Note: This is an opinion piece and doesn’t reflect Geeks Under Grace as a whole. These are my own experiences and views on this subject.
For those of you that don’t know, I’ve debated with non-believers on a debate forum that I used to go on. I was one of the very few Christians on the debate forum. This debate forum wasn’t a one-on-one debate. When someone created a debate, everybody was open to it. So if you made an argument, someone could dispute, support, or clarify when it came to debating. It also had a point system in which, if you up-voted that person’s argument, it would increase the points in that particular side, and it would show the points of which side was winning. A lot of the time when I was in a religious debate, the side that wasn’t my view was always winning. For example, if a debate were titled “Does God exist?” the side that said “no” would be winning.
The majority of the people there were atheists or agnostics, as a matter of fact. I joined the site for the very first time when I was in 8th grade. That was almost 4 years ago, because when I joined it was December 11, 2010. At that time, I didn’t really know my Bible and I just knew God existed because the Bible said so. I never really thought about asking myself deep questions. Then I began reading my Bible more and reading a lot of apologetic books. Now, that debate site has made me a better Christian when it comes to defending the faith. I now know how to defend it properly, but it can be hard at times. I’ve really tried to stop going on the debate site. At times, there were days where I just said, “I’m not going on there anymore,” but then the next day I would log onto the site. Now that I’ve been on the site for a long time, I’ve gotten bored with debating people who won’t listen or understand when I’m trying to answer their specific questions.
Today, I’m going to be sharing my experience when debating with atheists and agnostics, what I’ve learned from it, and how I approach someone online when it comes to defending the faith or even spreading the Gospel. Through this experience, I have been brought closer to God.
When debating someone who isn’t a Christian, be respectful and don’t be rude because everyone is created in the image of God. Just because they don’t believe in God doesn’t mean you should be rude or disrespectful; that might make the person not want to be a Christian because of what you say. Maybe other Christians who have debated that person before have been rude, and it has given them a bad taste for the Gospel.
When I was on the debate forum, there were often topics that had something to do with Christianity. Some of them were “Is the Bible true?” and “Does God exist?” I’ve also been involved in debates dealing with gay marriage and abortion. What I did was add my own argument, and, if someone responded to me, then I would respond back, answering their question.
A lot of the time atheists or agnostics will demand evidence from us because they say they’ve seen “no evidence” about the existence of God or the validity of the Bible. They use this statement all the time when it comes to debating them. The evidence, however, is all around us (Romans 1:20). A lot of the time, when I gave evidence, they wouldn’t accept it and would say things like “That isn’t evidence,” or something along those lines.
Once I’d give them evidence, they would begin arguing about the evidence, and then the arguments would go on and on to the point that I’d just end up being frustrated because they wouldn’t accept it. I learned how to respond when they didn’t accept the evidence: (1) write back to them and tell them that they clearly aren’t learning or understanding any of what I’ve said, (2) say that I will pray for them, and (3) walk away from that debate and no longer debate with that specific person.
A lot of the times, I think to myself: is it really worth debating them? I mean, it does feel like a waste of time trying to debate them, and you always get the same result–they deny Christ. Sometimes, I believe it is worth it because they might have never heard about some things that I mention or quote, and what I say might give them some new incite. Also, as Christians, we are to try to plant the seeds. What I say might just be a seed that gets planted, and then the next Christian that they encounter will water that seed, and then other people will come along and add more water and fertilizer until that person becomes a Christian. I try to do the best that I can to provide an answer for the hope that I have.