Posted by: the warrioress | July 29, 2012

Should Christians Evangelize Atheists?

Atheist badges.

Atheist badges. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Question: “Should Christians try to evangelize atheists?”

Answer: As Christians who know the love of God and have the assurance of eternity in heaven, it’s hard to understand why anyone would want to be an atheist. But when we realize the sin nature and its strong influence on the mind and the heart, we begin to understand where the atheist is coming from. Biblically speaking, there is no such thing as an atheist. Psalm 19:1-2 tells us that the heavens declare the glory of God. We see His creative power in all that He has made. Romans 1:19-20 follows up on this idea, telling us that what may be known about God has been made plain to us through the creation, and anyone who denies this is “suppressing the truth in unrighteousness” (v. 18). Psalm 14:1 and 53:1 declare that those who deny the existence of God are fools. So the atheist is either lying or he is a fool or both. So what is it that causes someone to deny God?

The main goal of those under the influence of the sin nature is to make himself a god, to have complete control over his life, or so he thinks. Then religion comes along with obligations, judgments, and restrictions, while atheists presume to define their own meaning and morality. They do not want to submit to God because their hearts are at “enmity against God,” and they have no desire to be subject to His Law. In fact they are incapable of doing so because their sin has blinded them to truth (Romans 8:6-7). This is why atheists spend most of their time complaining and arguing not about the scriptural proof texts, but the “dos and don’ts.” Their natural rebelliousness detests the commandments of God. They simply hate the idea that anything—or any One—should have control over them. What they do not realize is that Satan himself is controlling them, blinding them, and preparing their souls for hell.

St Matthew the Evangelist

St Matthew the Evangelist (Photo credit: Lawrence OP)

In terms of evangelizing atheists, we should not hold back the gospel from someone just because he or she claims to be an atheist. Do not forget that an atheist is just as lost as a Muslim, Hindu, or Buddhist. God certainly wants us to spread the gospel (Matthew 28:19) and to defend the truths of His word (Romans 1:16). On the other hand, we are not obligated to waste our time trying to convince the unwilling. In fact, we are warned not to expend excessive effort on those who are clearly disinterested in any honest discussions (Matthew 7:6). Jesus told the apostles to go and preach the Word, but He did not expect them to stay anywhere until every single last person had been converted (Matthew 10:14).

Perhaps the best tactic is to give each person the benefit of the doubt, at least at first. Every question, honestly and truthfully answered, gives that person a chance to hear the gospel. But if that person is just arguing, being hostile, or otherwise not open, it’s probably time to move along. Some people are totally, completely, and absolutely hardened to the gospel (Proverbs 29:1). They may be rational, or irrational, but there are scriptural reasons to believe that some people are willingly immune to the influence of the Holy Spirit (Genesis 6:3). When we have made a good-faith effort to talk to someone, and he or she is unreachable, then we are commanded to “shake the dust off” of our shoes (Luke 9:5) and spend our time talking to those who are more spiritually open. As in all things, the wisdom of God is crucial. God has promised that wisdom to us if we ask (James 1:5), and we should pray for it and trust God’s prompting to know how and when to break off the dialog with a hostile atheist.

Recommended Resource: I Don’t Have Enough Faith to be an Atheist by Norm Geisler and Frank Turek and The Real Face of Atheism by Ravi Zacharias.

http://www.gotquestions.org/evangelize-atheists.html

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Responses

  1. I find that the dialectic approach, as opposed to straight apologetics, works best when explaining the Christian faith to atheists. Many times you have to find out what’s at the core of their disbelief before you can even begin to get them to understand your position. Some people are “willingly” immune to the Holy Spirit. Sometimes, if you can get them to see their lack of openness (which itself is a work of the Holy Spirit), you can see the wheels of potential conversion turning in their heads. You can plant seeds and pray that there’s some fertile soil in there some where.

    Thanks for the post and for the links!

  2. Excellent post..Yet again! 🙂 We have such similar opinions of these things. I love being amongst the highways and byways letting God use my mouth to answer the questions of the lost. Sometimes I have no idea what I’m going to say and the answers just keep coming and I have to laugh at their accuracy and believability. I know it is Him not me answering 🙂 Yet, sometimes we must just walk away when the questions become irrational and purposely disagreeable.. I think you would like my post God…Really?
    http://innerangelsandenemies.wordpress.com/2012/05/21/god-really/
    I would love to hear your thoughts on it as I wrote it while focusing my heart on a dear friend who claims to be an Atheist after being raised in the Catholic school system in the U.K.
    I hope and pray that one day he will read it. :o/

  3. This is pure arrogance. “There’s no such thing as an Atheist”?

    THIS is why we react so negatively. You don’t even respect our basic worldview.

