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  • Please remember this when talking to Atheists

    I was an Atheist for many years, and after reading some posts on this board, I can see how some Christians are just befuddled with how to "handle" Atheists encounters.

    Please remember. To know Christ, To truly know Him is to Love Him and Accept Him. Atheists are not bad people running around rejecting your Lord and Savior. THEY HAVE NEVER MET HIM!!!!! They don't believe in the resurrection, and many don't even believe Jesus existed.

    You should be asking yourselves, "why don't they believe?" Are they really horrible heathens running around basking in their sinful delights or are they decent people who just haven't realized that God is Truth?? I'd like to believe in the latter.

    For atheists, it's not a matter of morals, or right and wrong or creationism or God or Jesus or an afterlife. Preaching about these things will get you NOWHERE FAST. For nonbelievers, it's all about the validity of the bible. Most atheists have their facts WRONG when it comes to the bible. They feel it's 1. written by a bunch of dumb dumbs 2. IT has no historical relevance. 3. The resurrection and miracles performed by Jesus Christ were fabricated tales.

    So basically, they have no faith in the only BOOK we Christians use to live our lives by. It all comes down to KNOWING your Bible well enough to be confident in its documentation. Give atheists some facts regarding the the preservation of the bible's data over the centuries. No other book has been so highly scrutinized- word by word- language to language as the Holy Bible. AS an Atheist, I had NO IDEA how the bible was written or when it was put together or how it came to be... these facts were very relevant in my own salvation. I didn't know there were 500+ eye witnesses to the resurrection. I didn't know how highly valued word of mouth stories were in biblical times. I saw the WHOLE BIBLE as a telephone game.

    If you can get people to recognize that the bible is Relevant historically-- then you can get them to at least read it. And I think that's the first step to true salvation. Get people to read one gospel, just one.. and LET THEM make up their own minds. Dare them to not fall in love with Christ. It will be hard to do once you've accepted that the bible is a factual book. Most of all don't get discouraged or flustered when debating with an Atheist: I have convinced a Few of my Atheist friends to read the bible, and even though they don't believe in Jesus (now)... Christ's words TOUCHED them deeply, I've yet to meet someone not effected by his love. I'd like to think that someday they will open their hearts to accept Him as Truth as I have...

  • #2
    Originally posted by SweetEnigma View Post
    Give atheists some facts regarding the the preservation of the bible's data over the centuries. No other book has been so highly scrutinized- word by word- language to language as the Holy Bible.
    and prophicies. i find those help, i also find what helps is not forgetting everything i learn about the bible

    Comment


    • #3
      Excellent post. Most people who don't believe in God don't have some huge hole in their life they are trying to fill with hatred for God. They just don't believe in Him like they don't believe in Apollo or the Tooth Fairy. Quickest way to tick them off is to start attacking them as sinning heathens that are scum. Point of fact is I know some atheists who are better people than some Christians I know, and it's not that the Christian's are bad people by any standard, but the atheists just bear better fruit so to speak.

      Comment


      • #4
        GREAT OP. As someone who was once a self-professed nonbeliever.... there's really no 'trick' to talking to atheists. Most aren't evil, not any more than the rest of us anyways , and most want what we all do -- friends, support, good reasons to believe, thorough explanations. Just "handle" atheist encounters by being up-front, honest, patient. Most DO assume that there's no good reason to believe the Bible's true. Many have also had personal experiences with some (usually corrupt) instance of religion in their personal lives that 'turned them off it'.

        Just be patient. Keep talking, keep explaining -- but most importantly, just keep living your life for Christ and showing your love for others and for your Saviour to them. The ONE thing that convinced me Christ was alive, when it came down to it, didn't end up being a historical text or anything..... it was the Christians I saw who believed what they did so strongly that they'd sold their lives out for it, and they were different from anyone I'd ever met. That REALLY impressed me.
        -- Your ~sister~ in Christ.... a "Kaffinated Kittykat"!!

        ROMANS 5:8. Forgiven. Freed. Humbled. Amazed. Grateful. Relying on Christ.

        Love is not a place to come and go as we please
        It's a house we enter in, then commit to never leave
        So lock the door behind you, and throw away the key
        We'll work it out together, let it bring us to our knees.....
        Warren Barfield



        Comment


        • #5
          my daughter now 32 was a Catholic school girl......till high school and then went to public school.....she's the most wonderful person, kind, sincere, generous, loving, but she became an atheist after having been baptized and making her first communion and confirmed........I didn't argue with her......but LAST NIGHT.....she called from florida where she has been livng for the past couple of years and told us that she is a Christian again, not Catholic, but Christian. She's not sure which church she'll end up in, but for tnow she's going to a Methodist church with her friends who helped her find her way back.

          I'm so happy...I had been worrying about her and Heaven, wondering how I could ever be happy in heaven if she were not there too.........I thought about it all last week, and then she called last night.!!!!!!!!!!

          Comment


          • #6
            I've discovered that there is a stark difference between people who call themselves "atheists" (although I think "agnostic" is a more accurate description) and those who are ANTI-Religion / Christianity.

            There ARE people who passionately attack the Bible..... they take great pride in their attempts to find errors & contradictions. But ALL of their claims can be proven incorrect.

            But there are also people who just "don't believe" and that's all there is to it.

            The main thing to try to find out is, WHY dont they believe? And whether or not they try to force THEIR OWN "beliefs" on others.

            I have to agree with Coffecat... this was a really good original post!

            Hebrews 11:1 Now Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
            _______________________________________________
            There was a time when I used to think Macro-evolution might be a possibility..... but then I GREW UP!
            ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

            Meike & I have the same birthday! Na-na na, na-na!!!

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by SweetEnigma View Post
              I was an Atheist for many years, and after reading some posts on this board, I can see how some Christians are just befuddled with how to "handle" Atheists encounters.

              Please remember. To know Christ, To truly know Him is to Love Him and Accept Him. Atheists are not bad people running around rejecting your Lord and Savior. THEY HAVE NEVER MET HIM!!!!! They don't believe in the resurrection, and many don't even believe Jesus existed.

              You should be asking yourselves, "why don't they believe?" Are they really horrible heathens running around basking in their sinful delights or are they decent people who just haven't realized that God is Truth?? I'd like to believe in the latter.

              For atheists, it's not a matter of morals, or right and wrong or creationism or God or Jesus or an afterlife. Preaching about these things will get you NOWHERE FAST. For nonbelievers, it's all about the validity of the bible. Most atheists have their facts WRONG when it comes to the bible. They feel it's 1. written by a bunch of dumb dumbs 2. IT has no historical relevance. 3. The resurrection and miracles performed by Jesus Christ were fabricated tales.

              So basically, they have no faith in the only BOOK we Christians use to live our lives by. It all comes down to KNOWING your Bible well enough to be confident in its documentation. Give atheists some facts regarding the the preservation of the bible's data over the centuries. No other book has been so highly scrutinized- word by word- language to language as the Holy Bible. AS an Atheist, I had NO IDEA how the bible was written or when it was put together or how it came to be... these facts were very relevant in my own salvation. I didn't know there were 500+ eye witnesses to the resurrection. I didn't know how highly valued word of mouth stories were in biblical times. I saw the WHOLE BIBLE as a telephone game.

              If you can get people to recognize that the bible is Relevant historically-- then you can get them to at least read it. And I think that's the first step to true salvation. Get people to read one gospel, just one.. and LET THEM make up their own minds. Dare them to not fall in love with Christ. It will be hard to do once you've accepted that the bible is a factual book. Most of all don't get discouraged or flustered when debating with an Atheist: I have convinced a Few of my Atheist friends to read the bible, and even though they don't believe in Jesus (now)... Christ's words TOUCHED them deeply, I've yet to meet someone not effected by his love. I'd like to think that someday they will open their hearts to accept Him as Truth as I have...
              I have given atheist this exact information you suggested and still they refused to believe it and would argue about it. I have given them links to information outside the bible that proves the bible is true...archeological evidence...historical evidence...and they still argued about it. Refuse to believe in the face of the evidence. I wish I could meet one like you...but in all these years of my encounters with atheist, I haven't. When I give them this evidence the first thing they do is run to an atheist site to try to find something to refute it and we just go around and around forever!

