Sharing Christ with atheists

Since I have become more interested in evangelism in real life with real life people, I have been thinking quite a bit about talking faith with people who self-identify as atheists. If this is something you struggle with, there are some good tips here and here.

First, we must pray for them. When we pray, we acknowledge that we rely on the Lord’s power. We must not be confident in our own brilliance (Philippians 3:3); it is the Holy Spirit who draws people to Jesus (John 16:7-11; 12:32).

Second, we must speak the truth in love, treating atheists with gentleness and respect (Ephesians 4:15; 1 Peter 3:15). When we witness to others, we are not trying to win debates; rather, we are trying to lead them to Christ.

Third, don’t try to prove God’s existence beyond all reasonable doubt. Though this can be done, the goal is often too lofty. Our goal should be more modest: argue that theism (belief in God) is more reasonable than atheism (the rejection of belief in God).

Discuss common aspects of human experience–aspects accepted by both atheists and theists. Then argue that theism is a more reasonable explanation than atheism. Both sides agree that the universe had a beginning. It seems more reasonable to conclude that something outside the universe (i.e., God) caused it to exist than to believe that the universe popped into existence totally out of nothing and without a cause.

The caveat here is that this advice, or any advice you can find anywhere on the topic for that matter, only applies if you are talking to a reasonable person who is willing to have an honest and rational discussion, as the atheist at the second link was.

If you are talking to an online atheist, you should pray for them and end it there because the vast, vast majority of them only engage with Christians to stir up trouble.

They will tell you that they just have questions, that they just want to understand how Christians think, and that they just want to discuss matters of faith rationally and like adults. None of that is true, at all.

Truth is, evangelical online atheists, no matter how friendly and congenial they may appear at first, do not visit Christian blogs to play nice. They think Christians are delusional and crazy and that all non-believers have a civic duty (I would say higher calling but I think the irony would be lost on them) to protect society from our “mindnumbing BS.”

I took me a while to learn this lesson but I have come to the conclusion that consistently engaging with online atheists who troll Christian blogs deliberately and with malice of forethought is reprehensible, probably sinful, and a horrible look for God’s people.

Do not answer a fool according to his folly, or you yourself will be just like him.

– Proverbs 26:4



Categories: Atheism, Christianity

Tags: , , , , , ,

16 replies

  1. I took the liberty of reposting this excellent article and I also kind of snuck in a short blurb of my own. Sincerely hope you don’t mind. Grace and blessings!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Reblogged this on The Recovering Legalist and commented:
    Wise words of advice, the kind with which I wholeheartedly agree… because I’ve been there and have the t-shirt.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. “vast majority of them only engage with Christians to stir up trouble.”
    Let me not disappoint you James.
    Atheists are having a voice in this world after many thousands of religious years, something theists from all religions do not like and something atheists never used to have because they were ostracised, slaughtered as blasphemers or burnt as witches. Atheists in some places are still assumed to be evil people and god haters.
    Atheists do not hate anything that does not exist; however they have a serious dislike of religious ideologies. It would be more accurate to suggest that Christians do not understand atheism and produce far more hate than love for atheists.
    “I have come to the conclusion that consistently engaging with online atheists who troll Christian blogs deliberately and with malice of forethought is reprehensible, probably sinful, and a horrible look for God’s people.”
    If you did not reject science, kept your beliefs out of politics and schools, left LGBTQ people alone and kept to yourselves it would be a good look for God’s people, unfortunately the bronze age scriptures give you the ruler and the instructions for your world and it does not go down too well in today’s world of evolved morals and modern science.

    Liked by 1 person

    • For anyone reading this thread ^^^this^^^ is the perfect example of a troll who should be avoided at all costs.

      I hate to let comments like this out of the spam folder but, in this case, an example is useful so…

      Anyway, I will continue to pray for this person daily, hoping one day God will do His work in this person’s heart .

      Liked by 2 people

      • Hello Brother, I took the time to read above ^^^thread response^^^ and upon completion, in the Spirit, I understood this individual is likely not familiar with Old Testament Deuteronomy Ch 28 – which contains the Blessings and Curses that will be given out durings Seals/Trumpets as The Apocalypse begins upon the Earth at conclusion of The End of The Age going into Tribulation.

        I concur, may YWHW allow his heart to soften, receive Grace and know the Agape Love of Elohim.

        Maranatha & Amen

        Liked by 1 person

  4. This has been quite true: “Truth is, evangelical online atheists, no matter how friendly and congenial they may appear at first, do not visit Christian blogs to play nice.”

    Like

  5. Great advice. After having engaged with atheists for a couple of years pretty regularly, I can concur with your findings.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Reblogged this on crosssectionmusic.

    Like

  7. Great tips!
    I was in my teens when I met my first Atheist.. I just assumed everyone believed in God..
    I do agree that many go to Christian blogs and other platforms to debate..
    I am not up to speed with evolution and they throw science and philosophy into every debate..
    They can’t see God so therefore He does not exist.. I am not very social and lack boldness but believe God can help me to change that..
    I think your posts will be helpful reading.. thank you

    Like

Trackbacks

  1. Sharing Christ with atheists — Running The Race | Reasoned Cases for Christ

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: