It came up once in this thread. I think Hawk said it.
To paraphrase "why do you care what other people believe?".
If it was only that simple.
Atheists and Agnostics feel that anyone willing to accept the Bible as the word of God, and Jesus as the son of God might also be willing to listen a bit to carefully to the voices.
I guess I would say this reminds me of the GWB "talking to God" and knowing his decision to invade Iraq was the right one.
Now, many will say that hindsight is 20/20, and I'm cherrypicking my example. Fair enough.
And someone using strictly rational contemplation of the facts (as we knew them at the time) might have come to the same conclusion and taken the same actions.
But, it strikes many non-believers as the kind of stuff that religion can get involved in outside the realm of a personal relationship with the Almighty.
Because it just never seems to stay personal.
People want to spread the Good News.
Want to use spirituality to guide important decision making.
And, the American public, by and large, wholeheartedly APPROVES of this methodology.
This perplexes and sometimes annoys the non-believer.
The believer may say, "how is this any different than playing a hunch, a gut instinct?"
Well, I say it is different.
Because I submit that you aren't playing a hunch, or a gut instinct, but rather interpreting events through what you believe to be "God's plan". Just like GWB did. Or at least we have been told he used prayer and conversation with the Spirit to help him make his decision.
Perhaps I am making too much of both that incident and maybe the entire issue.
All I can say is, when I personally was "on fire" and a true believer, my ability to see the non-christian perspective on matters was almost nil.
Was this strictly a personal failing? Perhaps.
Absolutes existed, and were, in fact, very common.
But I can speak from both sides of this fence, and I know that I am a better person as a more rational person, rather than a "faith based" one.
I'm not sure if that made any sense.
GWB is an extreme example. Not well rounded, properly informed folks who don't get the air or face time to further distort things.
You have to use common sense in the middle of living by faith. Absolutely.
You got people that are against medicne. Is that biblical or what they came up with? Its what they came up with.
If me or my family needs medicne treatment, you better believe we will.
Will we also pray during that time? Totally.
I agree on being ready willing and able to listen. You have to. If someone wants to have a good discussion on this, by all means.
But as you have seen just in this thread, some can't or refuse too.
On the spreading good news vs policy. I believe in the separation of church and state. I get why the founding fathers put that in there.
Would I prefer to have prayer in school? Sure. Do I understand the political fallout and ramifications? Sure do as well.
To have anything closely faith based, even if it's done properly, those that typically don't believe have a very hard time reconciling with that and almost by default avoid that group or org to help. And that group may in fact have the best method going to help out. But because of the stigma things get lost.
It would be like someone not giving money to a org that say Sean Penn supports. Despite the possibility of the good that could come from that group, once they see Penn's name they go the other way.
Same with faith based groups.
As for spreading the good news, if something has helped you out or if you ate at a good spot or liked a movie why wouldn't you want to share that?
Now if the person sharing can't see the forest for the trees on somebodys reaction or understanding a time and a place to bring it up that is on them.
They way I see it, athiests or non believers etc are just as judgmental as the chirstians they disagree with. The only difference is one believes and the other doesn't.
Even in our most rational, even minded state, we still make bad moves and cause problems. Its called being human.
I have learned over the years that thru facts and data and spreadsheets and power point demos isn't going to convert anyone. It comes down to being a friend no matter what goes down.
Jesus himself didn't beat people over the head. He didn't even run around saying I'm the Son of God. He lived a daily life, didn't avoid people based on their background and made time for whomever. He would meet their needs on many levels and would tell them a way to live and it was take it or leave it.
Works for me.