This one stumped me


#1

In a discussion in another online forum, an argumentative athiest told me he would believe when I demonstrated that I could drink poison and survive, citing Mk 16:15-19. I have to admit, I didn’t know how to respond. Can anyone give me some help here?

Thanks,
Chief

"15 He said to them, “Go into the whole world and proclaim the gospel to every creature.
16 Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved; whoever does not believe will be condemned. 17 These signs will accompany those who believe: in my name they will drive out demons, they will speak new languages. 18 They will pick up serpents (with their hands), and if they drink any deadly thing, it will not harm them. They will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.” 19 So then the Lord Jesus, after he spoke to them, was taken up into heaven and took his seat at the right hand of God. "


#2

[quote=Chief]In a discussion in another online forum, an argumentative athiest told me he would believe when I demonstrated that I could drink poison and survive, citing Mk 16:15-19. I have to admit, I didn’t know how to respond. Can anyone give me some help here?

Thanks,
Chief

"15 He said to them, “Go into the whole world and proclaim the gospel to every creature.
16 Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved; whoever does not believe will be condemned. 17 These signs will accompany those who believe: in my name they will drive out demons, they will speak new languages. 18 They will pick up serpents (with their hands), and if they drink any deadly thing, it will not harm them. They will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.” 19 So then the Lord Jesus, after he spoke to them, was taken up into heaven and took his seat at the right hand of God. "
[/quote]

If you were one of the Apostles, you could do all that. You may recall that Saint Paul was bitten by a snake on Malta, and everyone was amazed at his survival.

Whenever you run into something like this, the first step is to read not only the cited texts, but the whole message in context – in this particular case, it is the Commissioning of the Eleven, and it is they who are told they will perform these signs, not every Christian forever.


#3

The Lord says use athiests as test models. :smiley:


#4

Jesus also said “You shall not put the Lord your God to the test.”


#5

SPOKENWORD–I haven’t been here long, but I have read numerous posts from you—you crack me up!!! A good sense of humor can go along way—thanks!!!

God bless, chris


#6

First of all explain that context takes precedence (as already cited here).

Secondly, as a Catholic, you have a moral obligation, not only to put the Lord your God to the test, but to take action to preserve your own life. If your “friend” is insisting that you drink poision to prove him/her wrong, they are not looking for the truth…they are playing games. As you are already several steps ahead, there is no need for you to bow to their method of “proof.”

The problem with atheists is that they look for physical manifestations of existential evidence. They are not on the same plane and cannot be argued. One can not argue faith with someone who thinks they need to dig through the dirt to search for oxygen.

Grace is what provides anyone the gifts of the Holy Spirit. Use the lives of the saints as an example.

My confirmation saint is St. Christina. I chose her because one of the Christinas’ died a martyr after an extraordinary life. I believe some of what I read was actually legend, but even this legend had a following. (Do research if you go this route to avoid any question as to the mysticism of the saints). In this case. St. Christina preached the truth; her tongue was ripped out and she spoke more eloquently than before. Her persecutors blinded her but she saw more clearly than before. They deafened her but she heard their very thoughts. They put her in a furnace, and she walked around in the fire. Etc. Finally they threw her into the ocean to drown her and she was saved by St. Michael. The point of course is that she was in a state of grace, God gave her, as he did Daniel, the ability to overcome all forces as visible/physical evidence of his Truth. She drank the poison and she overcame, in effect; but it was not some person asking her to volunarily do something life threatening; it was forced upon her as a death sentence and God saved her. Context here rules as well.

Look also to the Gospels in general. I can’t remember the verse or chapter, but it sitates that, paraphrased, “Those who come to the Lord’s table are called; those who are called are justified. And those who are justified are subsequently …(something)” Sorry, my memory fails me.

This last is not so much to be revealed to your friend, but rather something for you to remember…you are a believer, therefore you have been called, and if you continue to follow, you will be justified. It could be that your friend has not yet been called.

Pray.


#7

Jesus gave special gifts to THE APOSTLES so they could spread the word. Yes the APOSTLES could survive pioson and snake bites. This wasn’t given to the regular people or us.


#8

[quote=chris138]SPOKENWORD–I haven’t been here long, but I have read numerous posts from you—you crack me up!!! A good sense of humor can go along way—thanks!!!

