What happened to the raving atheist?

Think you will never be moved by the Holy Spirit?

Think you were made to be a skeptic?

If so, you may be wrong…

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In December of 2008 a popular blogger known as “The Raving Atheist” announced his conversion to Christianity and changed the site’s masthead to “The Raving Theist,” dedicating it “to Jesus Christ, now and forever.” The unbelievers in his readership reacted with a combination of vitriol and, for lack of a better word, unbelief. The Raving Atheist had frequently denounced such conversion stories as hoaxes and believed it could never happen to him, until he experienced for himself what he now knows was God’s grace…

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Categories: Christianity

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32 replies

    • Thanks! Never underestimate the power of the Holy Spirit and His ability to soften the hardest of hearts.

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      • Yeah, his story and his actions are so familiar sounding The only thing I didn’t like about it is the lingering feeling that it’s for people like him that I still have to keep a line open to the unpleasant ones. Know what I mean?

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        • I know what you mean Wally, the unpleasant ones that challenge everything you stand for is what you really mean, and because you have no real answers it is easier to find an excuse to delete atheist comments out of existence and pretend they never happened.

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          • Do we have both real answers Steve or do we have plenty of real answers some are unable to believe?

            Knowledge of God is unique in that it is conditioned by moral and spiritual factors. A spiritually indifferent person can have a profound knowledge of physics, or literature, or history, or sociology, or even of theology. But a spiritually indifferent person cannot know God. According to the Bible, the knowledge of God is promised to those who honestly seek him.

            “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.”

            – Jeremiah 29:13

            “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.”

            – Mathew 7:7

            “Willing to appear openly to those who seek him with all their heart, and to be hidden from those who flee from him with all their heart, God so regulates the knowledge of himself that he has given indications of himself which are visible to those who seek him and not to those who do not seek him. There is enough light for those to see who only desire to see, and enough obscurity for those who have a contrary disposition.”

            – Blaise Pascal

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          • Hi Steve

            Point 1. “the unpleasant ones that challenge everything you stand for is what you really mean”

            Actually, I know precisely what I mean. Your attempts to tell me what I mean are just another indicator that your entire argument is based in the premise that I am stupid and you are not. But, thanks for your rather condescending effort to enlighten me as to what I meant.

            But in case you are unclear, what I meant is the unpleasant ones who don’t come to have an honest dialogue, but only disrupt. Not to sound pugnacious, as I know you are going to immediately ask me why I overreact. That includes you, Steve. Again, the bulk of your argument is based in the very clear idea that if only Christians weren’t so stupid, we would get it. Care to compare IQs and education, Steve?

            Point 2 “because you have no real answers it is easier to find an excuse to delete atheist comments out of existence and pretend they never happened.”

            Um, I delete nothing here. For somebody who constantly accuses others of mixing up facts, you really do the same yourself.

            Honestly, Steve, I won’t waste anymore time with you in discussion. Not because I don’t have answers, but because no answer will satisfy you. The failure here is not God, or Christians…it is you.

            The wonderful thing is, God forgives failure every day. Even the failure of rejection. Of course, the extension of that grace ends some day and your chances will be gone, But, as long as you have the breath to type out your rejection in words, you still have the opportunity to turn the other direction.

            Why won’t you today Steve?

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  1. Thanks for the link to this testimony.
    At first I thought it might be fake but the testimony rings true.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Great story. I pray that the Holy Spirit will open all eyes before Jesus returns.

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  3. James, the story states this former atheist became a Roman Catholic. Catholics are taught they must participate in their church’s sacraments in order to receive graces so they can obey the Ten Commandments and church rules. But no one will merit Heaven by trying to obey the Law. Catholics believe they must be in a mortal-sinless “state of grace” when they die in order to merit Heaven. That is not the Gospel. It’s an impossiblity. The writer states he received Catholic communion prior to becoming an official member of the church, which he acknowledges was a no-no. Catholics are taught only Catholics can receive the consecrated “host” (the alleged literal body, blood, soul, and divinity of Jesus) and only if they are without any “mortal” sin on their souls. Again, that is impossible. Sharing an account such as this as an example of Christian conversion muddies the Gospel of grace.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Hey Tom,

      I am not in love with the fact that he is now a Catholic but I do see evangelical atheism to belief a step in the right direction, that’s really what this is all about.

      Thanks for reading and commenting.

      James

      Liked by 1 person

      • Jim, I politely disagree. Believing in a works gospel is no better than being an atheist. This former atheist didn’t even have to bother converting to Catholicism because his pope says “good” atheists are going to Heaven. The real danger for Catholics and evangelicals in presenting an article like this as a conversion story is the muddying of the Gospel. We need to evangelize Catholics, not embrace them as fellow believers in the Gospel of grace. We don’t do them or doctrine-lite evangelicals any favors by obscuring the Gospel.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Absurd, Tom.
          We Catholics are indeed fellow believers in God’s grace.

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          • I agree James, some of them are.

            However, some Catholic teachings are unbiblical.

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          • The Catholic church teaches God’s grace is administered through its sacraments by its priests enabling Catholics to avoid sin so that they can hopefully be in mortal-sinless “state of grace” the moment of their death. That’s not the Gospel. Although Catholics give lip service to “grace” and “faith” it ultimately boils down to how well they “cooperated with grace.” That’s merit-based religiosity, not the Gospel. Catholics are taught obedience to the Ten Commandments is the way to Heaven but the Bible says the Law is a mirror which only condemns us.

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    • Hey Tom!

      Fancy meeting you here 🙂

      You and I read each other often, and talk often as well. In fact, you and I agree on just about every single point about what is true and what is not true. You also know that I think your work every day to expose and refute some very serious false teachings is extraordinarily valuable.

