Potential Conversation With a Pastor - ADVICE NEEDED
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26-04-2010, 08:09 AM
 
RE: Potential Conversation With a Pastor - ADVICE NEEDED
Oh, so you plan to go ahead with it? Best of luck then. ^_^

Yes, I know what you mean though, it is often very challenging to pick a location to start from, there are so many to choose. Often, I have found that sitting in a reactionary position works quite well. Simply sit there while his arguments are either deflected, dodged, or agreed upon, and from there begin the retaliation from your own front, as you slowly eat away his position.

Would you like to try going up against me? (Yahoo IM: godofcider)
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26-04-2010, 08:44 AM
RE: Potential Conversation With a Pastor - ADVICE NEEDED
I'm not really in a position to IM at the moment, but thank you for the offer.

What I meant though was I literally don't know how to segue his email into a conversation.

His email reads (items in red have names replaced):
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TheSixthGlass ,

I received this info about a great theological debate that you might find of intellectual interest. Live Internet Stream available. See details below.

TheSixthGlass Wife told me that you are coaching this year and doing really good at it. I'd love to go see a ball game before the season is over.

Have a great week

Mr. Pastor
----------------
And then there is the link and info about the debate. I'm not all that interested in the debate that he sent the info on.

I guess I could say - "Thanks for the info. I might check it out. TheSixthGlass Wife has been asking me to speak with you for some time now, though. So I guess this would be a good opportunity to ask you why you believe God exists?"

Our brains deceive us on a regular basis, so we have to find ways to fight back.
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26-04-2010, 08:52 AM
 
RE: Potential Conversation With a Pastor - ADVICE NEEDED
Yes, I suppose that kind of response would work well. From the looks of it, he's just testing the waters, if you know what I mean. I also liked the slide in of the second sentence, reminds me of a proposed bill getting passed, because of an adjoining clause stating that it would also produce funds for cancer research or something. ^_^
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26-04-2010, 08:57 AM
RE: Potential Conversation With a Pastor - ADVICE NEEDED
Haha, yes, the second sentence read, to me, "hey, uh, this isn't the only reason I was writing you..." - especially when these games take place at a public park. No one needs my permission to go see a ballgame.

Our brains deceive us on a regular basis, so we have to find ways to fight back.
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28-04-2010, 08:49 AM
RE: Potential Conversation With a Pastor - ADVICE NEEDED
I have the response message ready... I just need to hit send. I have written:

"Thanks for the info, I might check it out, but probably won't have the time.

I suppose this would be a good opportunity to ask you why you believe God exists.

You're welcome to come see a game anytime. Our next one is _____ at ____, then we've got one _______ at ______."

However, I am still hesitant to send this, and am reflecting in some amateur self-psychoanalysis. I have never asked anyone other than my wife this particular question (why someone believes God exists). Truth be told, I am a bit intimidated by the prospect of this conversation. By nature, I am non-confrontational, and generally, I like to try to see both (or all) sides of an issue. It is very difficult for me to say "no, I think you're wrong" to anyone, on almost any topic, let alone one that is so personal to so many. I think that too, is why I have argued with my wife so much over this issue. It's almost as if I tend to drift back into my former theistic/deistic mindsets that I had for so long - sometimes I think I get frustrated at myself, for knowing where the evidence is (or is not) and still clinging on to old mindsets. So when I see references to my old mindsets in other people, I just want to slap somebody (figuratively speaking, of course).

The other hangup is that, as I've said, I am being a bit deceptive in this. The fact is, I do not care what this individual thinks or believes. I do not find this person to be all that respectful, nor deserving of any extra esteem (past that of being a fellow human being). I only have a connection with him because he is linked to my family. Further truth be told, my real curiosity lies in why people, specifically my wife and in-laws, find this man to be worthy of listening to 2 or 3 times a week. He's not particularly charismatic or charming. He reminds me of a used car salesman, and a bit of a jackass. To me, his demeanor reeks of false humility and phoniness. Some of that comes from the fact that he is not a native English speaker, and I think some of his mannerisms and speech patterns were just picked up from other pastors and preachers. But after every sermon I hear, I just want to scream "what is the big deal?"

The fact of the matter is that I am really only doing this because my wife has asked me to talk to this man in the past. She's asked me to talk to him, he's opening the lines of communication, so I should just press 'send.' It is a fair question, and certainly a valid one to be directed at a person who has decided to dedicate their life to the service of a deity. Surely such a person has a good, logical reason for believing God exists, and has called him to be of service.

Our brains deceive us on a regular basis, so we have to find ways to fight back.
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28-04-2010, 09:09 AM
 
RE: Potential Conversation With a Pastor - ADVICE NEEDED
"Surely such a person has a good, logical reason for believing God exists, and has called him to be of service."

"So when I see references to my old mindsets in other people, I just want to slap somebody (figuratively speaking, of course)."

.....

So anyways, the message looks fine, though I might reconsider rephrasing the second line. And I would never recommend engaging in conversation over a topic that you do not want to talk about, with someone you do not want to talk about it with. On the other hand, as you put it, your wife wants you to. Not much I could really recommend there for such a personal situation; ultimately it will come down to you every time.
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28-04-2010, 09:16 AM
RE: Potential Conversation With a Pastor - ADVICE NEEDED
(28-04-2010 09:09 AM)Ceryle Wrote:  So anyways, the message looks fine, though I might reconsider rephrasing the second line. And I would never recommend engaging in conversation over a topic that you do not want to talk about, with someone you do not want to talk about it with. On the other hand, as you put it, your wife wants you to. Not much I could really recommend there for such a personal situation; ultimately it will come down to you every time.

Yeah, I understand that. It's what makes this difficult.

How would you recommend rephrasing the second line?

Our brains deceive us on a regular basis, so we have to find ways to fight back.
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28-04-2010, 09:25 AM
 
RE: Potential Conversation With a Pastor - ADVICE NEEDED
Maybe something like this: (Mind you it is kind of...biased I suppose. >_< )

"My wife has been pressuring me as of late, I'm certain due to no outside influences, to speak with you in regards to the Christian doctrine of belief. If you feel that you can create a reasonable argument in support of your case, then I would not be opposed to hearing it."
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28-04-2010, 09:55 AM
RE: Potential Conversation With a Pastor - ADVICE NEEDED
Maybe that is more in the right direction... because Christianity is specifically what I actually am more interested in, and would be dealing with. I, personally, can at least understand why some people might believe in the possibility of a god, or gods, to some extent. What I don't get is how people believe that god to be the Christian God, and believe that God is, among other things, just and true and worthy of worship.

It's also interesting to me that even the best arguments for the existence of God only seem to support the Deistic version of God, and never the Theistic version, at least in my experience.

Our brains deceive us on a regular basis, so we have to find ways to fight back.
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28-04-2010, 09:57 AM
 
RE: Potential Conversation With a Pastor - ADVICE NEEDED
What kind of arguments are these? To date, I have never encountered a reasonable argument, in support of gods, divine entities, or the supernatural.
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