-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?