I thank you again for the opportunity to ask questions and get them answered so promptly!
I am debating with my close friends, so my question is how do I bring my agnostic friend to Christ? Here is a discussion we are having at the moment and please let me know if my response to him was good enough, even though the conversation is still ongoing. I feel that he is searching for truth so I don't want to give up on him, on the other hand, he is really stubborn.
"I just don't believe that Christianity and Jesus is the correct path to finding a connection to our creator. It's simply one path out of many that a person can take to ultimately end up in the same place. It takes more courage to forge a path that has not been laid out before you. I believe when I die and I meet my Maker, He will smile and say "I'm glad you did it your way and figured things out for yourself and not simply buy what's put in front of you. I gave you a big brain and big heart and you have the courage to find things out for yourself and the intellect to make the best decisions for you."
"The many ways to God that you're thinking of is simply not true. They're deceptive religions, e.g. Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, New Age. It takes more courage to deny yourself and repent than thinking I'll do what I want, and God will congratulate me later. That's just the kind of thinking that dooms us later. Just because those religions have been around for a while, even some before Jesus, that doesn't mean they're right. Jesus came to put in end to all that 2000 years ago. Read this and then respond to me; it's only 10 verses: Acts 17:22-32"
Too often we only measure success as happening when the person we are talking to is convinced that we are right. We forget that our goal is to have opportunities to teach God's word. What people do with it is their decision. We greatly desire them to be saved, but whether I have done my duty to God is based on whether I took the opportunities to teach when they were presented (Ezekiel 3:17-21). "I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the increase. So then neither he who plants is anything, nor he who waters, but God who gives the increase" (I Corinthians 3:6-7).
Your friend acknowledges that God exists, but denies that God is involved with His creation. Why would he think that he is going to meet God after his death? What evidence does he have? How does he manage to know the mind of God without any communication from God? In other words, your friend lives in an imaginary world of a personally made-up religion; yet, somehow this is supposed to be an accurate representation of the God who made the universe.
People cannot create their own religion. We are too close to our own problems. "O LORD, I know the way of man is not in himself; it is not in man who walks to direct his own steps" (Jeremiah 10:23). Courage has nothing to do with this problem. Your friend claims that God wants men to use their heads, but he appears not to have thought his position through. He is basically advocating anarchy in religious matters -- everyone doing what they individually think is right. But when has anarchy ever worked in any system? "Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths" (Proverbs 3:5-6). How does a person claim to follow God when he is only following himself?
The god of his imagination accepts people of all religions. Yet, those religions teach contradictory beliefs. Thus, we must conclude that his god doesn't know what he wants or doesn't care. Where is the motivation to serve such a god? Why does he expect anything from such a god?
Don't argue on his level. Don't accept his terms and conditions. Demonstrate, instead, that Christianity is solid and reasonable. When he calls something "good" challenge him by asking how does he know what "good" is? Does his god care about "good?" How does he know? Plant seeds that may eventually grow into true faith in the real God.
Thank you, Jeff. That seems to work.
When I questioned the basis for what is good to him, he doesn't seem to know and is confused. All I hear is gibberish about science. I always tell people I'd rather live my life for God and find out later there isn't one than to not live my life for Him and find out He's there. However, I still wish my friends would wake up, but I guess Jesus was right when he said it is impossible that offenses not happen.
Thanks again, Jeff.