My Experience with Debating Non-Believers

My experience with

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.

Have you ever been part of a faith-based debate? What are your thoughts? Please leave your comments down below!

Josh Mors

I am 18 years old. One of the youngest writers here on GeeksUnderGrace. I lead a Bible Study club, and prayer group at my school. Things that I have interest in is video games, anime, and playing basketball. When I'm not doing those things I like to study apologetics (defending of the Christian faith). I also make youtube videos(see my website link) in my spare time whenever I have a chance to upload something. It mostly consists of Call of Duty, and Destiny clips included with my very own commentary's.

8 Comments

  1. Guz on June 6, 2023 at 10:43 pm

    I have extensively debated online; I have successfully defeated their arguments, but they don’t understand that their arguments were defeated, so it is pointless in terms of real persuasion. I haven’t seen much fruit from it. Most are haters seeking to pour out their rage on Christians, and the Bible. Spirit of anti-Christ with venomous words toward God. I was recently booted by Media for violating their policy, since they are pro LGBT, so my blunt response was reported and immediately booted, while debating before that I was blocked by one author whom I responded after a few dialogues; while I was on Facebook, found many coming to these debates weren’t seeking, but just wanted to fight, ultimately, the points I brought forward were not understood, received, nor addressed properly by my opponents. I would be careful to debate only within Christian forums after awhile, but even there, it was bad. When I was on non Christian forums I was bombarded with antagonism; and I was booted from one sight. Overall, it was too time consuming and my time could be better spent. It’s better to go out and hand out tracks and try to talk to people, there was more fruit from that, more openness, face to face than this distant power of the air medium controlled by the power of the air. Online debating is only fruitful to finetune your arguments and encourage those who are likeminded, perhaps those who are not committed either way. If they are steepled in already, a captive of the enemy on his frontlines, you aren’t going to win them online no matter what, instead they will mock Christianity, perhaps God could save some of these, but if he does, it will be not by online debating, but brokenness in their own personal life. Arguments also tends to feed the flesh; “knowledge puffeth up.” Jesus says wipe the dust off your feet, not keep butting heads with them, go to somebody open. There are many broken people who aren’t hard-hearted like internet debaters. If you fail you must keep it short and simple and don’t waste too much time with it; it is addicting too as new ways of defeating arguments come to mind, but they still aren’t persuaded. So keep it light if you do it and go out to the highways and byways, work within confines of your church; it will be more rewarding. You could use your apologetics there too from time to time.

  2. questdrivencollie on October 3, 2014 at 7:08 pm

    I love this!
    I, too, have find myself brought closer to God through debate with nonbelievers. It’s what turned me from a church kid into someone who actually knew God personally. At first, all debating with others did was show me how little I really knew…and it make me doubt my faith to the point where I almost lost it. But then God showed up one night, and everything changed.
    I really think that debating with others, both debates over Christianity and other subjects, has really taught me a lot. I learned how the difference between good and bad arguments largely through trial and error. Later on, when I read a book on logical fallacies in school, I discovered I had already learned to avoid many of the logical fallacies the book brought up.
    I think God may have used debate to edify me, too. At first, I could be really nasty in online debates, if I was frustrated enough. I learned over time that when I treated people nicer, things went a lot better.

    I’ve talked to a lot of nonbelievers. Some have been very rude. I learned to respond calmly despite that and simply ignore insults and ad hominem remarks–most of the time. Sometimes I do give into the temptation to get passive aggressive just a bit. Other nonbelievers have been more pleasant to talk to, more kind in the face of disagreement or pleasantly surprised by my response to them. I’ve had some tell me stuff like I’m one of the more open minded Christians they’ve talked to, or that I respond more maturely than most.
    I don’t think anyone I’ve talked to have converted over–but hopefully by the grace of God a seed was planted.

    We are told to be ready to give an answer–I think being able to defend the faith is part of that. 🙂

    • Josh Mors on October 7, 2014 at 4:29 am

      I’m glad that you feel the same way about how debating non-believers bring you closer to God. 🙂 I’ve debated with some people outside of online but very few people want to talk to me about it because a lot of my friends see my posts on Facebook. Lots of times they think I’m angry when I’m debating online but I’m calm. If people are being rude, it’s always best to be respectful to them because I believe it says in Proverbs that a gentle answer can stir away anger, and I believe that is true. I have talked to many people who were angry (outside of the online world) at me and I talked in my regular voice and was being gentle to them and then they stopped being angry and they apologized for the anger that they threw at me. Thanks for sharing your post! 🙂

  3. Michael M. on September 27, 2014 at 3:40 am

    I once debated on myspace (yes myspace!) with a Muslim guy who KNEW his Qu’ran up down and side ways. The guy also had read the bible, so that was even more fun for me (sarcasm) because whatever verse I threw at him, he would respond WITH the Qu’ran AND the bible !!!

    So yeah, that went on for like 2 weeks, but you know what honestly kept him quiet? The supernatural. Once I started talking about how God heals the sick, raises the dead, casts out demons, etc. he couldn’t refute it. We stopped arguing/discussing everything and it wasn’t hateful in the slightest, but he didn’t truly understand it because his religion is false, it’s a man-made religion seeking a god that doesn’t respond. Christ is alive, He still performs miracles through those who believe them. God’s power is real and no atheist/agnostic/whatever can debate away an experience or a miraculous healing.

  4. Adam Grosjean on September 26, 2014 at 6:47 pm

    I used to be bad with debating and arguing; mostly arguing. I would get into comment wars on facebook for no reason; but I’ve began to mature. Now, I usually don’t debate that often unless I feel like I need to/want to, or if I feel super passionate at the time. If i post/share something controversial, or if i ask what people’s opinions are, I usually don’t share my own unless someone asks for it because it seems like no one really cares or values what I have to say. I mean, some do, but not a lot.

    • Josh Mors on September 26, 2014 at 9:39 pm

      That is good that you have gotten mature in debating. At first, I myself was also not great at debating. It takes time and process to really do it. I don’t debate often as well only if I really feel like I should but most of the time I don’t. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

      • Adam Grosjean on September 29, 2014 at 6:09 am

        Thanks for sharing yours. : )

        • Josh Mors on October 7, 2014 at 4:23 am

          No problem! Thanks for sharing as well.

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