              At any rate I am glad for you this was what you needed and helped you to come to Christ.

              God bless
              "People do not drift toward holiness. Apart from grace-driven effort, people do not gravitate toward godliness, prayer, obedience to Scripture, faith, and delight in the Lord. We drift toward compromise and call it tolerance; We drift toward disobedience and call it freedom; We drift toward superstition and call it faith. We cherish the indiscipline of lost self-control and call it relaxation; we slouch toward prayerlessness and delude ourselves into thinking we have escaped legalism; we slide toward godlessness and convince ourselves we have been liberated?" - D A Carson

              Comment


              • #8
                My experience is that apologetics is not very successful with athiests. They generally argue their side, we argue ours and neither side comes away with any change of opinion. Your milage may differ. I've seen that apologetics is more useful with new Christians or those who are open minded with checking out the Christian faith. Now, when witnessing to athiests I use the law to try to appeal to their conscience. Hopefully I can plant a seed which God can sprout if he so chooses.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by moonglow View Post
                  I have given atheist this exact information you suggested and still they refused to believe it and would argue about it. I have given them links to information outside the bible that proves the bible is true...archeological evidence...historical evidence...and they still argued about it. Refuse to believe in the face of the evidence. I wish I could meet one like you...but in all these years of my encounters with atheist, I haven't. When I give them this evidence the first thing they do is run to an atheist site to try to find something to refute it and we just go around and around forever!

                  At any rate I am glad for you this was what you needed and helped you to come to Christ.

                  God bless
                  Conversion is a process, not an event. The general rule is, if you are able to change someone in the course of a single conversation (or even over a short period of time), then they hadn't thought about the subject much. This is rarely the case for such an absolute view as atheism.

                  I have known more than a few atheists who have become Christians, and for each one the process spanned years and ultimately the change came from discovering a hole in their life that becoming a Christian could fill. They saw this from the loving, caring actions of Christians that were in their life. One in particular told me that all the attempts at apologetics were more of a barrier to his conversion than a boon, because they gave him an excuse to resist (he was smart enough to see through faulty logic and misinformation).

                  In the end, God uses us as sowers of the seed and He grows the seed. Remember that when you get frustrated.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    John 3:19 "And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.".

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by crawfish View Post
                      Conversion is a process, not an event. The general rule is, if you are able to change someone in the course of a single conversation (or even over a short period of time), then they hadn't thought about the subject much. This is rarely the case for such an absolute view as atheism.

                      I have known more than a few atheists who have become Christians, and for each one the process spanned years and ultimately the change came from discovering a hole in their life that becoming a Christian could fill. They saw this from the loving, caring actions of Christians that were in their life. One in particular told me that all the attempts at apologetics were more of a barrier to his conversion than a boon, because they gave him an excuse to resist (he was smart enough to see through faulty logic and misinformation).

                      In the end, God uses us as sowers of the seed and He grows the seed. Remember that when you get frustrated.
                      You are probably right and I have tried to view this way..that I may be just one of many, planting seeds and later others will see that fruit bear out. Wish I would see it once in awhile though...

                      One thing I noticed that is kind of interesting and I am trying to understand it. I have youtube videos up on different things regarding Christianity and I notice an atheist will usually first post very aggressively...just cussing and carrying on, calling me every name in the book, telling me I am mentally ill, mentally retarded, narrow minded and on and on ...in which I do not respond too in the same manner. I usually reply with some logical comment about their comment and many times they will come back and start actually talking to me...dropping all the cussing and name calling (or at least slowing it way down)...if we go past a few comments to each other and they are still using cuss words I will kindly ask them to stop and many times they will. So then we respectfully discuss things...their whole manner changes.

