What’s the best way to answer a person that’s Agonistic or atheist when they ask you questions about the Bible? Mostly they want to argue the subject …. not always… my kids have friends that aren’t Believers and They’ve been questioned and mocked numerous times. The friend will say, “How can you say God is real, you haven’t seen him?”, “The Bible has been re-written so many times, how can you say it’s even accurate?”, “Random people wrote different books in the bible, so why believe what it says as true”, “Prove to me God exists, oh you can’t because you’ve never seen him and it’s just a book…” 

I’ve told my kids not to argue the subject. If someone really wants to know then definitely talk with them but the ones you talk to that’s like talking to a brick wall but they still continue to ask questions to only try to make you second guess yourself or prove their point God doesn’t exist… just walk away. Tell them nicely that this isn’t up for debate and mocking me or God isn’t okay with me and if we really are friends you need to respect my beliefs and stop bringing it up. My question was asked more about how my kids could answer people like that but it’s also a good question for adults because sometimes our answers will never be good enough regardless. What’s the best way to simplify our response with 100% confidence and 100% simple fact (from the bible) to make our Encounters with non believers when asked things like this easier and to the point

This is a great question!  The first thing I would like to emphasize is – if the mocking is coming from “friends” then these are NOT friends.  If they are going to mock and belittle you for your beliefs then they can’t be trusted with anything personal.  These are bullies and should be dealt with as such.  friendship is a relationship with mutual respect and care for one another.

As for answering these questions, my advice is – don’t.  These types of non believers don’t want you to answer, they only want to show you how dumb it is that you believe the way you do.  It is their mission to undo everything you believe because it isn’t logical. 

For these types of situations, it is important to set up personal boundaries.  Just because someone asks the question, doesn’t mean you have to give them an answer.  If you know that they aren’t really asking because they are seeking then you can politely but firmly say, I’m not going to discuss my personal beliefs with you.  If they can’t take no for an answer – walk away.  Consistency is the key here.  If they continue to ask, you have to continue to respond the same way. 

For those that genuinely want to know even if they don’t believe, then you can enter into conversations with those people. 

I would like to recommend a book that I think everyone should read.  It’s called Boundaries by John Townsend and Henry Cloud.  It is so important that we learn how to set boundaries and recognize that we do not owe anyone personal details.  For example: If someone invites you somewhere and you say you aren’t going to make it, you do not owe them an explanation as to why you aren’t going to make it.  It isn’t any of their business.  

Setting personal boundaries can be a great help in these types of situations as well.  It can help children and adults learn to stand up and simply say, “No, I’m not going to have this discussion” with confidence.  After all, they don’t need to hear you say why you aren’t going to discuss God with them – because they already know.

I hope this helps.

Blessings,

From Christy:

This is a tough one because we want our kids to know that they can have full confidence in their faith, but we also want them to understand that sometimes people aren’t asking in good faith, but rather to antagonize and argue. If this were one of my children, I’d tell them not to argue, just change the subject, and explain to them that there were lots of things that they have in common so there was no need to focus on what they differ on. This will lead to them respecting you more because they’d see you as nice instead of someone who argued with them all the time – even though they were initiating the argument. At the end of the day, these people are seeking to initiate a conversation that will bear no fruit, so you can instead choose to talk about something where fruit can grow. These interactions foster respect, kindness, and friendship, which are a foundation for future conversations should antagonizers become seekers. 

I usually hear of these situations taking place among adults more often than not. In those situations, I always ask myself this question: “Are they really asking to learn or have they already made up their mind and they are simply looking to antagonize or start an argument?” 

I remember 2 Timothy 2:24: The Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful.

I want to be kind, not thought of as someone who is argumentative, and getting into an argument that has no end and will bear no fruit is the perfect way to remove all hopes of achieving that goal. 

It is fairly easy (with practice) to realize who is asking out of sincere curiosity and desire to learn. I will spend all day talking to those people and I never feel threatened by their questions because I know that the truth has nothing to fear from inspection. Another tool in my arsenal that has proven far more helpful than most people realize is this: I don’t ever feel like I need to know all the answers. There is honor in admitting that we ourselves are still seekers of the Father’s wisdom. There are no “gotcha” questions because I’ve never set myself up as having the answer to every question. After all, if we are all knowing, why do we need a God?

I think this is where most apologetics teachers/fighters lose the respect of their audience, they themselves approach this with a know-it-all attitude. A truly wise person is a lifelong learner. Further, it is important to be confident enough in YHWH to allow people to have their questions. I am not threatened by any question about my God because I know that the truth will stand when the world is on fire. When people are sincerely questioning, I encourage them to keep it up and to read the whole bible for themselves – that separates the casual from sincere questioner real quick because most believers aren’t even willing to do that. 

In this polarizing day and age, I am asked, weekly, how to argue with someone regarding the Bible or some other faith matter, and I always tell them that I don’t. I leave them be. To someone who has only opinion, the Bible will not make a difference. Tragically, these arguments usually take place between believers – but one has opinion and has decided they are right and the other wants to bring the Bible into it (See Luke 16:31). If someone does not know the the bible, nor care to know, therefore arguing with it is moot. This is what I mean when I say, “You can’t take the Bible to an opinion fight.” 

There will always be those who are sincerely seeking so I don’t have time to argue with those who have already decided they are right – whether they be believers or unbelievers. My goal is to live at peace with them and to humbly love and serve them whenever the Father gives me an opportunity to do so in hopes that, should they become seekers at some point, they will think of me as someone they can approach with questions without judgement. 

In closing:

Arguing takes a lot of energy and time. 

Arguing with someone who is absolutely convinced that they are right and and will not hear otherwise is fruitless. 

Meanwhile there are so many who are seeking. Therein lies the fruit. Don’t be distracted by the fleshly desire to argue that you leave unwatered all the flowers the Father has planted along your path. 

 

About the Seeking Scripture Team: We are a group of believers from all walks of the faith, saved by grace alone through faith in our Messiah. While we are of one accord in many things, we are all works in progress and lifelong learners. Therefore the opinions of one may not always represent the opinions of all.