http://www.christianpost.com/news/former-atheist-activist-patrick-greene-responds-to-critics-72768/ Former Atheist Activist Patrick Greene Responds to CriticsMessage 1 of 1 , Apr 6, 2012View Sourcehttp://www.christianpost.com/news/former-atheist-activist-patrick-greene-responds-to-critics-72768/
Former Atheist Activist Patrick Greene Responds to Critics
By Jeff Schapiro
Christian Post Reporter
April 6, 2012
Patrick Greene was an outspoken atheist until recently, when the generosity of a few Christians caused him to reconsider his beliefs. He now says he is a Christian.
But some people atheists as well as Christians aren't just taking him at his word, and are openly criticizing both Greene and his conversion.
After The Christian Post published an article about Greene on Wednesday, many CP readers offered their thoughts on his transformation.
Greene says he was "stunned" by the overwhelming reaction his story has generated.
Shortly after his vision loss was reported in a local paper, a Christian woman from Athens, Jessica Crye, came up with the idea to round up donations for Greene, which has resulted in thousands of dollars that have helped him and his wife cover the cost of bills, taxes, groceries and more. That act of kindness led him to reconsider his beliefs, and now he says he believes in Jesus Christ.
Some nonbelievers have been critical of Greene, saying that his conversion isn't legitimate because he was never really an atheist.
Others have claimed that he only became a Christian because he likes both the attention he is getting and the money he has received from believers, though he told CP on Thursday that the money has nothing to do with it.
> "The financial help that my wife andhe said. He later added,
> I got is totally irrelevant,"
> "What's money got to do with religionHe also said that anyone who doubts he was indeed an atheist before only needs to speak with his wife, who he has been married to for over 33 years and is still an atheist, to find out that he really was.
> or belief? Nothing...that's stupid."
As an atheist activist, Greene previously filed or threatened to file lawsuits against multiple cities for their Christmas displays, and has hosted an "intro to atheism" themed show on a local television station in North Carolina.
He also once threatened to sue "180" film creator and open-air preacher Ray Comfort for a bumper sticker produced by Comfort's ministry that suggested April Fool's Day should also be called "National Atheist's Day."
Greene took heavy criticism from The Atheist Experience blog, however, for attacking the ministry's freedom of speech and not choosing a more worthwhile cause to battle over.
After receiving some emails about his threats, Greene says he now agrees that he "jumped-the-gun" when he made the threats.
Now that he's a Christian, Greene says he wants to become a Baptist minister.
> "It's not a new decision, because whensaid Greene, who grew up in a Roman Catholic family.
> I was in grammar school I had every intention
> of becoming a priest...that's not a new thing,"
Greene says he now considers Erick Graham, the pastor of Sand Springs Baptist Church that helped collect donations for Greene, to be his mentor.
Graham told CP that Greene sent him an email explaining that he now believes in Jesus Christ, although they haven't had the opportunity to discuss his conversion any further as of yet.
> "I think he's grabbing hold of somesaid Graham, who plans to speak with Greene on Friday. He explained that a true spiritual conversion involves more than just a knowledge of Christ's Lordship, but a genuine submission to God and brokenness over one's own sin.
> of the truth, but I don't know that
> there's been a true spiritual conversion
> in his life yet,"
Graham says occasionally people who have "a drastic conversion experience" almost immediately make plans to enter the ministry.
Greene, who still believes that homosexuality is an acceptable practice, says after he finishes his ministry studies he wants to lead a gay-affirming congregation.
He claims that the verses that discuss homosexuality in the Bible are misinterpreted by many Christians today.
One of the major factors in his changing his beliefs, Greene says, was his own self-study of the Bible.
One thing that was convincing to him, he says, was the great number of people who were eyewitnesses to the resurrection of Christ.
See video of Greene regarding his conversion here: