As an ex-Christian you've heard the same spiel, "You were never a Christian." How do you respond?
I often make this argument because I think it carries weight because it forces the issue as to what a Christian is. Let's keep it simple. A Christian does the following:
23 Jesus replied, “Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them. 24 Anyone who does not love me will not obey my teaching. These words you hear are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent me.- John 14:23-24
3 Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again. - John 3:3
I respond in four ways:]
I have never spoken to an apostate who understood what Jesus meant about being "born again". They had head knowledge (most of the time faulty if it was anything like what they think the Bible says now) but no change of heart and mind. No humble admission of sin or the need to submit all they are to God. Let's look at Loftus' "responses".
1) That's just one of your delusions. There are many more;
What about the apostates' delusions? If Loftus is saying that a believer is delusional then does that mean he was delusional when he believed? If so, how does he know he didn't trade one delusion for another? How does he know that he's not still delusional? Or that he used to see things clearly but now deluded? He offers no proof. No evidence. He just tosses it out there and doesn't seem to think it needs to be defended. But it does. There is no reason to accept it anymore then one needs to accept another's Christianity because they say they are or were a Christian. This is a much better explanation.
10And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.11And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie:12That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness. - 2 Thessalonians 2:10-12
2) Your God promised that if I believed he would save me. I believed, so why didn't he keep his promise?;
One of two things is true. Either the Bible is wrong or Loftus (or any Apostate) didn't believe.Given that the Bible is infallible and true that would make apostates at least mistaken if not lying if they claim they really believed the message. The gospel changes you in such ways that can't be be undone. Just like a person can't be unborn once he/she is born, you can't undue the spiritual birth. Today, many apostates not only claim that they used to believe but they say now that they have no sin. Accepting your status as a sinner is the first step in salvation. Denying that makes me wonder if the apostate ever really began to understand the depths of their own sin.
3) I don't care what you think. Deal with my arguments;
This is the best response Loftus offers but he and other open themselves up to having their "Christian experience" scrutinized because they make it part of their argument. Loftus and Dan Barker and others say, "See, I used to be like, but now I know better and you should join me in my way of thinking." Anyone who uses that has got to know that people are gonna wanna know if you were truly like them. I have not met or heard a single apostate be able to prove it.
21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ 23 Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’ - Matthew 7:21-23
4) You're right, because there isn't any truth to Christianity. I was never saved because Jesus doesn't save anyone and that includes you.
So option 4 is to contradict every one of the other responses and hope that no one notices the baseless assumption that no one could ever provide evidence for. What is this? A playground? I have one thing to say to apostates who would argue in this manner: "Inconsistent much?"
Debunking Christianity: My Responses to "You Were Never a Christian"
The second post deals with the disunity among Christians.
With over 30,000 different denominations and sects to choose from, Christianity bears no orthodoxy, no consistency and no authority whatsoever. It has hundreds of 'official' denominations who disagree, sometime violently on all foundational tenets of the religion. Given the general level of ignorance people have about the religion they adopt and their propensity for moulding it to be what they want it to be, one could argue that each Christian has their own denomination. We can state confidently, with evidence and reason that Christianity hasn't a clue what it believes or why. Until the Christianity’s can actually internally agree and harmonise what they believe and state why, they all remain a laughably absurd and unsubstantiated proposition to those who do not believe. Your argument is not with atheists, it's with the other 29,999 sects who view your Christianity as a joke. Link.
I've been reading Loftus' blog for a while now and he has written several posts about how atheist disagree with each other and don't have a united front. My question is should they be dismissed because they don't have their "act together"? Why not? Also I think Loftus overstates the disunity in Christianity. Ignoring Mormonism, Jehovah Witness, and some of the other cults out there that are not Christian, every mainline denominations would agree with the definition for historic Christianity I put at the beginning of my post. Don't like it? Fine. Then let's use CS Lewis' Mere Christianity. Most of the differences we see among Christians are not salvation issues. And I doubt that most atheists like John Loftus could point to a single major difference between Baptists and Presbyterians and Methodists that is so major that one must throw the other under the bus. The joke is really that people think that this is a consistent cogent argument but yet will not apply it to atheism. There are some atheists who think Loftus is stupid.and is hurting their cause.and there are some who Loftus thinks are not help them get rid of God either.
Debunking Christianity: Quote of the Day