Beneath my What If? What If? What If? post, Barabbas himself became an Apologist For Jesus, and left this extended comment.
Allow me to apologize for my brothers. I believe God gives every person a choice to believe or not. I’m not responsible for your choice and though it saddens me, I must respect your choice. May God meet you where you are and draw you to Himself “with chords of kindness” not clever or manipulative arguments or threats of eternal punishment. Have a wonderful day and again, I apologize for my fellow Christians that may have pushed too hard and far without respecting your freedom. – Barabbas
One: Do not apologize for others. It only highlights their misdeeds, mistakes, and contradictions. It also makes both of you appear weak and needy. Be honest. Only apologize for your own errors.
Two: Do not ever label my disbelief as merely a choice! Never have I suddenly just chosen to be a petulant, rebellious asshole. My Atheism is as fundamentally part of my being as my gorgeous brown eyes. I have been an Atheist longer than you have been alive. I got that way, not through choices and options, but by observing Reality as it presents itself to me. The reality is, I see no God/gods.
Three: A little convincing evidence of the existence of your specific God, and that you are somehow privy to what He/She/It/They will and will not do, would be a lot more useful than your vaguely-expressed wish and hope that someday – somehow – your Reality-impaired pet entity, will finally show up to see me, and validate all your unproven assumptions.
There was a reason that saccharine was banned. Your ‘all sweetness and light and love and kindness’ delivery is, perhaps, a little less grating than those Apologists who promise me Hell and eternal damnation if I don’t agree with them. At least they have the courage of their convictions, and are not afraid to express them. Yours is cloying, and sickly sweet. I feel religious diabetes developing.
Four: Are you in the church choir, or should the line read, “with cords of kindness”? You promised me no tricks or threats, but that sounds suspiciously like church BDSM – a little God bondage. 😳
Five: You must lead a sheltered life, if you think that Mr. Torpedo-Victim did more than ruffle my hair. I have engaged with Bible-thumpers who would have him for breakfast. I feared none of them on a philosophy and logic basis. The only reason I have hung back from some, is the modern, technological concern about flaming, hacking and doxxing. Some of those good, loving, Christians quickly forget that ‘turn the other cheek’ command, when their beliefs are refuted.
Online Christian debaters give me as much freedom as I give them. I allow them every opportunity to make foolish, irrational claims, and they let me point out the errors in their arguments, and make fun of their presentations. See, everybody has fun. 👿