                      My question is..when they come on so attacking like that...is that a test of some sort? To see if you will follow Christ's teachings on turning the other cheek and not attack back? Its like a big front...a barking growling dog that has no teeth... I just want to know why they do that?

                      God bless
                      "People do not drift toward holiness. Apart from grace-driven effort, people do not gravitate toward godliness, prayer, obedience to Scripture, faith, and delight in the Lord. We drift toward compromise and call it tolerance; We drift toward disobedience and call it freedom; We drift toward superstition and call it faith. We cherish the indiscipline of lost self-control and call it relaxation; we slouch toward prayerlessness and delude ourselves into thinking we have escaped legalism; we slide toward godlessness and convince ourselves we have been liberated?" - D A Carson

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by moonglow View Post
                        I have given atheist this exact information you suggested and still they refused to believe it and would argue about it. I have given them links to information outside the bible that proves the bible is true...archeological evidence...historical evidence...and they still argued about it. Refuse to believe in the face of the evidence. I wish I could meet one like you...but in all these years of my encounters with atheist, I haven't. When I give them this evidence the first thing they do is run to an atheist site to try to find something to refute it and we just go around and around forever!

                        At any rate I am glad for you this was what you needed and helped you to come to Christ.

                        God bless
                        This reminds me of this verse:

                        Matt 7:6 Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you.

                        And this one:

                        Prov 26:4 Answer not a fool according to his folly, lest thou also be like unto him.

                        I'm not saying you were being foolish by witnessing to those atheists. How could you have known what they would be like until you started talking to them, right? I'm saying we all need to be careful not to waste our time with people who don't have an open mind and only wish to try to make us look bad. Once you could see that they weren't really willing to consider anything you had to say, that's when it's time to just agree to disagree and move on.

                        It's much better to spend time witnessing to people who have an open mind. Determining who has an open mind and who doesn't is not always easy, but sometimes it is obvious.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I don't single out atheists. Unbelievers are unbelievers are unbelievers. The Gospel is the cure for what ails them all, which is alienation from God. Why they're alienated, and through which particular thought process, is completely secondary. They're still believing the lies of the enemy, just like everyone else did before we came to Christ. Which lies, and to what extent, doesn't matter. They're all lies.

                          I was a deist before I came to Jesus, and did believe in God, and was just as lost and separated from Him because of my sin and unbelief when it came to Jesus and what He did for me.

                          A sinner is a sinner is a sinner. A man separated from God through atheistic thought process is in the exact same state as a man separated from God through Muslim indoctrination. Their position is the exact same. And their rebellion towards Him is the exact same, too. Different expressions of said rebellion, but the same root.

                          And, the way to reach them, is also the same. The Gospel of Jesus Christ. Not endless arguings to try and "convince" them, but to let the Holy Spirit convict them by showing them love, and the reality of God, through our behavior towards them. We may have to tailor things a little depending on where they are, but our behavior and treatment of them need never change. We don't argue people into the Kingdom. They are made with the need for God's love, and His goodness, and that's how they're going to be brought to the foot of the cross, just like we were.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by John146 View Post
                            This reminds me of this verse:

                            Matt 7:6 Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you.

                            And this one:

                            Prov 26:4 Answer not a fool according to his folly, lest thou also be like unto him.

                            I'm not saying you were being foolish by witnessing to those atheists. How could you have known what they would be like until you started talking to them, right? I'm saying we all need to be careful not to waste our time with people who don't have an open mind and only wish to try to make us look bad. Once you could see that they weren't really willing to consider anything you had to say, that's when it's time to just agree to disagree and move on.