      On the other hand, this is a person we are talking about, and not and institution. Sometimes when we come full scale come after an institution a person is part of, that just makes them entrench even more solidly in what they are involved in. That’s simply human nature.

      I am not necessarily thrilled that this is where this person has headed, but at this point I would say we might make more progress in another way. As the saying goes, sometimes you get more flies with honey than vinegar. I talk daily with people who are proponents of things I consider false, yet they remain my friends, and they also know exactly how I feel, as I don’t shade the truth of what I believe just because they are friends. Yet…they remain friends. Perhaps in time they might come around to understanding truth, but it is my job just to share truth, not convince them. That’s the Holy Spirit’s job.

      Just my two cents

      🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thanks, Wally. I value your friendship and your posts. There’s some negatives in both approaches as we’ve talked about. Relationship evangelicalism works both ways. A September survey showed 58% of evangelical pastors believe the pope preaches the Gospel and is their brother in Christ. Not to pick on James’ blog but an evangelical posts an article about an atheist converting to Roman Catholicism and all the evangelicals praise the Lord. The former atheist in this article may have at least had some pangs about his previous belief system, but now he has evangelicals patting him on the back saying welcome to the family. I understand your point completely but in my opinion, there’s been way too much of that in evangelicalism to the point that Catholicism is now widely embraced as Christian. Most evangelicals don’t bother trying to witness to Catholics even by using honey because they believe they’re already saved. There’s been too much cordiality, not enough blunt honesty. I believe there’s room for both approaches but it’s abundantly clear that the pendulum has already swung WAY over to the one side.

        Liked by 2 people

        • You make a valid point there, Tom. I happen to believe firmly in presenting the Gospel to any ear that will listen. Give me half a chance and I will tell it to the person next to me in the pew on Sunday. My job is to tell it to anybody who will listen.

          🙂

          Liked by 1 person

          • Right, Wally. We can’t assume anyone has accepted Christ just because they sit in a church pew on Sunday. And when the undisputed, infallible leader of a certain very large religious denomination declares atheists will go to Heaven if they “follow their consciences” and are “good,” an alarm should be going off in the head of every evangelical who reads their Bible.

            Liked by 1 person

          • Sorry, Wally. One more point. Although we certainly can’t assume everyone who sits in a good evangelical church pew is saved, at least they get to hear the Gospel of grace. That can’t be said about Catholic churches.

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          • It’s Ok Tom, I do that a lot. Remember after the fact I mean to clarify more. Please understand I don’t disagree with your thoughts at all. What you do is important, just like the work of those who guard correct doctrine is important. But we can rail against the institutions that are wrong all day long and while that is perhaps needed, it’s just not how I roll. So, I have no ill feeling about it; it’s what you are called to do.

            Liked by 2 people

          • Not to be an offender for a word tom, but by this statement, you would also agree that in the synagogues, the Messiah is never presented. I would disagree on both counts.

            ‘The Lord hath laid on Him the iniquity of us all……….’ words clearly from the prophet, yet, God uses the same word to stir a soul in a seat, unbeknownst to a rabbi who may be reading it. That is the sovereignty of God yes?

            Many a believer sits in synagogues and Catholic churches, while many a false believer sits in a christian church. God’s grace is not so small as we imagine. Fair enough?

            Liked by 2 people

          • Hi Wally, Thanks for your last reply. Right, we’re not going to see this the same way but the Lord uses His different vessels for different people and circumstances. Sorry about the delay. I didn’t receive any notices and only saw your comments by checking the page itself.

            Liked by 2 people

          • WordPress on crack again LOL. Big surprise right?

            Liked by 1 person

          • LOL. Yeah, and I’m not the most computer savvy person anyway so I realy need everything to go right!

            Liked by 2 people

  4. Uh Tom, what believer do you know that instantly becomes the apostle Paul in doctrine and understanding of the mysteries of God?

    Let’s remember the context here, that an atheist,,,,,,,,,,,you know, at the very least, has turned to God………from idols. Can you not give an ‘amen?’

    C’mon, loosen the rope a bit, the word for the day is ‘God.’ And doncha know, sure you do, God is good. Good grief, some of us believers are mixed up in doctrine, but at least we are trying, as opposed to saying ‘there is no God.’

    Liked by 1 person

    • Got snark, CS? If the writer is a faithful Catholic he must believe that he must work his way to Heaven but that’s OK according to you since he now also “believes” in God and Jesus. Yes, open the gates wide for the Mormons and Jehovah’s Witnesses also since they also “believe” in God and Jesus. Oh, let’s just throw that restrictive Bible in the trash can for goodness sake, shall we, since everyone who names Christ “just loves Jesus.” The pope says even atheists will go to Heaven if they follow their consciences and are “good” but that’s just fine. What an unloving doctrinist I am!!!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Tom you talk very authoritatively on things you don’t understand. Your own words betray you “must believe that he must work his way to Heaven”. Again, absurd. The Catholic view of justification is the true one.

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    • Hey CS,

      You and Tom both make good points and are both on the same team.

      James

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  5. I think it was Ray Comfort that said atheists are the quickest people to backslide and apostate from their worldview.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I haven’t heard that but I believe it.

      Can’t say everyone is a Christian, they aren’t. But most people eventually come to believe in some sort of higher power.

      Atheism can’t be sustainable, there is just no peace or comfort in it at all.

      If atheists wish to argue that point, they need to wonde, if being free of the shackles of religion is so freeing,then why do they still seem so burdened by religion.

      Liked by 2 people

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