Facebook Evangelism

I think I can use Facebook Evangelism as a means to learn. It's not the same as real life evangelism because on Facebook, like correspondence, you get to take your time to think and research.

This started when Brian said "No such thing as a former Christian"

Jacques Taillefer

Brian Cearlock, I gave my life to Jesus years ago and took it back many years later. I was a Christian, and now I'm an atheist.

  • Timothy LawJacques Taillefer why the change?
  • Jacques TailleferTimothy Law, I started thinking and reading on the history of religion, on theology and philosophy. It was gradual.
  • Timothy LawJacques Taillefer seems vague to me. But how about what made you to be Christian in the first place?
  • Jacques TailleferTimothy Law, yes it’s a vague answer. I didn’t know how serious you were. Let me elaborate a little more.I used to believe that God created man and then I came to realize that it’s the other way around. Man created God. God is what human beings came up with thousands of years ago when we became aware of our existence and especially the end of it. I think God is one answer to an existential question: What happen to us when we die? But it’s just an answer, nothing more. It makes us feel good but it doesn’t mean that it’s true. I think we mostly believe in God because we fear death. If we were not conscious of our existence and of our death we wouldn’t have this need to believe in God.Human beings also like the idea of a loving paternal God who takes care of them. Who wouldn’t? We are psychologically/neurologically wired to believe in a all-loving and all-powerful God. My guess is that it is a by-product of evolution. The parental bonding increases the chance of survival. We need a fatherly God to survive the afterlife.We need to believe in a all-powerful God that we can then use to control nature and events that humans can’t possibly control. Since the early beginnings humans have used gods to control nature (diseases, droughts, earthquakes, volcanoes, floods…) through sacrifices, gifts and prayer. Today believers are doing exactly the same thing. Believers commemorate the sacrifice of a god made human. Through the sacrificed God they try to control nature and events by praying and fasting.And there is the problem of evil. Nature and the world is full of suffering, unnecessary suffering. It seems to me that existence, not only ours, is mostly a source of suffering. How can that be if God is all-loving and all-powerful? Believers say that our suffering is the consequence of our conscious decision to deny God, to sin. If you decide to go on a drinking binge, let’s say, the next morning you will suffer because of it. I get that. What I don’t get is the suffering of innocent children, for example. Countless children have slowly died buried under buildings destroyed by earthquakes after days of unimaginable suffering. Children die and suffer because of diseases all the time. And God is love and powerful?If God truly exist, then it seems to me that he can’t be all-loving AND all-powerful. He is either one or the other, not both. He is either all-loving but is unable to protect innocent children, or he is all-powerful but doesn’t care about suffering children.The ultimate question I ask myself frequently is that if I do end up in hell for eternity, why did God created me in the first place? Being all-knowing, surely he knew that I would end up here. But being also all-loving, why then did he create me?
  • Timothy LawJacques Taillefer Oh I was serious of my questions. Thank you very much for answering! While I'm still processing it, there also must be a point you transitioned and said you were a Christian, what made that transition? would it be just you believed God created man by default since you were born?
  • Jacques TailleferTimothy Law, my mother was a devout Catholic and still is today. I was raised as a Catholic since I was born while not reflecting too much on it.Then as a teenager it became much more intense. I gave my life to Jesus during the Charismatic Movement in the late 70s. I think my decision was mostly based on the sharing of feelings of joy and communion during prayer meetings and the need to be loved by a God and fellow Christians. It felt really good and empowering to be part of a community sharing a common perspective on life with fellow Christians. I spoke in tongues, studied the Bible daily, preached in prayer meetings and conferences (did only one) and even evangelized to strangers like a Jehovah witness would do.Even though I was a teenager, I was not afraid to be ridiculed or laughed at. I didn’t care and I still don’t. Look, I’m here on a Christian page among Christian fundamentalists voicing a dissenting opinion knowing full well that everybody disagree and some even despise or hate me.I remember when I was a University Biology student, I had a huge sticker on my bag saying « Another student for Christ » for everyone to see. As I said, I didn’t care. I was proud of my faith, but I was also respectful of others not sharing my faith.I also remember being so thrilled to discuss God (still am, the difference now is that I discuss the idea of God), that I was happy (still am) when a Jehovah witness knocked on my door. I would debate with him and quote by heart biblical verses to the point that he was so confused he would leave and never come back.The Christian joy that I had was not due to God. It was due to the idea of a God. It’s the idea of a loving God that makes Christians happy, pretty much like the idea of a loving Santa Claus makes children happy even though he doesn’t exist.Enjoy your day my friend.