  4. Adrienne, I agree. I have found Christians who seem to just have their foot in the door don’t care to go any further either. And if they don’t want to grow, we can’t force them. Great post.

  5. If you weren’t serious about some of your posts I would be falling on the floor i hysterical laughter.

    The arrogance displayed in this piece of shoddy cut and paste is,
    a) indicative of the asinine, intolerant approach Christians (reborns and fundamentalists) have towards their fellow human beings, and,
    b) your absolute ignorance of your own faith (religion) which is aptly demonstrated by the fact there are over 35,000 christian cults.
    You cannot even agree on the nature of your own religion. What a bunch of idiotic hypocrites.
    And yes, there most definitely IS such an animal as an atheist.
    What you cannot seem to grasp is this: Your silly religion, along with every other faith based worship of an imaginary god nonsense will disappear.
    It is inevitable. Oh, and your Devil (Satan- God created) will also evaporate.
    Unfortunately for the likes of the religiously inclined you will have to grow up and get a real life.
    Sad, but true.

    Oh, and please demonstrate a little more intellect and stop putting up crappy cut and paste jobs. As a degreed individual I would have thought you would have had enough intelligence than to simply use someone else’s drivel.

    I am very disappointed in this post.

    Silly person.

  6. Once again, this post gets atheists completely wrong. The mistake can be summed up in this one quote:

    “They do not want to submit to God because their hearts are at “enmity against God,” ”

    Time and time again, atheists have to remind Christians of the obvious: atheists don’t believe that God exists. It simply doesn’t make sense for an atheist to have enmity against a being he doesn’t believe exists.

    Now, the Bible might claim that the evidence of God is obvious to all, and that atheists are just stubbornly ignoring that evidence. But this is simply false. It does not match up to reality. Atheists are atheists because they honestly and genuinely do not see any evidence for the Christian God or any other gods. It has nothing whatsoever to do with an unwillingness to submit to, or an enmity against, God.

  7. @ the warrioress,
    You said:

    So the atheist is either lying or he is a fool or both.

    Wow, nice way to package it all up. I hear radical Muslims, Mormons and Hindus do this same sort of packaging. “If they disagree with us, Satan has turned them into fools or liars.”
    Nice.

    You said:

    The main goal of those under the influence of the sin nature is to make himself a god, to have complete control over his life, or so he thinks.

    Actually, my most mature non-believer friends are actually 100% convinced about lack of control and have relaxed with it. Whereas many of my Christian friends are desperate for control: looking to please God for blessings, leading the holy life so their children will succeed and be happy and much more. I is sad desperation. Not all Christians do this, but many.

    In dialoguing with Muslims, Hindus, Christians and all other believers in “I have the right answer” , we non-believers must also decide when to shake the dust off our feet.

  8. @Sabio

    Sorry for the extremely brief reply, Sabio, but I’ve been ill for the last couple of days since I posted this entry on the blog. I’m not up to anything lengthy but will certainly go into more detail when I return. Thanks for your participation up to now.

    By the way, I didn’t write the reply to the question; the replier is a writer for gotquestions.org, and I’ve linked to his response directly at the end of the reply.

  9. @Keith

    Whether you believe God exists or not doesn’t really matter. What is, is, regardless what you or I believe, don’t you agree? You may not believe in God but if God does exist, you’re in error and thus the bible is correct and those who don’t want to submit to God *are* at enmity against God and do not want to defer to Him. At any rate, I’m not going to argue about what the bible says because I believe it, and you do not, and it’s pointless to argue about something that we are not going to agree upon the validity of.

    You say:

    “Now, the Bible might claim that the evidence of God is obvious to all, and that atheists are just stubbornly ignoring that evidence. But this is simply false. It does not match up to reality. Atheists are atheists because they honestly and genuinely do not see any evidence for the Christian God or any other gods. It has nothing whatsoever to do with an unwillingness to submit to, or an enmity against, God.”

