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April 6, 2012


Atheist Activist Becomes Christian After Believers Show Him Compassion

A few days ago we noted the story of Patrick Greene, the Texas activist who sued to stop a nativity scene in Athens, Texas. When local Christians discovered he had an eye condition that required surgery, and couldn’t afford groceries, they donated hundreds of dollars to him. Greene was “flabbergasted” by the Christians’ generosity, which caused him to rethink his opposition to them and the faith.

Now, it’s reported that he has not only rethought his opposition to Christianity, but that he’s actually become a Christian. What’s more, he says he now wants to enter the ministry. Now before anybody gets too excited, take note of the next waypoint in Green’s journey:

Greene plans to either join a nearby liberal congregation or may even start his own chapter of the Rainbow Baptists, an outreach ministry of The Association of Welcoming and Affirming Baptists that supports the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community. He says he feels strongly that homosexuality is acceptable in Christianity, and claims the Bible’s original approach to issues of homosexuality has been altered over the last 2,000 years.

Greene says his wife of nearly 34 years, who is still an atheist, was “surprised” at his conversion but understands him. Even though they disagree on the issue, they haven’t argued over it.

“We don’t interfere with each other’s differences, we don’t put each other down because of it,” he said.

As a symbol of his appreciation to the Christian community both in and around Athens, Greene has purchased a star for the top of the tree that is part of the Christmas display he once railed against. He has also written a letter to the Freedom From Religion Foundation, an organization that said the Nativity display was unconstitutional, to explain why their legal arguments against the Nativity are not valid.

It’s tempting on Good Friday to look past Greene’s frankly wrong-headed understanding of Christianity as regards homosexuality, and look with hope to the possibility that an examination of Scripture and the life and resurrection of Jesus will lead him to an orthodox embrace of the faith, but I guess I’ve seen too many of these episodes end in grief to be very optimistic. Still, this is a step in the right direction, and among the many prayers you might say over this Easter weekend, include one for Patrick Greene, that the actions of Christians, behaving as Christ taught them, might lead him to a fuller understanding of the Gospel.


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6 comments

You know….. you have to see Wormwood’s hand in this smile.

[1] Posted by dpeirce on 4-6-2012 at 03:20 PM · [top]

I think #1 put his finger on it.  Still, let us pray this is the first step in the fellow’s journey to Christ.

[2] Posted by Jeffersonian on 4-7-2012 at 03:12 PM · [top]

Yes. Wormwood sometimes mis-calculates and his plan turns out “bad” (for him).

[3] Posted by dpeirce on 4-8-2012 at 09:47 PM · [top]

Well, his choice of attendance is only a problem if he stalls and stays there—Prayers ascending that the LORD continues to open Mr Greene’s eye, to see that many of those folks really don’t believe the Bible, a mere step in the journey and the Spirit leads ever deeper into truth to discover those who do are some of those “fundamentalist” he has fought so hard all these years—Jesus can have a sense of humor like that ... grin

[4] Posted by Hosea6:6 on 4-9-2012 at 08:19 AM · [top]

Richard Dawkins is in Australia for the Atheists Convention.  Earlier this week he debated the archbishop of Sydney, Cardinal George Pell, on TV.  This secular journalist scored it to the Cardinal: http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/opinion/delusions-of-despots-go-to-richard-dawkins-head-in-god-debate/story-e6frezz0-1226324094385

[5] Posted by MichaelA on 4-12-2012 at 03:16 AM · [top]

“. . . Greene has purchased a star for the top of the tree that is part of the Christmas display he once railed against.”

This reminds me of the heartwarming ending of “The Grinch Who Stole Christmas”!

[6] Posted by Roland on 4-14-2012 at 04:28 PM · [top]

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