I am having a hard time with my atheist friend

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MCF
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I am having a hard time with my atheist friend

#1

Post by MCF » Sat Jan 10, 2015 12:31 am

I'll be straight to the point. I'm 17, and I've been a Christian for a little over a year. At least that's how long I've been a real Christian. I had left the faith in early 2013 due capitulating to the incredible amount of hostility I received for my religious convictions. (I was repeatedly told to kill myself for not supporting gay marriage and abortion) after spending roughly a year of believing nothing (I never called myself an atheist), I gradually came back to Christianity, but my faith was much stronger.

However during my departure from the faith, I met a young girl about a year younger than me who was a committed atheist. We've gotten very very close, so she's basically my best friend. However, awhile ago she started becoming very depressed, and was contemplating suicide. I said that she shouldn't consider hurting herself an option because her life has inherent purpose and value. When she asked why I thought this way I said that all life has value to God, and even though we cannot help ourselves, Jesus Christ can redeem us.

At this she lashed out at me saying something roughly like this: "Because all you care about is pounding your religion into me! Instead of actually trying to help you're just smugly declaring why your religion is so great and Good and prevents suicide"

I'm still trying to understand how i was trying to pound my religion into her. I was trying to be helpful and wanted to share what gives me hope in life. How can I help her see that that's my sole intention? I just want her to understand that.

Sadly I am worried that she may have become so hostile to Christianity that I may MIT even be able to breach the subject again. I really want to clear up the misunderstanding,because it's a dear friendship I don't want to loose. I'm hurt that she thought I was uncaring and trying to manipulate her.

Tl:dr : what do you do when you share the gospel and end up getting called a bible thumper who only wants more converts? How do you address the situation?

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Re: I am having a hard time with my atheist friend

#2

Post by Mallz » Sat Jan 10, 2015 2:58 am

Welcome MCF, I'm glad you came back to following Christ; it's a tough path to take. But we can expect it, and the main reason why is because of what we represent. We want to break the chains that hold people in captivity, which can be hard to do as people hold themselves in the chains. It's good wanting to help, and don't be discouraged when your hand is bitten. Because it will be. In order to release someone of their chains we need to work with their pride. And the key is to work with it, not against it, as it will defend itself mercilessly. Know it is the Holy Spirit that opens eyes and allows understanding to sink in. So pray to our Father in how to listen to him in those moments when you are unsure what to do. Most times people just need us to be. You want her salvation, that's great. But leave it up to the Holy Spirit, and be the image of Christ for her. You, through the Holy Spirit, can draw her to Christ.

But she is sensitive against Christianity. So instead of stinging her with too much news that she can't see, allow it to unfold for her by your support. Follow and imitate the Holy Spirit by being: Loving, joyful, peaceful, longsuffering (patient), gentle, good, hopeful, meek and constant and being constant in these things. People need a shelter to rest. As children of God, we can give that shelter. And no one can heal until they feel safe. Let her feel safe, share your pain and wisdom, let God talk through you showing Him in you. In these times she doesn't need a teacher. She needs to feel.

That's my two cents, good luck ^_^

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Re: I am having a hard time with my atheist friend

#3

Post by 1over137 » Sat Jan 10, 2015 3:07 am

Dear MCF.

I am sorry that you and your friend go through this difficult time.
She is in great desperation so forgive her her reactions.

I would like to urge you to take her to counselor/doctor. It starts to be serious when one contemplates suicide.
It may be not a time now for explaining yourself but rather to show her your care and love through your deeds.

First questions doctor would ask are whether her sleep is affected, whether her appetite is affected. If yes, she may need medical treatment.

You may help her doing activities she enjoys. Whether it be walks in the nature or listening to music, or similar. She needs rest. She needs love in action.

She will know that you care about her. Real friendships do not need words.

Please, pray to God whether and what words to say in difficult situations. I will pray for you both.

Please keep us informed about her health as I am worried.
But examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good.
-- 1 Thessalonians 5:21

For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.
-- Philippians 1:6

#foreverinmyheart

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Re: I am having a hard time with my atheist friend

#4

Post by MCF » Sat Jan 10, 2015 8:31 pm

She is doing better now, and we actually did clear up the misunderstanding, so that's good.

