I posted on THEREVLyle's youtube's page, he's a pastor debating with one of my favorite atheists (a former priest) Edward Tarte. I put up a comment where I said I supported ED and that I was a Former Baptist Sunday School teacher. I wrote that my questioning of the morality of the bible led to my eventual atheism and that hell was wrong no matter what context it was in.
Here's his response:
Atheists were never Christian. That statement alone proves that you DO NOT know scripture and evidently never did.
My knee jerk reaction was literally nausea, questioning the morality of the Bible and hell gave me a lot of pain especially in dealing with the loss of my brother who "hadn't found God" before he died. I'm now laughing about his ignorance but I'm worked up enough to post it here.
Oh dear GOD
That's such bullshit. I hate it when people pull that one on me. It's like, hell yes I was a Christian back then! I was taught that atheists and agnostics were confused, sad, lonely, lost sheep.
Just yesterday my mom was like "Those online sites have warped your mind." OMFG.
This always makes me go, Huh? Really!?! I remember on several occasions in my old church they would say "You never hear reports of people saying they are better off in their sin" or in other words "good without god". After I became an atheist I thought, "If I went to my former pastor and asked him to let me give the whole church the good news of atheism, Do you think he would let me up on stage?"
The really sad part is they do something bad, bad , bad, in saying that atheists were never Christians. They presume to know your heart and mind. They accuse us of being unable to be atheists because we cannot know for sure that there is no god. Then they do the same thing with our experiences, my question is "What are your testimonies worth?" If I cannot trust that the person who says they are "saved" really are 'cause they might actually be a atheist in sheep's wool. Any testimony of miracles, salvation, healing, blessing or anything are now moot and all we then can rely on is things that are proven. Good show, I like this argument, all atheist never really believed.
When evangelicals speak of 'being a Christian" they often aren't talking about mere belief or even actions. A 'real' Christian is supposed to have been changed by God through something like a magic spell. Some believe that if that spell has really been cast upon you, it will keep you from apostasy. The response I would give to someone with that sort of theology is that if that is what they mean than there are no Christians, there are just people who think they are Christians, because no one has really been en-spelled by the creator of the universe.
In response to "Atheists were never true Christians" , I deliberately take it as a compliment and thank them profusely for such kind words of acknowledgement of my greater intellect and rational thought processes, that I could never have been so dumb as to have been a "True Christian" like themselves. They will obviously deny that it is or was meant as a compliment, but then you can applaud their modesty and acknowledge that they can't be seen giving such a compliment such as this in the eyes of their Lord. I've even sent a greetings card to an old friend from church, who tried to deal me this "blow" on Facebook, thanking her. She mailed it back to me, torn in many pieces, but I'm sure she appreciated the sentiment.
I find if you try to convince them of how true your convictions were in the past, you are then defending yourself like a scorned little child. At which point they can easily say "If your convictions were so strong in the past and they changed, your current convictions however strong they may be now, can also be changed", no doubt with a little "I'll pray for you".
The trick in this type of conversation is not to allow them to beast you down into the submissive/defensive child role.
I'd like to tell that Ass-Hat the truth: Most atheists know more about the bible than most Christians and many of us tried so much harder to believe in God and Jesus Christ and the Bible than Christians themselves actually ever did. I know I tried to find every reason to believe. I can quote scripture just as well or better than any Christian and I'm far more loving and accepting of others than almost all Christians.
"Without being Christians, atheists are better Christians than Christians are and we don't even believe in Christ!!"....that's what I'd like to say to that guy!