    Your opinion is that the bible is mistaken and that atheists simply don’t see any evidence for God and this has nothing to do with an unwillingness to submit to Him, or an enmity against Him. I believe the bible, so that’s my opinion. My opinion is that the bible is right.

    Keith, were you to find out that God exists and is exactly as He has been described in the OT and NT, would you recant all of your “reasonings” up to this point and accept Him? Or would you continue to reject Him, proceeding onward to “hell,” or where ever eternal separation from God is? I’ll respond to your answer when I’m feeling better and thanks for sharing, Keith.

  10. @Ark

    Yes, I can see you’re extremely disappointed in this posting of mine. I’m sorry that I didn’t give my own take in the body of the post, but I haven’t been feeling well the last couple of days. At any rate, I do believe the bible and thus do agree, for the most part, with the individual who wrote this answer to the original question about evangelizing atheists. I can tell you’re quite offended with the writer’s response to the question.

    Despite not feeling well, I must admit that I’m a little amused by your outrage, especially after I’ve moseyed on over to your blog many times in the past and found the countless posts that mock and insult my faith and even me and other Christians and the religious; thus I’m really not sure where you get off calling the writer who works for “gotquestions.org” arrogant.

    Pot calling the kettle black again syndrome, perhaps? 😉

    I see lots of arrogance on your end, Ark; in fact, there’s more than enough on your end to go around. I’ll be back for further comment when I’m up to it.

  11. @Brandon

    Brandon, thanks for stopping by and sharing here; I really appreciate it. The writer of this answer that I’ve posted says “there is no such thing as an atheist,” BIBLICALLY-SPEAKING. He clarifies that he’s speaking according to what the bible tells us. *I* respect your right to your own world view, absolutely; I don’t agree, though. I believe the bible, and thus I suppose you’re reacting negatively to what it says and thus my agreement with it; I’m sorry you feel this way. I believe you are certainly entitled to your feelings.

  12. Everybody,

    I’m so sorry I’ve not been very involved and only posted the writer’s take on the question. (I’ve linked to his response directly at the end of the answer). I did not belabor the response or even sum it up from my pov because I’m not feeling at all well (stomach flu). I do appreciate you all carrying on without me at present, though, and I will keep up as I’m able. Thanks again.

  13. Warrioress:

    I know the Bible is wrong because it completely fails to describe my own situation. I am not angry at God because this would be absurd. There is no god to be angry at.

    If I get angry with anyone, it’s Christians who think they know what’s going on in my own head better than I do because an ancient book from the Middle East says they do. It’s utterly ridiculous.

    Let me also address your second point about accepting God if I discovered that he really existed. Yes, obviously if irrefutable evidence of the existence of your god or any other god came to light, I would accept it. That is my modus operandi – I follow where the evidence leads, whether it takes me to a place I personally like or not.

    One thing I would probably NOT do, though is worship such a god, especially if it turned out to be the Christian god. The Christian God, if the OT is to believed, is a petulant, insecure tyrant. It would, however, be enormously exciting to sit down with Jesus and talk to him directly about his philosophy, without the contradictions and inconsistencies of an ancient book limiting our understanding of him. Depending on how this conversation went, I’d be more than happy to adopt some of Jesus’ philosophy into my own worldview (and I probably already do anyway), but once again I fail to see the point in bowing down and worshiping – this just strikes me as unnecessarily sycophantic behavior, and I suspect that any being of mature character would be thoroughly embarrassed by people groveling on their knees before him.

  14. Tell people about the Good News. I don’t like the phrase ‘preach’ because it can sometimes immediately place a barrier between yourself and the recipient. Leave the rest to The Holy Spirit. We are supposed to be sowers of seeds, God has the harvest. Anyone who is yet unsaved needs to hear the Gospel whether they are atheists or otherwise. We have that as a command, it is our duty to speak to anyone who is unsaved.

    Shirley Anne x

  15. […] Should Christians Evangelize Atheists? (lifeofafemalebiblewarrior.wordpress.com) […]

  16. Tell people about the Good News. I don’t like the phrase ‘preach’ because it can sometimes immediately place a barrier between yourself and the recipient. Leave the rest to The Holy Spirit. We are supposed to be sowers of seeds, God has the harvest. Anyone who is yet unsaved needs to hear the Gospel whether they are atheists or otherwise. We have that as a command, it is our duty to speak to anyone who is unsaved.

