Oh dear, I’ve had a lot of experience with that (and a couple other) atheist websites lately. Not good, not good at all. But it is important to read the best arguments from the “other side” in order to ground your faith firmly in reason.
When you read about Biblical contradictions, ask yourself, “What, precisely, is the contradiction here?” Atheists absolutely love juxtaposing little snippets of various Bible passages and pointing to alleged contradictions. Let’s look at the passages in a bit of context, using the NAB translation:
Matthew 5: 13-16 (Note that this is during the Sermon on the Mount):
"You are the salt of the earth. But if salt loses its taste, with what can it be seasoned? It is no longer good for anything but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot. You are the light of the world. A city set on a mountain cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and then put it under a bushel basket; it is set on a lampstand, where it gives light to all in the house. Just so, your light must shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your heavenly Father.
Matthew 6: 1-4, 16-18:
(But) take care not to perform righteous deeds in order that people may see them; otherwise, you will have no recompense from your heavenly Father. When you give alms, do not blow a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets to win the praise of others. Amen, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you give alms, do not let your left hand know what your right is doing, so that your almsgiving may be secret. And your Father who sees in secret will repay you…]When you fast, do not look gloomy like the hypocrites. They neglect their appearance, so that they may appear to others to be fasting. Amen, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, so that you may not appear to be fasting, except to your Father who is hidden. And your Father who sees what is hidden will repay you.
I hardly think this necessitates a comment. The one says to be a light to the world; in essence, to be a reflection of the Father’s glory. The other says not to boast and brag and do good deeds for your own glory, like the hypocrites do.
I’m really getting fed up with these atheist websites. I’ve literally seen them quote Bible passages out of context and say that they mean the precise opposite of what they actually mean http://forum.catholic.com/images/smilies/mad.gif