Christian: Hello, Friend. Do you have a moment?
You: Sure. What’s up?
Christian: I would like to share the Good News of Jesus Christ with you.
Christian: Jesus Christ. He is God’s Son who came to earth to die for our sins and to make it possible for us to live forever with God after we die. He loves you and wants to save you.
You: Save me? Which god are you talking about?
Christian: There is only one God, my friend.
You: Are you joking? There are many religions and many gods. So which god are you talking about?
Christian: The God of the Hebrews, Yahweh. Well…he used to be the God of the Hebrews. Now he’s our God, the Christian God.
You: Never heard of him.
Christian: Yahweh is the one and only true God.
You: How do you know that?
Christian: Because the Bible says so.
You: What is the Bible?
Christian: The Bible is God’s…Yahweh’s…Holy Word to mankind. It is a collection of writings by many different authors over several thousand years.
You: I thought you said your holy book, the Bible, was a message from your god, Yahweh?
Christian: Yes, it is. Yahweh inspired the many men who wrote the books to write down his message to mankind.
You: What proof do you have of that? Maybe the men just wrote down their own thoughts and ideas.
Christian: The proof that God wrote it is that all 66 books of the Bible are in full harmony with one another.
You: Well, isn’t it possible that the reason that all the books are in harmony is that the men who compiled the Bible made sure to only include books that agree with one another?
You: I mean, it isn’t as if you are claiming that your holy book floated down out of the sky from your god. Men wrote it. Men compiled it. Men edited it. You can’t prove that your god wrote it.
Christian: But there are many prophecies in the Bible that have been fulfilled.
You: Many religions claim that their holy books contain amazing prophecies that have been fulfilled. What proof do you have that the “prophecies” in your holy book weren’t written after the fact? I mean, can you prove who wrote the prophecy and when he wrote it? If you can’t, you must admit that it is possible that the event prophesied had already happened and that the author of the book of the Bible wrote as if he were prophesying an event he knew had already occurred.
Christian: But these were men of God. They wouldn’t lie.
You: You’ve got to be kidding. History is full of religious leaders who lied for their own gain or to further their “cause”.
Christian: Well, Jesus died and rose again. That is the best proof that the Bible is true.
You: He WHAT??
Christian: Jesus was crucified on a cross, buried in a tomb, and three days later was resurrected—came back to life—and was seen by over five hundred people before he ascended into heaven.
You: Wait, wait, wait. Are you trying to convince me that your leader, Jesus, was killed, was dead for three days, and then came back to life to later fly off into outer space?? Do you really believe that such things happen??
Christian: I know it seems hard to believe, my friend, but we have written record that two thousand years ago, in the first century, over 500 people saw Jesus alive again, in a resurrected body, a body that could walk through locked doors and appear and disappear in the blink of an eye.
You: You’ve got to be kidding me. That sounds straight out of a Sci-Fi flick. So let me hear the eyewitness statements to this unbelievable story.
Christian: We have great eyewitness testimony. We have four books written shortly after Jesus’ death that give the testimonies of these 500 plus eyewitnesses.
You: Who wrote the books?
Christian: Well, we aren’t 100% sure, but we think that they were written by two of Jesus’ disciples and one disciple of one of Jesus’ disciples, and one disciple of a Christian leader who saw Jesus in a vision several years after Jesus’ death, resurrection, and ascension into heaven.
You: What do you mean that you aren’t sure who wrote the four books? Don’t the books say who wrote them?
Christian: No. The books are anonymous, written in the third person, and written several decades after the events, in foreign lands.
You: So how do you know that (at least two of) the books were written by eyewitnesses?
Christian: Well, Christians have always said so.
You: Hmm. Ok. Name one Christian in the first century who said that these books were written by the men Christians claim wrote them.
Christians: Well, we don’t have anyone in the first century who claims that these books were written by eyewitnesses.
You: So when?
Christian: The second century, approximately 130 AD.
You: So isn’t it possible that someone else wrote the four anonymous books and later Christians attributed them to someone famous to give the books more authority?
Christian: No, I don’t believe that is possible.
You: Why not.
Christian: Because they were men of God. They wouldn’t lie like that.
You: I thought we already confirmed that religious leaders DO lie, for many reasons.
Christian: Well, we also have another eyewitness, Paul of Tarsus.
You: Who is that?
Christian: He was a Jew who hated Christians and even hunted them to capture and kill them. He was traveling on a road when Jesus appeared to him and told him to be his missionary to the Gentiles.
You: The dead Jesus appeared to him? Do you really believe that dead people appear to people?
Christian: Well, not usually, but in this case I do.
You: Why? Tens of thousands of people have claimed to have seen and talked to dead people. Why believe one man’s tale of seeing a dead person, especially a man who lived two thousand years ago?
Christian: A devout, educated Jew would not have converted to Christianity unless something really dramatic happened. Only seeing the dead but resurrected Jesus would convince Paul.
You: Aren’t you making an assumption? Isn’t it possible that a very devout person could convert to another faith for other reasons? Maybe he felt guilty about killing people and had a very vivid dream in which he BELIEVED that Jesus had appeared to him.
Christian: No, there is only one reason that Paul would convert and suffer terrible persecution and even death: He saw the resurrected body of the dead Jesus!
You: That is a very big assumption, my Christian friend. I don’t think you can prove that.
Christian: Well, other convincing evidence is this: Millions of Jesus’ followers have died for their faith. People would not die for a lie.
You: Do you have any record of even one of Jesus’ disciples, who claimed to be a witness to the resurrection of Jesus, being executed because he refused to recant seeing this resurrected body?
Christian: Well, we have Tradition that says so.
You: But no actual record, huh?
You: Tens of thousands of people, of many different faiths, have died for their religious beliefs. Their willingness to die can’t be proof that they are all correct.
You: Your evidence for your belief system isn’t very good, my Christian friend.
You: I thought you said Jesus loves me!
Christian: He does, but if you reject his love, he will be forced by his holy righteousness, to toss you into a dark pit where you will suffer unspeakable torment for your wicked sins FOREVER!
You: What a bunch of crap! You start off trying to convert me with talk of love and salvation, but when that fails, you threaten me with torture. You have a sick belief system, friend. You are a member of a cult. A cult with pathetic evidence to support its claims. Open your eyes. Your belief system is nothing but an ancient, silly, superstition.