How do you witness to an Atheist?

-The greatest single cause of atheism in the world is Christians: who acknowledge Jesus with their lips, then walk out the door and deny him with their lifestyles. –DC Talk

Before Jesus ascended into heaven, he charged his disciples to “go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation” (Mark 16:15). This is also found in the latter part of Matthew and the beginning of Acts. “All creation” includes the Atheists. If the quote from DC talk is correct, then the approach to witnessing to atheists may be different then some of us believe.

Is it the case that most atheists hold their position because they find the classical and traditional arguments for the existence of god unconvincing? Probably not. Do most atheists deny God’s existence because they consider his existence an extraordinary claim without extraordinary evidence? Also probably not. It could be that from what some of them have experienced, the easiest girls are preacher’s kids. It’s possible that the most reliable source for some MJ is a missionary’s son. Why is it that the best place to get some yum yum is at Summer youth camp? All of this was true for me as I grew up. I suspect that some of you have experienced the same thing.

I’m not painting with a broad brush here because there are many, many children of ministers who are wonderful Christians and blossoming spiritual leaders. ]Unfortunately, when some people see 1 example, they assume that therefore, all preacher’s children are just as bad or worse then themselves and their parents aren’t even able to teach their own children how to be a good Christian. This makes it difficult for the guy who (somewhat illogically) says “How could God exist? Look at his followers!” While the truth of the matter may be that sin has corrupted us, many lay atheists find this defense vapid and unconvincing.

To bring people in your every day life to Christ is amazingly simple (or at least it has been for me). nstead of talking the talk by shouting on the street corner or handing out Jack Chick tracts, just let your actions do the talking. People would ask me “Nyako, you live in the ghetto, how you manage to stay so happy and content?” And I would answer honestly, “it’s God man. He’s been good to me.” (I was in highschool at the time). By just living my life as I thought Jesus would want me, I became the antithesis of the “Hypochristian.” Yes, as much as atheists like to prod and scoff at the “True Christian point,” it’s true that there are some people who profess to be Christians, yet they live as though that’s all it is… a belief. Christianity is not just a belief, it’s a lifestyle. It’s not a fad. While it is not our place to say what the fate of their soul is, we know that just having faith, pistis, that is isn’t’ enough. Even if we believe that every word in the bible is true…James 2:19 tells us “You believe that God is one. You do well: the demons also believe, and shudder.” The implication is obvious. Their belief in god alone isn’t working out so well for them. Just being involved in every extracurricular activity at church as though it was nothing more then a social group wont do it either. More or less, in Matthew 7:21-23 said that not everyone who says unto me Lord Lord will enter in the Kingdom of heaven, but he that does the will of my father who is in heaven. I’m not talking about what gets you into heaven: Faith or works”, rather I believe it would be obvious that one needs not rely on one or the other, but BOTH are needed.

In any case, to live one’s life for Christ, with god’s help provides a powerful counter to the
hypocrisy that plagues many of people’s mixed experiences with those who openly profess to be Christian.

You can allow a would be atheist to come to the conclusion on their own.
“Let me see, I have two people who profess to be Christian, and one of them does the same things that I do, and the other seems to have less then we do, but seems to get more out of life. Why is that? Could it be that that person is what a Christian is supposed to be?”
Actually, the best hook that I had for converting people to Christ was the basketball court at our church.
We would give the neighborhood kids a ride to church. They went so they could play basketball. But the positive influence of being around Christians gave them something better to do then robbing liquor stores or hanging out with gang members. As iron sharpens iron, so does one man another (sic). I think that living a positive lifestyle greatly influences those around us.

So, how does one witness to an atheist? It’s relatively simple. Live your life as Jesus wants you. Be Christ-like. That’s what a Christian is after all.

What do some of you think?



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I like to search the interwebs for arguments and witnessing plans that Christians have to use against atheists. I think it is interesting, and often a good way to flex those intellectual muscles. What do you all think?

In christian lingo, witness and witnessing refer to Telling someone how and why you are a Christian, generally on a one-to-one basis. Explaining the gospel and/or trying to persuade another person to believe it.

