do” (John 8:43-44). He said this because entrance into God’s family is by spiritual birth or true (spiritual) circumism “of the heart, in the Spirit” (Romans 2:28-29; compare Deuteronomy 30:6 ) through faith in Christ. The Pauline Epistles are filled with such truth (Galatians 3: 7-9, 16, 26-29)–which is why he explicitly states: “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God unto salvation for everyone who believes (regardless of national and ethnic origin, birth, citizenship, location, religion, etc.) for the Jew first and also for the Greek (or Gentiles, Romans 1:16, emphasis added). “All authority has been given Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples (believers and followers) of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” (Jesus giving the Great Commission to His disciples in Matthew 28:18-19, emphasis added). Note that “All authority…in heaven and on earth” is not limited by the location of one’s birth or nationality, but includes the absolute power of God’s Spirit to reach all everywhere who will believe (and an All-Knowing, All-Powerful God knows who they are) without distinction of race, colour, creed, birth place or nationality.

  • Rayburne

    Also, truth is not determined by how many people believe (or don’t believe). The world was round regardless of how many once believed it to be flat. If Richard Dawkin’s “alien life” theory (also belief in intelligent life) is not leaving a crack in the door with theists, then I don’t know what is?

  • http://tangenttalk.blogspot.com Rob

    Rayburne – a simple link of a world religion map will suffice for my response.

    If you think that one’s biased, try this search.

  • Rayburne

    Rob.. you just don’t get it, do you? Christianity is not about religion per se; it is about a vibrant living relationship with the Living God, which involves God’s self-disclosure (revelation) of Himself in Jesus Christ to all (regardless of birth, nationality or religion) who place their faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour. ; Who claimed to be the only assurred way to God (John 14:6). Now one can choose not to believe (and many don’t) the absolute claim of Jesus Christ to be the only assured way to God, but don’t remind me (and many others) of what we already know by referring us to a map (or maps) of world religions, which does nothing to change the truth of my comment refuting your absurd statement that “2/3 of the world are headed to eternal damnation due mainly to the geographic location of their birth. ” You have reminded the readers by giving us a list of world maps that there are many different religions in the world (something we alll know) but you have not given us supporting evidence why this means 2/3 of the world are headed to eternal damnation–just an inference that assumes that people are eternally damned because of the geographic location of their birth. Spend some time prayerfully reading your Bible, Rob..because nowhere does it teach that God condemns people eternally because of their location of birth. Yes, there are many religions with many different beliefs, but that doesn’t mean that they are all right and that there are many different ways to God, as our politically correct, pluralistic secular society would like us to believe. Nor does it mean, as you have agreed, that Christians are arrogant because they believe with confidence and assurance that Jesus is the only way to God (John 14:6). In Revelation 7:9 we read: “After these things I looked, and behold a great multitude which no one could number, of all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues (those who come out of the great tribulation–verse 14) standing before the throne and before the Lamb (Christ), clothed with white robes..” Does this sound like God condemns people because of their origin and place of birth or religion.? The problem is not the location of one’s birth or that there are many different religions with many different beliefs; the problem is not even that there are major religions with different and often contradictory absolute truth claims; the problem is which is true and best supported by the evidence. I believe the truth claims of Christ are best supported by the evidence and have defended this position in the past openly and honestly on other blogs and websites, as you well know. So have many others. But, I have learned from experience that no amount of evidence will satisfy an unbelieving heart: Try to convince a man against his will, he is of the same opinion still. Take care.

  • http://tangenttalk.blogspot.com Rob

    1) I never said anybody was headed to eternal damnation. I’m an atheist and don’t believe in it.
    2) The original statement in question did not convey to you what I meant. I didn’t realize it until now. I revise it as follows:

    “Not that all Christians believe this, but I would find it troubling to think that 2/3 of the world are headed to eternal damnation due mainly to the geographic location of their birth AND ITS EFFECT ON WHICH RELIGION THEY WILL FOLLOW.”

    The links I provided were meant to support the notion that the location of one’s birth has a MASSIVE influence on which religion you adopt. Therefore, if you adopt the local religion and it’s not Christianity, most Christians believe you will be going to Hell. It is possible to become a Christian in these locales, but the odds are pretty small.

  • Rayburne

    Rob.. whether or not you believe in eternal damnation (because you are an atheist) does not change the error of your statement. I’m sure all Christians would find it very troubling to think that that 2/3 of the world are headed to eternal damnation due mainly to the geographic location of their birth AND ITS EFFECT ON WHICH RELIGION THEY WILL FOLLOW, ” but the profound truth is that that 2/3 of the world are not headed to eternal damnation due mainly to the geographic location of their birth AND ITS EFFECT ON WHICH RELIGION THEY WILL FOLLOW, at least not according to the Bible, as I have shown. Yes, the place of one’s birth may have a great influence on which religion you adopt, but even then the religion one adopts at birth is certainly no determining factor as to who eventually suffers eternal damnation–and I therefore have to strongly disagree with your statement to the effect that most Christians believe that one will be going to hell simply because he/she adopted a local religion other than Christianity. Indeed, if you read your scriptures carefully, you will discover that contrary to what you are suggesting, many born and raised in the Christian religion of their fathers according to Christ and the plain teaching of scripture are not going to heaven. Christ himself warned “Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in your name. And then will I declare to them, I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness” (Matthew 7: 21-23.compare Matthew 7:13-14). ). Notice that they called Jesus Lord, even prophesied (preached) and performed many wonders (miracles)in His name; yet, Christ told them “I never knew you”. If Christ is pointing out anything to all who would seek to follow Him in these profound biblical texts, it is that the place of one’s birth and the religion into which one is born has nothing whatsoever to do with who is truly a Christian or who will become a Christian. Indeed, I know many who claim to be Christian, indeed, were baptized and raised in the “Christian” faith; yet, never darken the inside of a church door, except perhaps for funerals and baptisms, and the sad truth today is that in many modern “churches” that identify themselves as “Christian”, they have completely abandoned the historic Christian faith and are no longer proclaiming the Good News of God’s saving grace in Jesus Christ. I know this because I used to attend such a church before Christ saved me by His grace and I, for one, would rather that my love ones who are outside of the saving grace in Jesus Christ would not go to church at all, than go to these places. I would give them more hope if they stayed at home and read their Bibles sincerely and wholeheartedly, asking God to show them the truth by His Spirit. I know it certainly would not be the first time that God, in His grace and mercy, has brought people (regardless of their place of birth, or adopted religion) to a saving faith in Jesus Christ through this means. Of course, that is not to say that one should not go to church when he/she truly comes to know Christ as personal Lord and Saviour. There are no Lone Ranger Christians. God, in His infinite power and wisdom, uses human instruments to proclaim His message (many have died doing so for their faith in foreign countries hostile to the Gospel). Yet, God will carry out to completion His plan of redemption for fallen humanity, and will reach people of “all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues” (Rev. 7:9) regardless of any limitations imposed seemingly imposed by birth place, religion or nationality. This He has clearly demonstrated throughout history, and will continue to do so until Christ triumphantly returns in glory to establish His righteousness forever.

  • http://tangenttalk.blogspot.com Rob

    Rayburne – you are completely missing the point. I understand, and have understood, your position that all people have the ability to hear the Christian word and follow it … and therefore all people of the world have the ability for Christ’s salvation.

    You have the ability to hear the Muslim word, yet you are not a Muslim. I know that you think it’s because the Christian word is the truth and they are following a false prophet.

    Children born to Muslim parents are indoctrinated in the Muslim faith just like Christians. They believe the Qu’ran is the true word of God as much as you believe the Bible is. Each society is built around reinforcing their religious indoctrination.

    I therefore assert that if you were born in Tehran, you would be a devout Muslim.

    Alright, let me have it with the Bible quotes about how this is complete hogwash.

  • Rayburne

    No, Rob.you are completing missing the point. All people do not have the ability for Christ’s salvation according to the Bible (John 6:44; 65, 63); indeed, apart from God’s gift of grace freely given to the sinner to enable him/her to repent of sin and place his faith in Christ for salvation, no one would ever come to Christ for salvation (Ephesians 2:8-9; Acts 16:14; John 1:13). As I have already clearly indicated from my comment on Lydia’s conversion in Acts 16:14 (above), God is the only One who opens human hearts and enables one to respond favourably to the Gospel, not man. Man has no such spiritual ability or power to believe apart from God’s grace (John 1:13), though manny Christians mistakenly believe they are saved because of some decision of the will that they believe they made in coming to Christ. The truth is that no one would come to Christ apart from the drawing and convicting power of God, the Holy Spirit (read John 6:44, 65). I don’t just think the Christian gospel is the truth, Rob..I know it is the truth (so do millions of others) and I am not arrogant in affirming same, as heitherto pointed out. Look Rob.. I am tired of you insolence, rudeness, and disrespect, so are may Christians who read this blog (but I doubt that bothers you). The source and basis of my Christian faith–that tells me all about Christ, it’s central message–is the Bible, just as the basis of the Muslim faith is the Qu’ran . Contrary to what you may believe about the Muslim faith, no one has indoctrinated me into believing anything. Faith in Christ is not obtained by indoctrination, but is a free gift of God’s grace. Moreover, until one comes to saving faith in Christ and receives the Spirit of God in regeneration (new birth), one cannot even understand the scriptures. The scriptures, illuminated by the Spirit of God, are the basis for my faith–which is why I quote from it (just as Muslims quote from the Qu’ran). Now, I hear you loud and clear defending the right of Muslims to quote from the Qu’ran (“They believe the Qu’ran is the true word of God as much as you believe the Bible is.) but you seem to have a big problem when I (and Christians in general) quote from the Bible.If you don’t like Christians quoting from scripture (the basis of their faith) when Christianity is questioned, then go to a non-Christian website/blog. I know that is not stimulating enough for you, right? As for the Bible versus the Qu’ran that is another topic for discussion/debate, which I suggest you (and the readers) check out for yourselves (just a hint-try checking out if any prophesies were made in the Qu’ran and fulfilled , then do the same for the Bible).

  • Rayburne

    Mahmud Jalily, a devout Muslim born in Tehran converted to Christianity. Read all about his conversion:

    http://www.google.ca/search?rls=ig&hl=en&source=hp&q=A+devout+Muslim+born++born+in+Tehran+who+was+converted+to+Christianity.&btnG=Google+Search&rlz=1R2RNTM_enCA347

    Read about the conversions of former Muslims to Christianity and other religions.
    http://wikiislam.net/wiki/Notable_Former_Muslims

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_people_who_converted_to_Christianity

    Please note that not all converted from other religions to Christianity. Some converted from other religions (including Islam and “Christianity“) to atheism. My point: that it is not where you begin (one’s place of birth or adopted religion, however devout) that ultimately matters, but where you end up (and without quoting Jesus from the Bible, this is also His point ). Take care.

  • http://tangenttalk.blogspot.com Rob

    Rayburne – I have no problem with you quoting from the Bible. My only complaint is that I’m not interested in reading dissertations or to hear a sermon.

    If you are trying to talk to a non-Christian in a convincing manner, I suggest the mode of your last reply to me. It was much more succinct and got your point across just fine. I will generally assume (or already know) what the Bible’s stance is relative to your position. If I were to question what the Bible says, I would ask.

    I live in the U.S. and come from a culturally Christian background. I am aware of what the Bible says and what most Christians believe. What I find is that many Christians have no idea what non-Christians think and believe and don’t seem to care.

    … and I will assert again that I completely understand what you’re saying. I just simply don’t believe it. I’m sorry you find that offensive.

    Am I allowed to be offended about what many Christians would and do say about me and my beliefs? Much like my comments, theirs are not intended to be offensive. They are being spoken from their point of view.

  • http://tangenttalk.blogspot.com Rob

    … and I still assert that while a small percentage of people will convert from one religion to another, religion to no religion, and no religion to religion in a given geographical area, the location of your birth will, with a high degree of probability, indicate which religion you will follow.

    … and the word indoctrination is not as bad of a word as it sounds. Our culture indoctrinates us into believing that freedom is a good thing. Other cultures do not. As we become adults, we get to choose for ourselves what is right. HOWEVER, what our culture teaches us as children has a monstrous influence in our ability to “think outside of the box”.

  • Rayburne

    Thanks Rob..I am well aware there is indoctrination in our secular pluralistic, politically correct culture, both good and bad. I hope we can agree that we need discernment to determine the good from the bad. Take care and God bless.

  • http://fwd4.me/mhZ Stephen J. Ardent

    Unfortunately in today’s world arrogance has come to mean “believing something to be true”. No one mentions the fact the person making the accusation is by default guilt of his own complaint.

  • Rayburne

    Rob..said “I will assert again that I completely understand what you’re saying. I just simply don’t believe it. I’m sorry you find that offensive.”
    Coming from a culturally Christian background does not mean you know what the Bible teaches.Rob, it is obvious from your comments that you don’t know what the Bible teaches.
    And I didn’t find anything you said offensive; those were your words. I have found Christians to be the most tolerant and least offended people I know hen it comes to disagreeing about what other people and religions believe. “Tolerance”, however, does not mean acceptance. Just like you said, “I simply don’t believe it,” which is your choice and decision, and which you will be held accountable. I make no apology for what I believe to be true, but I would defend with my life the freedom of all to believe what they will.

  • maelyn lagman

    Hi Bill, I like your style. I think I’ll visit your site again…

  • Thangalin

    Appeal to the People. Almost every believes the Earth is flat, therefore the Earth is flat.

    Look back again at that pale blue dot: a picture of Earth taken from the Voyager spacecraft on its way out of the solar system. Take a good long look at it. Stare at the dot for any length of time and then try to convince yourself that God created the whole Universe for just one of the 10 million or so species of life that inhabit that speck of dust.

    Now take it a step further: Imagine that everything was made just for a single shade of that species, or gender, or religious subdivision.

    If this doesn’t strike you as unlikely, pick another dot. Imagine it is inhabited by a different form of intelligent life. They, too, cherish the notion of a god who created everything for their benefit.

    How seriously do you take their claim?
    ~Carl Sagan, Pale Blue Dot: A Vision of the Human Future in Space

  • Charlie

    atheists arrogant? I may be an atheist but I have no problem with other people believing in a god in any shape or form, but I have had many problems from my Christian friends who spend their time with me, telling me the only reasonable way in which this world could have existed was if the Christian god created it. Tell me that’s not arrogant?

  • Kevin

    Rarely do I see a subject argued so logically, rationally and succinctly. Thanx

  • Mario Rodgers

    Actually we are not so small in numbers.

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