Atheists friend and anti Christian posts

(Jessica Coaker) #1

I have an Atheist FB friend from high school. The funny thing is, she use to be a Christian. I wrote another post about this friend around Easter. I struggle so hard. I engaged her once at Easter with the help of this connect community. It went well, she didn’t unfriend me, but she continues to slander all things Christian. She is extremely vocal about being pro abortion (it’s not even choice anymore) and LGTBQ issues and how horrible Christians are. She believes her middle schooler is gay. a
She says how the Bible is a terrible book about rape and murder and being racist and on and on and on.

It is so hard to watch her speak like this.
No one hardly ever says anything to her. She gets some thumbs up from a few people. And occasionally, someone will engage and she rants on about the same things.
I do not want to unfriend her necessarily. We have kids with some special needs that are similar and I have appreciated her help and encouragement with those issues. But do I just let her jabber on? I’ve tried to explain my faith to her and how I believe she is misinterpreting things. She isn’t rude to me necessarily, but I have a feeling even if she second guessed herself she’d never admit it.
Sometimes I think… as loudly as she screams her views now, what an amazing gift if she shouted that passionately about God and his goodness to the world. If her son is Gay, then will she always see the Bible as a horrible book?
Then today she posted about a preacher and went off on his anti-LGBTQ preaching. How are we to navigate as Christians when things like this come up?

I don’t know that I need to respond to her, but if I did… what would that look like? What is my responsibility as a follower of Christ?

4 Likes
(Kathleen) #2

Social media is an interesting place. There are a number of people who use it to scream into the void, and I don’t necessarily think we have the responsibility as Christians to respond to every rant people have. Some people are just going to be angry no matter what. :woman_shrugging:

Though, if I felt compelled to answer/acknowledge her, I would probably keep it short. Something like, ‘I agree that this is sad. Just know that this guy does not speak for true Christianity.’

What have you tried in the past?

2 Likes
(Jessica Coaker) #3

This is what I asked about concerning the same friend last time. I used much of the answers to my question when I replied to her. She never responded to them.

Previous post linked here

2 Likes
(Tara Pauls) #4

Hi Jessica, I just want to commend you for having a genuine interest in how best to present yourself as a Christian.

I would agree with Kathleen about social media being an interesting place. I was wondering if you have an offline connection with this friend. The reason why I ask this is because I find it difficult to have a a proper conversation in the context of social media. If your friend has such angry views in person as well, and you feel moved to pursue this friendship as an outreach opportunity, I would probably start by spending time with her and getting to know her again (of course geography may be a limiting factor😊). She sounds very angry and also incorrect if not irrational about biblical truths. If a face-to-face friendship were possible, I would hope that over time you might have the opportunity of demonstrating who Jesus is and what He is all about. You would also stand a better chance of getting at her real issue(s) with the God of the Bible. The real question(s) behind all the anger could then direct your response to her.

I am curious as to why she left the Christian faith in the first place given how angry she seems? Personal experiences? An experience with a friend or a loved one being abused by the church? I am reminded of a talk given by Ravi Zacharias in which he encourages skeptics not to base their faith on the so-called Christian, but to spend time in the Bible getting to know who this Jesus is for themselves before deciding to reject Him.

I hope there is something useful for you here. If not, just consider my thoughts as musings. May God bless you and give you wisdom in relating with this friend.

1 Like
(Tara Pauls) #5

I’m sorry Jessica. I didn’t see your response to Kathleen’s post until I sent my response.

(Jessica Coaker) #6

No worries! She lives in CA and I live in our hometown in VA. Opposite sides of the country. I went to high school with her. She was extremely conservative in high school and has changed so much.

I know something happened after high school, and I and pretty sure it was horrible. But I don’t know what. I know she was irritated that her church was only willing to use the Bible to legitimize the Bible. I gave her resources from here to answer those claims, and apologized for her experience at her church.
I keep feeling drawn to her posts. I will continue to pray for her. My hope is for God to soften her heart. Unless I can see an open friendly conversation, I am not going to engage in big debates. I do not want to feed into her very off view of what Christianity is. I hope that is the right thing for now.

5 Likes
(Tara Pauls) #7

Thank you, Jessica, for sharing more about your friend. Your decision not to engage in big debates with her, but to hold her in prayer seems wise to me. She will know you are a safe person to turn to when she has questions about the God who loves her.

Thank you also for reminding me about a similar relationship in my life and how important it is for me to keep my friend in constant prayer. After all, it is not my job to change her heart, but God’s.

Thank you again for bringing this concern forward and for loving your friend. You are a model of Christian love for the rest of us😊. Blessings.

3 Likes
(Kelly) #8

Hi Jessica. I can’t add much as it looks like you have received some really good feedback! I have a similar situation with a loved one; very conservative to very anti-Christian. But here’s something I see different in your friend’s life, you are sticking with your friend and that is commendable!! Never under-estimate the power of your unconditional love. The person to whom I referred had her Christian best friend just stop talking to her. It was devastating and only highlighted the negative of Christianity. Praise God that you are equipped to defend your faith when the time is right. But even more important is the love that you live before your friend.

Hang in there. Never give up on them!! We don’t see what God is doing in the secret places of their heart or know how God is using you.

5 Likes
(Godsgift ) #9

I heard a wise Christian friend say this once while having a similar challenge;
”I will continue to pray for her. My hope is for God to soften her heart. Unless I can see an open friendly conversation, I am not going to engage in big debates. I do not want to feed into her very off view of what Christianity is”… God bless your heart Jessica !

5 Likes
(Sieglinde) #10

Hi @Jessica_Coaker, bless your heart I can hear how desperate you are to defend your faith and help this person understand. My initial thoughts are that she must really be hurting and if her son is gay then she probably does feel the Bible rejects him therefore she rejects the Bible. She is being momma bear, and I would agree with her that the article (if true) is very disturbing. I don’t know your relationship with her but if possible you could suggest a book or even buy it for her and give it to her???


I would exercise as much love and restraint possible when and if I engaged in a conversation (not publicly) with her so she witnesses an example of Jesus Love. I might ask her what made her walk away from Christianity? Let her explain no matter how upsetting her words may be.
Most importantly, fast and pray. Ask the Lord for wisdom. He will guide you if it is meant for you to engage. I am praying for you and her this morning :pray:t3:

3 Likes
(Mark Gilliam) #11

Jessica,

Hurting people hurt people. She is hurting. Therefore, she hurts others. She is far from alone in her actions. I hurt people all of the time. Darn it. She and I both need an attitude change, but Jesus is working on me. Unfortunately social media greatly emboldens us and allows us to ignore each other’s humanity. I bet she is a lot different face to face. Most people are. I think people with differences need to look in each other’s eyes instead of engage in social media campaigns. We all need to recognize each other’s humanity.

Mark

2 Likes
(Kathleen) #12

Hello again, @Jessica_Coaker! I was just thinking about you yesterday, when I saw that this story that your friend posted went national (New York Times, CNN, etc.). I was perusing Facebook, when I noticed that another friend of mine, who came to Christ out of the LGBTQI+ community, had posted about his own sadness over the situation. He linked this article from a group called Lead Them Home, which addresses the situation:

Again, I don’t know how interested your friend is in actually discussing things, but it may go a long way with her if you merely share in her sadness and denouncement. If building a relationship is important to you, then finding common ground is crucial. It allows disagreements to be more respectful and (hopefully) fruitful. :slight_smile:

1 Like