Basically it is what Christians call sharing their faith, belief, and their attempt to convert others into their faith and belief.

So.... how would you live your life as jesus? Do you leave home and get a bunch of men to follow you? Do you sit in the desert for 40 days and 40 nights? Do you invite people to eat you? Do you run through a temple with a catapult?
Lol. Good points.

You make everybody lunch. You're allowed to start small but it's gotta end at 1,000+ people.

I, ironically enough, had someone try to witness to me the other night.

She is a preacher's daughter and is very devout, and I'm mostly friends with her because we both love fairy tales and are writers with somewhat similar chosen genres.


She tried to convince me that Jesus, just as the bible says, exists, and although they translated it wrong, the original texts had it right, and not beleiving in his existence was STUPID and IGNORANT.

I pointed her to "The God Who Wasn't There"(abridged, said by me version) and cited that the earliest writings concerning jesus treated it like his birth, life, death, resurrection, all took place in a sort of Mount Olympus, not here on earth, and that previous gods and sons of gods had very similar traits to him--her answer was the same as in the documentary, but that the prophecy was ORIGINALLY about him, and that other people had made up those false gods, but this one was real.

She didn't respond directly with proof or a real counterpoint, and instead continued to talk about how it was important that I believe.

I said "So you would have me just accept what you say, because you say it, because you want me to?"

She didn't answer that directly either, and instead said "You are just causing more problems for yourself by ignoring what is TRUTH."

I finally got her to change the subject. She's a nice girl, but this apparently came up because I posted a link to the forums here--the one going to the "jesus is" website and basically saying "this is what happens when 4chan finds your website. Thank you internet <3" And I quoted a few such as "jesus is pancakes" and "jesus is a velociraptor"

and she left this comment:

On the link.

She failed in converting me or even making me entertain the idea of jesus existing--I haven't 'believed' in a long time and no amount of telling me I'm ignorant or stupid is going to make me 'believe' again.

The problem with major religions is that they didn't get to be major by NOT telling their followers to constantly spread and tell the "good word". So of course whenever they find someone resistant, this is a problem. I am keeping god's word from getting spread--for psychopaths, I would simply be removed. For her, this just means a retreat to lick her wounds and further attempts to convince me that jesus is real and that GOD WANTS MEH.

I really can't take it serious anymore when someone tries to witness to me. I'm just another convert to them, not a human being. My case is not special, it is simply "difficult" for them.

I do agree that access to facilities is often what leads people to convert--and it's like a gang, once you're in, it's difficult to get away. I wish there were more upkept secular facilities, especially in places like where I live--I love the library, but there are no decent ones here. I love hiking, but there are no decent trails here. The one sports place to go that isn't outside, dangerous to go to, or privately owned is at a baptist church in the middle of town. They even have billiards and ping pong.

Witnessing with your life just means that you live in the way you believe Christ would want you to.  Or live as Christian a life as you can.  Not condeming but understanding, being at peace, show by your joy and acts that you are truely a good person in Christ.


See I know the lingo.  It means that you don't witness your faith until someone asks you why you are so happy and content.  Where your joy comes from.


It means you don't confront people.  Well at least that's what it was in my church.  "They will know we are Christians by our love" 


Yes I know, I know.  I walked the walk and did the talk for a while.  It was nice, cosy, sweet and non-confrontational Christianity.  Or Inanity. What you will.




This got a few laughs previously. I like the basketball court idea to a point as it is better than preaching to kids or banging on doors.

not being an asshole is not enough to convince me there is a god.
It would be great if Christians focused more of their energies on being christ like rather than trying to enforce their beliefs on others.

Christians don't have a monopoly on being decent people. When a complete stranger helps me load groceries into my car in a parking lot, I don't think, "Wow! That man must be a wonderful Christian!"

Why is a Christian who is decent because they are trying to behave the way they think Jesus would want considered a better person than a non-Christian who is decent because of their own moral code, concience, and upbringing?

That said, it's nice to know there are a few who practice what they preach (or don't preach); but NOT behaving like an arrogant superior know-it-all doesn't earn anyone extra points in my book. 


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