Friday, February 4, 2011

Atheist Tactic

From Ed:
 "First I’d like to thank you, for rich programming that you all offer.  I’ve only recently discovered your You Tube Channel, but enjoy the show every day.  I recently encountered an atheist, who claimed that the story of Jesus Christ is the same story of Hare Krishna.  Further, he claimed that the story of Hare Krishna, occurred several hundred years prior to the birth of Christ.  I later did some research online, and saw some sites supporting this story.  How do I address this claim?  Again, thank you for all the work you do, and God Bless you all."

Ed I am very pleased this issue has been brought to light as this is a tact I see many atheists using often across the internet and on the street! So lets take a look at this question broken down into the two claims that the atheist has made. I will give a bit of a commentary and time willing I will give an example of how I might engage this on the street.

(1) I recently encountered an atheist, who claimed that the story of Jesus Christ is the same story of Hare Krishna.

Look, take heed to what I am about to share! My beloved readers, I am about to unveil one of the most common tactics that atheists will use in an attempt to throw smoke in the air, evade the Gospel truth and take pop shots at you from a safe position. I was just on an atheist website the other day following a thread in which atheists were schooling each other in how to successfully pull this tactic off with a Christian. So here it is: When the atheist engages with you they will sometimes throw out an old debaters trick in which they will attempt to divert all attention off of themselves, remove all the burden of giving any account for why they believe what they believe! How? At some time in your interaction, the atheist will use a variation of:

"Well, 'what about Buddha' 'What about Muhammad' 'What about Mormons' 'What about Gandhi' 'What about Krishna?!" 

If you even give an inch here by addressing any one of the above you will be going down a rabbit trail that will truly never end! Do you really think the atheist will be satisfied when you defuse Buddha? Do you really think the suppressor of truth is going to just lay down now that you have untangled Krishna? No! They will go on and on boundlessly without any limits! Throwing their smoke up in the air they slide their personal views out of the equation and play peanut gallery as you deal with an endless barrage of phantom worldviews. Beware of this slight of hand as they are no longer representing themselves or even properly representing the pseudo worldviews that they attempt to collide into you! They are very comfortably out of the battle, in a safe place, no dog in this fight, but they certainly can play constant critic now from their non-existent position! So don't go chasing rabbit trails! You need to call them out, right up front! Are you a Hare Krishna, a Muslim, a Mormon, a Buddhist ect? They are not, they are atheists remember?! So let them know "sir if you aligned yourself with any of these I would be more than happy to dialogue on such issues but you don't and neither do I so I would like to engage with you and your beliefs rather than talk about a belief system that has no real representation today!" 

(2) he claimed that the story of Hare Krishna, occurred several hundred years prior to the birth of Christ. 

If for some reason you have taken the bait and stepped into the ring on this sweat! Ultimately there is a ready response that will take down and bring to submission the stronghold of all other works righteousness belief systems. 

The key in dealing with counterfeit beliefs is knowing the original! You don't need to have your doctorates in comparative religions, you don't need to be a Walter Martin (a personal hero in the faith), you don't need to have an exhaustive understanding of the ensemble of false systems of thought out there. You only need to know one thing in order to spot a counterfeit of any kind and that one thing is know the original!  

Speaking of exposing counterfeits, knowing the original is the same tact that U.S. Banks take in training their employees to take on the task of identifying and jettisoning counterfeit notes out of circulation. Above and beyond the man hours spent in learning to identify -the countless and ever changing- counterfeits; they put preeminence on handling and knowing the original so that when they encounter a counterfeit the differences will stick out as the idiom goes: like a sore thumb!

So know the Gospel truth which is the power of God (Rom. 1:16), fall in love with the uniqueness of Christ who is truth incarnate (Jn. 14:6) and know Scripture (2 Tim. 3:16) which is our sword (Heb. 4:12) and weapon that brings down every stronghold captive to Christ (2 Cor. 10:3-5).  There is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved (Acts 4:12). It is the differences that make all the difference between the true Gospel and false gospels (Gal. 1:8,9), and a great launching point in engaging with false systems of thought is to point out that all other religions and false systems of thought put man at the center of the arena as a works righteousness belief system. So be quick to point this out! Whatever it may be, whether Krishna, Buddha, Muhammad or any other: "The major difference is that they are works righteousness belief system and Christianity is not!" They don't have a coherent basis for Justice, Mercy, Grace, Salvation, Preconditions of intelligibility ect. A good way to to expose this is by affirming the impossibility of the contrary to Christianity. This will turn things around and cause your opponent to be required to give an account as to how whatever false system of thought they bring up could possibly account for such things. 

I should also point out that you ought to at least have the atheist shoulder the burden of representing whatever false belief system it may be that they posit. Let the interrogation begin as you probe and compare against the false solutions for sin, salvation, grace, ect. You have got a real winner on your hands with Christ so let that light so shine (Matt. 5:16), and under that light false systems of thought will be exposed (Jn. 3:20). 

Below is a treat for you folks as I was able to get you a sneak peak at some unseen footage of our upcoming The Way of the Master episode: "Zurich" in which Ray has an encounter with a group of Hare Krishnas! 

*I uploaded a low resolution for the web...The full episode will be available in HD soon here.  

Posted by: Chad Williams "Street Apologetics"