She's had a rough, rough background with religion. She was partially raised Mormon, until her mother became an atheist. She followed soon after. Unfortunately, she has very abusive parents.

I'll just continue trying to display God's love in my own life, so she can see it too.

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Re: I am having a hard time with my atheist friend

#5

Post by Danieltwotwenty » Sat Jan 10, 2015 11:10 pm

MCF wrote:She is doing better now, and we actually did clear up the misunderstanding, so that's good.

She's had a rough, rough background with religion. She was partially raised Mormon, until her mother became an atheist. She followed soon after. Unfortunately, she has very abusive parents.

I'll just continue trying to display God's love in my own life, so she can see it too.

That is good to hear MCF, we cannot reason people to God and the best way to evangelise is to live a life that is an example to others, they will see that light and hope that resides within you and they will want to know the peace of Christ that you feel.

Sadly I know many people who have been hurt by religion, including myself and my family, it is very hard to rise above it and all we can hope for is that God is merciful to the broken hearted.

Matthew 5:3-10

3 “Blessed are the poor in spirit,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
4 Blessed are those who mourn,
for they will be comforted.
5 Blessed are the meek,
for they will inherit the earth.
6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
for they will be filled.
7 Blessed are the merciful,
for they will be shown mercy.
8 Blessed are the pure in heart,
for they will see God.
9 Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they will be called children of God.
10 Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
1Tim1:15-17
Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners of whom I am the worst. But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display his immense patience as an example for those who would believe in him and receive eternal life. Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory for ever and ever.Amen.

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Re: I am having a hard time with my atheist friend

#6

Post by MCF » Sat Jan 10, 2015 11:29 pm

Thanks, all of these replies have actually been very helpful!

She has been hurt my religion sadly. Apparently she thought I was saying that she was worthless because she was an atheist, but I meant nothing of the sort! ): I was saying that without Christ's sacrificial love, it's hard to find a reason explaining why life has value. Aka I am not an evolutionist not only because I find the theory flawed, but because the implications of evolution make life pointless and of no value.

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Re: I am having a hard time with my atheist friend

#7

Post by Danieltwotwenty » Sun Jan 11, 2015 3:27 am

Hey bro

Maybe now is not the time for philosophy, maybe just simply tell her she matters to you and that she gives your life some meaning and that you hope that you might give hers some meaning also, tell her she matters to you and that you hope you matter to her. I promise God will take care of the rest, just don't get bogged down in who is right or wrong or what science is right or wrong, because ultimately these things are of very little importance, especially when someone may be suicidal, just be her friend as Jesus is ours. I hope that makes sense.

Praying for both of you.
1Tim1:15-17
Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners of whom I am the worst. But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display his immense patience as an example for those who would believe in him and receive eternal life. Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory for ever and ever.Amen.

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Re: I am having a hard time with my atheist friend

#8

Post by 1over137 » Sun Jan 11, 2015 4:31 am

MCF wrote:She is doing better now, and we actually did clear up the misunderstanding, so that's good.

She's had a rough, rough background with religion. She was partially raised Mormon, until her mother became an atheist. She followed soon after. Unfortunately, she has very abusive parents.

I'll just continue trying to display God's love in my own life, so she can see it too.
I am glad you two worked the misunderstandings out and that she is doing better.

May God give you strength and patience and may he restore your friend's heart.
But examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good.
-- 1 Thessalonians 5:21

For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.
-- Philippians 1:6

#foreverinmyheart

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Re: I am having a hard time with my atheist friend

#9

Post by neo-x » Sun Jan 11, 2015 7:23 am

Christ's love when showed through you, works miracles. It can accomplish what no theology or philosophy lecture could ever do. Its a living testimony and it has a power to get peoples' attention. So if you are really worried about that, don't preach to her, show her first.

To be honest when was the last time anyone saw anyone coming to christ, because they were enamored by the theology and philosophy of Christianity. ;) i am not criticizing you, just saying try a different approach. Not to just preach to her but show her that she really matters.
It would be a blessing if they missed the cairns and got lost on the way back. Or if
the Thing on the ice got them tonight.

I could only turn and stare in horror at the chief surgeon.
Death by starvation is a terrible thing, Goodsir, continued Stanley.
And with that we went below to the flame-flickering Darkness of the lower deck
and to a cold almost the equal of the Dante-esque Ninth Circle Arctic Night
without.


