Help Me Convince My Brother, John!

Some of you may remember Ed Owens, who recently walked away from the Christian faith. Well, I received another email from him. Maybe we can help…

Hi John, I have a question. I'm really stressed out right now. It seems every time I hear someone even mention God I want to rip their head off. What can I do to mellow out? I've never let up on my brother with the examples of Bible error and parallels with paganism. I've also sent an article about the Bible being voted on for which books to canonize but he is super hard headed and won’t budge at all. I've even tried the soft approach and nothing seems to work. Now I know he sees what I'm showing him, he isn't blind. He just refuses to acknowledge any document of authenticity from history or scientific reasoning. Is there something I'm missing? Is there a sure fire question beyond his being able to refute with old dogma answers? I am so wired and have been for a couple of weeks now I'm going crazy. That congregation is in a Gospel Meeting this week with an Evangelist named William St. John. It lasts through next Sunday. Every time I send material he just calls it trash or the devil's garbage. He can be a reasonable person it just takes nearly an act of congress for him to admit he is wrong about anything! The stress of it all is about to drive me insane. I can't give it up for some reason. I am bound and determined to win him over to the truth! Help me John, please!!!

My wife officially moved her membership last Wednesday to the congregation where my daughter attends but intends to attend at least one night of the meeting this week where we used to go. My wife still gets very defensive when she knows I'm researching atheism or bible errors!

My life is so dismal and has been for the last 3 or 4 months. The church used to be my life completely and now I feel all alone. I've tried reading and writing and surfing the net. I'm feeling pretty down and out about everything and everybody right now. I'm not searching for sympathy just answers for peace of mind.

My brother is my big objective right now. What should I do?


My response:


I think you have this initial desire to convince everyone that you're right, especially your brother. You have this need to convince him you're not crazy, and I understand that. But I'm here to tell you that you're not. You know that you're not. You know that you're right. You don't need validated by others. They may never come around. Stop being frustrated with this. You will not be able to convince many people. Get over it. They are brainwashed. They must want to listen. They must want to consider what you have to say before they will do so. Perhaps at this point you should just be friendly. Talk about the things you did before you changed, minus the religion. That may be all you can do. If he rejects you as a person there's not much you can do about it. My advice is to learn to accept that fact. My brother first suggested I seek counseling too. I argued back, like you have done. Then we dropped it and decided to talk about the things we have in common. That's my recommendation with you. There is no smoking gun argument...none. Sorry. Remember back to when you were a Christian? What did you think about the new atheist movement? Think really hard. What did you say? You probably attributed it to the devil, right? Place yourself back in that mindset as best as you can. That's what your brother thinks of you. There's no use in beating your head against the wall on this. People are deluded just like you were. You're going to have to accept this fact. They will probably never agree with you. As a Christian you accepted the fact that non-believers didn't believe without wanting to rip their heads off. Now do the same thing as an atheist with believers. It'll be better psychologically for you. As a Christian you focused on people who were receptive to the gospel. Now do likewise as an atheist with believers. Focus on those people who are receptive to the evidence. Continue searching the net for better arguments, of course. Get into online chat rooms and test your skills to express yourself there, and not with former friends. Former friends will want to see if what you're gong through is a mid-life crisis. That will take years until they figure out it isn't. But you stand as a witness on the other side now. Once they conclude this is not a mid-life crisis they may consider your arguments and may do their own searching.

Maybe others can help Ed with additional helpful comments.