                            It's much better to spend time witnessing to people who have an open mind. Determining who has an open mind and who doesn't is not always easy, but sometimes it is obvious.
                            I use that verse as a rule to go by actually...it doesn't take long to know if they are sincere or not...once its obvious they aren't I stop talking to them as I won't cast my pearls before swines. The example I gave above is something that happened in the past...once in awhile I was go to private message and we talk longer then I probably should to them but general anymore I try to stop before that happens. Some that are pretty aggressive though won't stop and I usually have to just block them. It just seems to me most atheist I encounter are desperate to prove my faith is wrong...to prove God isn't there...they spend huge amounts of time doing this too. And many know the bible as well if not better then many Christians...and know all the arguments too so they can try to take me off guard and try to shake my faith. I have seen them do huge damage to those new in Christ and those weak in faith or just lacking knowledge. Honestly this is how most atheist come across to me...as people wanting us to walk away from our faith...seems to be their main goal anyway.

                            God bless
                            "People do not drift toward holiness. Apart from grace-driven effort, people do not gravitate toward godliness, prayer, obedience to Scripture, faith, and delight in the Lord. We drift toward compromise and call it tolerance; We drift toward disobedience and call it freedom; We drift toward superstition and call it faith. We cherish the indiscipline of lost self-control and call it relaxation; we slouch toward prayerlessness and delude ourselves into thinking we have escaped legalism; we slide toward godlessness and convince ourselves we have been liberated?" - D A Carson

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by DaniHansen View Post
                              I don't single out atheists. Unbelievers are unbelievers are unbelievers. The Gospel is the cure for what ails them all, which is alienation from God. Why they're alienated, and through which particular thought process, is completely secondary. They're still believing the lies of the enemy, just like everyone else did before we came to Christ. Which lies, and to what extent, doesn't matter. They're all lies.

                              I was a deist before I came to Jesus, and did believe in God, and was just as lost and separated from Him because of my sin and unbelief when it came to Jesus and what He did for me.

                              A sinner is a sinner is a sinner. A man separated from God through atheistic thought process is in the exact same state as a man separated from God through Muslim indoctrination. Their position is the exact same. And their rebellion towards Him is the exact same, too. Different expressions of said rebellion, but the same root.

                              And, the way to reach them, is also the same. The Gospel of Jesus Christ. Not endless arguings to try and "convince" them, but to let the Holy Spirit convict them by showing them love, and the reality of God, through our behavior towards them. We may have to tailor things a little depending on where they are, but our behavior and treatment of them need never change. We don't argue people into the Kingdom. They are made with the need for God's love, and His goodness, and that's how they're going to be brought to the foot of the cross, just like we were.
                              I agree with some of what you're saying, but not completely. I'm sure Paul showed love to those he preached to, but he also spent a lot of time persuading and convincing people to believe. Of course, I'm sure the Holy Spirit was working in tandem with his preaching, but it does require some persuading and convincing in order for some to believe. Not everyone requires a great deal of convincing, but some do. Especially intellectual types.

                              Acts 17
                              1Now when they had passed through Amphipolis and Apollonia, they came to Thessalonica, where was a synagogue of the Jews:
                              2And Paul, as his manner was, went in unto them, and three sabbath days reasoned with them out of the scriptures,
                              3Opening and alleging, that Christ must needs have suffered, and risen again from the dead; and that this Jesus, whom I preach unto you, is Christ.
                              4And some of them believed, and consorted with Paul and Silas; and of the devout Greeks a great multitude, and of the chief women not a few.

                              Acts 18
                              1After these things Paul departed from Athens, and came to Corinth; 2And found a certain Jew named Aquila, born in Pontus, lately come from Italy, with his wife Priscilla; (because that Claudius had commanded all Jews to depart from Rome and came unto them.
                              3And because he was of the same craft, he abode with them, and wrought: for by their occupation they were tentmakers.
                              4And he reasoned in the synagogue every sabbath, and persuaded the Jews and the Greeks.

                              The point I'm making is that showing people love and relying on the Holy Spirit to convict them is not enough for some. For some, we have to show them the truth from the scriptures and be able to answer their tough questions regarding supposed contradictions and that kind of thing, too. It depends on the person.

                              1 Peter 3
                              15But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:
                              16Having a good conscience; that, whereas they speak evil of you, as of evildoers, they may be ashamed that falsely accuse your good conversation in Christ.

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