//johnadavid.wordpress.com

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Re: I am having a hard time with my atheist friend

#10

Post by neo-x » Sun Jan 11, 2015 7:27 am

I have a very soft spot for people who fall into depression and think of suicide, (I have walked closed to that line in my teenage), pray for her, care for her. God obviously cares for her, since he has you near her to listen to her or talk to her.
It would be a blessing if they missed the cairns and got lost on the way back. Or if
the Thing on the ice got them tonight.

I could only turn and stare in horror at the chief surgeon.
Death by starvation is a terrible thing, Goodsir, continued Stanley.
And with that we went below to the flame-flickering Darkness of the lower deck
and to a cold almost the equal of the Dante-esque Ninth Circle Arctic Night
without.


//johnadavid.wordpress.com

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Re: I am having a hard time with my atheist friend

#11

Post by jlay » Sun Jan 11, 2015 5:18 pm

Grace, grace, grace.
Smother her in grace. Be a friend. Don't argue. Let her know that despite different beliefs, you care, value her, and want the best for her.
And then don't be surprised if she starts asking lots of questions.
Oh, and pray.
-“The Bible treated allegorically becomes putty in the hands of the exegete.” John Walvoord

"I'm not saying scientists don't overstate their results. They do. And it's understandable, too...If you spend years working toward a certain goal and make no progress, of course you are going to spin your results in a positive light." Ivellious

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Re: I am having a hard time with my atheist friend

#12

Post by MCF » Mon Jan 12, 2015 11:32 pm

Thanks for all of your advice. She's better than she was, and I intend to just love her like Christ loves us all. Actually, strangely enough she enjoys discussing theology with me. She finds it intriguing.

She's still very depressed, though. She has clinically diagnosed depression, but hasn't started taking any antidepressants. She was sexually assaulted in October of this last year, and she occasionally has recurring trauma from that. I don't think she's "angry at God" though.

Sometimes being loving can be difficult because I have bipolar disorder, and I can become very hostile. It's a very frustrating struggle.
Deeper into this abyss
Weighted down and sinking fast
Life did not offer me
More than false destiny
I feel nothing
I am nothing
I feel nothing
I am nothing

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Re: I am having a hard time with my atheist friend

#13

Post by PaulSacramento » Tue Jan 13, 2015 7:59 am

MCF wrote:Thanks for all of your advice. She's better than she was, and I intend to just love her like Christ loves us all. Actually, strangely enough she enjoys discussing theology with me. She finds it intriguing.

She's still very depressed, though. She has clinically diagnosed depression, but hasn't started taking any antidepressants. She was sexually assaulted in October of this last year, and she occasionally has recurring trauma from that. I don't think she's "angry at God" though.

Sometimes being loving can be difficult because I have bipolar disorder, and I can become very hostile. It's a very frustrating struggle.
The problem of evil/suffering is one of the BIGGEST issues and why many do become atheists.
It is understandable, I know, I have been there before I found Christ and even now, I have my bad days.
Be there with love and compassion and the HS will find a way, if she is willing.

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Re: I am having a hard time with my atheist friend

#14

Post by MCF » Fri Jan 23, 2015 11:02 pm

A lot has happened....One day she just said she felt like God was watching her and she didn't want to disappoint him. She asked if I thought she ought to convert. I said she certainly should think about it. I feel deeply guilty. I should've advocated the gospel more. I feel like....what if that was the o my chance she ever had at coming to Jesus and I ruined it? Also, she tried to kill herself, and only decided not to after I begged to her.

Apart from that, I'm having my own issues. I have bipolar and borderline personality disorder. Both are so severe that it's becoming apparent that I will never be able to have a normal life. It's very, very hard to cope with and it affects my relationships. (Particularly with the aforementioned friend)
Deeper into this abyss
Weighted down and sinking fast
Life did not offer me
More than false destiny
I feel nothing
I am nothing
I feel nothing
I am nothing

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Re: I am having a hard time with my atheist friend

#15

Post by MCF » Fri Jan 23, 2015 11:40 pm

Oops I stated I have mental issues twice! '~'
Deeper into this abyss
Weighted down and sinking fast
Life did not offer me
More than false destiny
I feel nothing
I am nothing
I feel nothing
I am nothing

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