  • Timothy LawJacques Taillefer Thank you very much for sharing! If you could be defensive enough against Jehovah's Witnesses....surely you had encountered those questions that made you pull out...I wonder how you dealt with those atheist questions while you were zealous in the Charismatic movement.
  • Jacques TailleferTimothy Law, you're welcome. These atheist questions were not raised back then. I was not exposed to them since the Internet did not exist. I didn't have the opportunity to reflect on these. Furthermore, I knew the devil would try to put doubt in my mind. I was careful not to read any literature that might open the door to the devil.
    I started to be uncomfortable with this way of thinking during a discussion with a friend who was studying theology and philosophy. Slowly I began to realize that any devout follower of any sect or religion had precisely the same state of mind that I had and that there was no way to know who was right or wrong. A devout sect member KNOWS that he holds the truth precisely as I KNEW I had the truth. The truth seemed to be relative and subjective.
    It was challenging. It took me over ten years to get out of it. Remember that I believed doubt was a tool used by the devil. When doubt came, I was praying God to push out the devil. But at the same time, I realized that doubt was also necessary to get out of a religious sect. I could be in a religious sect. I then realized that doubt was the one thing I couldn't eliminate.
    Today, I doubt everything, and yes, I always doubt my atheism. I could be wrong.
  • Timothy LawJacques Taillefer I would suggest not looking into Charismatics theology as it's rather wonky doodle cricket, especially with regards to faith (ie. Self confident faith) and the Holy Spirit (ie. Hollywood style spirit power) nor American fundamentalist theology (ie. Tribalism, loyalty based faith, no imagination). But I wouldn't mind discussing those atheist questions if you don't mind. I just need some time as I am jetting to work right now. Thanks again for answering and sharing Jacques!
  • Top fanJacques TailleferTimothy Law I don't mind at all. I would love it.
  • Timothy LawJacques Taillefer My apologies for the delay. Works stuff.
    In a way you are right: "If we were not conscious of our existence and of our death we wouldn’t have this need to believe in God." Man does create god, in fact, men created many gods. But these would only be false gods by definition, whether because of the fear of death or not. That doesn't really put a dent in the denial of God's existence. By the very definition of God, it would make more sense that God created us in His image, than we create God in our image. What some called "evolved quality" in man is actually the likeness and image of God in us. I'm not denying science, but the theory of evolution with or without God in the picture still have too much unanswered questions - you can't just conclude the ifs and maybes, educated guesses and statistical extrapolation as science. 99.999% still does not equal 100% certainly. Faith yes maybe, but not science.
    I think we fear death not just because we value our existence, but because we know we did not live up to certain standards, might as well call it God's standards. So in fact, it's not "we mostly believe in God because we fear death" but rather "we fear death because we ALL believe there is some God out there". And we try to drink ourselves from this worry by making up false gods with our mental gymnastics = whatever feel good beliefs, whether it's in denials or whether it's to do certain sacrificial rituals. However, that doesn't mean there is no true God, just because you see so many false gods around and sometimes even in churches.
    As for the problem of evil, the Bible reveals that the sufferings in the world are not just because of our sin, but the just CURSE on mankind due to Adam's fall, which I believe you are aware of, which does not excuse children/infants from being sinners. We are all born sinners. Just like mosquito larvae are all "born" disgusting blood-suckers. The wages of sin is death, so it's just a matter of different timing for everyone: some die younger, some die older, but nonetheless, all sinners should die in their sins as sinners, regardless the time, regardless the method of death, no one, not even children/infants are truly innocent. However, because God is all-loving, we are given the opportunity to do something about it, to care for the more helpless sinners and such, and witness some minuscule drop of God's love in this cursed world. If God is God, then He is beyond space and time and they therefore are mere creation of His we are in. We are but temporal characters in His story, endowed with His likeness and image, and according to the Bible, apparently love us enough to sacrifice Himself in place of our sins, that is if you still care enough about all this, to be reconciled and spend eternity with Him, which is why He created you in the first place.
    All I see is only more joy and beauty in knowing God, nothing is forced. In fact, those who end up in hell for eternity are really their own choosing in their nature since birth. Ultimately, hell is really just where you don't want to have anything to do with God Himself, and God respect your free will enough to oblige.
    Hope I'm not talking to much here, not my usual FB thing to do. Meanwhile, enjoy your day and weekend!!!
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