God bless, chris
[/quote]

Hi Chris, Happy New Year. You really have to have a sense of humor to servive on these forums. The joy of the Lord is my strength. :smiley: God Bless


#9

Someone tried to poison St.Benedict and a raven took the poison bread away before he could eat it:D God is Good.God Bless


#10

[quote=Chief]In a discussion in another online forum, an argumentative athiest told me he would believe when I demonstrated that I could drink poison and survive, citing Mk 16:15-19. I have to admit, I didn’t know how to respond. Can anyone give me some help here?
[/quote]

Here in the Deep South, we call the Protestant churches that drink poison and handle snakes as demonstrations of their faith either “Holy Rollers” or “Snake Handlers”. People die regularly from these demostrations of faith.

God calls us to be faithful, not stupid.


#11

Matthew 4:5-7

4 Then the devil took him to the holy city, and made him stand on the parapet of the temple, 6 and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down. For it is written: 'He will command his angels concerning you and ‘with their hands they will support you, lest you dash your foot against a stone.’” 7 Jesus answered him, “Again it is written, ‘You shall not put the Lord, your God, to the test.’”


#12

[quote=Chief]In a discussion in another online forum, an argumentative athiest told me he would believe when I demonstrated that I could drink poison and survive, citing Mk 16:15-19. I have to admit, I didn’t know how to respond. Can anyone give me some help here?

Thanks,
Chief

"15 He said to them, “Go into the whole world and proclaim the gospel to every creature.
16 Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved; whoever does not believe will be condemned. 17 These signs will accompany those who believe: in my name they will drive out demons, they will speak new languages. 18 They will pick up serpents (with their hands), and if they drink any deadly thing, it will not harm them. They will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.” 19 So then the Lord Jesus, after he spoke to them, was taken up into heaven and took his seat at the right hand of God. "
[/quote]

Chief,

Your atheist is no different than those non-believers at the time of Jesus.

Luke 16:31 …“If they will not listen to Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded if someone should rise from the dead”

Jesus was offered a similar challenge.

Mark 15:32 “Let the Messiah, the King of Israel, come down now from the cross that we may see and believe.”…

Grand standing events fade from memory. Miracles are explained away.


#13

Regarding the original post, I agree it’s quite a challenge and perhaps intimidating. Like, there’s this atheist, and you not drinking poison is the ONLY thing keeping him from being saved!

Well, if that were completely true, than it would be quite intimadating. However, I’m sure you know that there are plenty of other things keeping him from believing and repenting. Namely, sin, and lack of desire to believe in Christ. His heart is hardened. Now, it is true that many pious Christians were used by God to work miraculous deeds, which gave creedance to the truth of their message, and to the truth of the Gospel. And people were moved to believe the Gospel at seeing these miracles. And it feels like an impious, unfaithful cop-out to say “well, I shouldn’t do that, that was just for the early Christians.” Besides, you’re Catholic I suppose, so you can’t really say that, since miracles still occur occasionally according to pious Catholic belief.

So, my attitude towards that challenge would be this:

The miracles WERE INDEED performed, so he should recognize that, and believe, regardless of you’re drinking poison or whatever and living.

Also, and probably more importantly, remember the parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus. The rich man begged for Abraham to let Lazarus go back from the dead to warn his family to repent of their sins before they died. Abraham told him that they have prior witnessess (Moses and the Prophets) that they should believe, and if they don’t believe Moses and the Prophets, then they wouldn’t believe if someone returned from the dead (like a miracle).

Granted, that parable would be more direct to the Jews, but I think the principle towards us Gentiles would still apply.

So don’t let it get you down. Pray and witness to him, perhaps the Lord will grant him repentance, perhaps even motivate his will by granting a miracle in his presence for him to be amazed at!!

But He answered and said to them, "An evil and adulterous generation craves for a sign…;"
Matthew 12:39


#14

[quote=Reformed Rob]Regarding the original post, I agree it’s quite a challenge and perhaps intimidating. Like, there’s this atheist, and you not drinking poison is the ONLY thing keeping him from being saved!
[/quote]

I have to take poison to make a Catholic out of him?

How about I just take a strong laxitive and just get him as far as Jehova’s Witnesses?http://forums.catholic.com/images/icons/icon10.gif


#15

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