    I will do that, Shirley. Obviously, I can’t do that in every single post; I try to think up topics that are interesting to everyone. Often the audience I’m aiming at is the Christian community itself. I also like to find readings that are important by people who are considered “learned” in the topic to share with everyone, from every community, like this reading on this post. It makes for good conversation, even though it can get tense at times.

  17. @Keith

    Warrioress:

    I know the Bible is wrong because it completely fails to describe my own situation. I am not angry at God because this would be absurd. There is no god to be angry at.

    If I get angry with anyone, it’s Christians who think they know what’s going on in my own head better than I do because an ancient book from the Middle East says they do. It’s utterly ridiculous.

    Let me also address your second point about accepting God if I discovered that he really existed. Yes, obviously if irrefutable evidence of the existence of your god or any other god came to light, I would accept it. That is my modus operandi – I follow where the evidence leads, whether it takes me to a place I personally like or not.

    One thing I would probably NOT do, though is worship such a god, especially if it turned out to be the Christian god. The Christian God, if the OT is to believed, is a petulant, insecure tyrant. It would, however, be enormously exciting to sit down with Jesus and talk to him directly about his philosophy, without the contradictions and inconsistencies of an ancient book limiting our understanding of him. Depending on how this conversation went, I’d be more than happy to adopt some of Jesus’ philosophy into my own worldview (and I probably already do anyway), but once again I fail to see the point in bowing down and worshiping – this just strikes me as unnecessarily sycophantic behavior, and I suspect that any being of mature character would be thoroughly embarrassed by people groveling on their knees before him.

    Let’s define enmity with God:

    en·mi·ty   [en-mi-tee] Show IPA
    noun, plural en·mi·ties.
    a feeling or condition of hostility; hatred; ill will; animosity; antagonism.

    Let’s define submit, or submission to God:

    ub·mit   [suhb-mit] Show IPA verb, sub·mit·ted, sub·mit·ting.
    verb (used with object)
    1.
    to give over or yield to the power or authority of another (often used reflexively).
    2.
    to subject to some kind of treatment or influence.
    3.
    to present for the approval, consideration, or decision of another or others: to submit a plan; to submit an application.
    4.
    to state or urge with deference; suggest or propose (usually followed by a clause): I submit that full proof should be required.
    5.
    to yield oneself to the power or authority of another: to submit to a conqueror.
    6.
    to allow oneself to be subjected to some kind of treatment: to submit to chemotherapy.
    7.
    to defer to another’s judgment, opinion, decision, etc.: I submit to your superior judgment

    ———

    Now let’s look at the reading again and what it claims is the problem with the atheist mindset:

    The main goal of those under the influence of the sin nature is to make himself a god, to have complete control over his life, or so he thinks. Then religion comes along with obligations, judgments, and restrictions, while atheists presume to define their own meaning and morality. They do not want to submit to God because their hearts are at “enmity against God,” and they have no desire to be subject to His Law. In fact they are incapable of doing so because their sin has blinded them to truth (Romans 8:6-7). This is why atheists spend most of their time complaining and arguing not about the scriptural proof texts, but the “dos and don’ts.” Their natural rebelliousness detests the commandments of God. They simply hate the idea that anything—or any One—should have control over them. What they do not realize is that Satan himself is controlling them, blinding them, and preparing their souls for hell.

    You see God as a petulant, insecure tyrant (your words). You would not worship Him, so evidently, you would not care to submit to Him either. Your blog itself is at enmity with God. You refuse to admit it but go back and re-read your own posts, Keith. You are antagonistic toward God, (God of the Bible), your posts *are* anti-Christian, anti-religious, anti-theist. You could not/would not bow down and submit to God, nor would you worship Him.

    The reading is correct, Keith. Your own words prove that the reading is correct.

  18. @Sabio

    Actually, my most mature non-believer friends are actually 100% convinced about lack of control and have relaxed with it. Whereas many of my Christian friends are desperate for control: looking to please God for blessings, leading the holy life so their children will succeed and be happy and much more. I is sad desperation. Not all Christians do this, but many.

    In dialoguing with Muslims, Hindus, Christians and all other believers in “I have the right answer” , we non-believers must also decide when to shake the dust off our feet.

    We see from Keith’s own words that he does not desire to worship such a being (God), to bow down to Him, to submit to Him; I suspect it is exactly the same problem with your atheist friends, Sabio, and perhaps even with you?

  19. @Naphtali

    Adrienne, I agree. I have found Christians who seem to just have their foot in the door don’t care to go any further either. And if they don’t want to grow, we can’t force them. Great post

    I agree with you, Cathy, because I think everyone grows at their own rate. We need to be as patient as we can be when someone isn’t getting it. God will send the teacher when it’s time.

  20. @The Water Bearer

    Excellent post..Yet again! We have such similar opinions of these things. I love being amongst the highways and byways letting God use my mouth to answer the questions of the lost. Sometimes I have no idea what I’m going to say and the answers just keep coming and I have to laugh at their accuracy and believability. I know it is Him not me answering Yet, sometimes we must just walk away when the questions become irrational and purposely disagreeable.. I think you would like my post God…Really?
    http://innerangelsandenemies.wordpress.com/2012/05/21/god-really/
    I would love to hear your thoughts on it as I wrote it while focusing my heart on a dear friend who claims to be an Atheist after being raised in the Catholic school system in the U.K.
    I hope and pray that one day he will read it. /

    I will be over to have a look, WB! Thanks so much for sharing here, and yes, I agree; we have a lot in common.

  21. @Biltrix

    I find that the dialectic approach, as opposed to straight apologetics, works best when explaining the Christian faith to atheists. Many times you have to find out what’s at the core of their disbelief before you can even begin to get them to understand your position. Some people are “willingly” immune to the Holy Spirit. Sometimes, if you can get them to see their lack of openness (which itself is a work of the Holy Spirit), you can see the wheels of potential conversion turning in their heads. You can plant seeds and pray that there’s some fertile soil in there some where.

    Thanks for the post and for the links!

    I try to just speak from the heart, Biltrix. When proof is demanded, I listen to the Holy Spirit within me, but primarily, I just try to be myself and say what comes. I don’t worry about the harvest because I know that’s up to God. I try to be a messenger and leave it at that. And you’re very welcome, Biltrix. I’ll have to pop over and visit you on your blog soon.

  22. @ the warrioress:

    (1) Suggestion: Do you know how to use HTML tags? Learning to use the Blockquote tag would make your comments much more easy to read. I will use those tags to set off your comment in #2 below.

    (2) Would Atheists Worship God:
    You said:

    We see from Keith’s own words that he does not desire to worship such a being (God), to bow down to Him, to submit to Him; I suspect it is exactly the same problem with your atheist friends, Sabio, and perhaps even with you?

    I thought you read my post on that issue. If, after death, I found a god who was all good and loving, I would worship that god.

    Instead, on my post you made a very odd statement:

    “he heart that is open to loving God would love God, no matter who or what He is, flawed, perfect, ego-driven, or whatever.”
    –the warrioress

    So you would worship an ego-driven God — wow! So that would seem that you would do anything to get into heaven. The nature of God does not matter to you.

    Or did I misunderstand you?

    So, I think you are mistaken about Atheists. They don’t believe that a god exists, yet alone a loving one. And they certainly don’t believe that the god in the OT is a loving God as he is depicted. If you really want to understand non-believers, you have to be able to understand that.

    Likewise, non-believers don’t believe in the type of God that Muslims, Hindus, Shinto or any other god-believer has in their mind. But I do think many atheists are not averse to worshipping a good god if the were certain one existed.

    Many Universalist Christians believe that atheists will have a change of heart when all is clearly revealed.

    But I find your openness to worshipping “an ego-driven God” much more interesting than your misunderstanding of non-believers.

  23. @Sabio

    Yes, I would worship God, no matter how He may be described or judged.

    You have offered an excellent idea that I want to expound upon in my next post..and I will do so.

    Atheists do not believe that God is good. They dislike God. They don’t believe in God and God as He is portrayed within the bible does not meet with their approval. And yes, I do understand that and always have. The atheist heart is at enmity against the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Atheists do not understand the god of the bible, nor do they appreciate His judgment, actions, character, etc. This has always been quite clear to me. I believe it is also clear to the author of this posting I’ve shared.

    Atheists are not adverse to worshiping what they consider to be acceptable and good, a “good god” from their own perspective, IF SUCH A GOD EXISTS.

    I submit to you and all atheists that we do not have the necessary capability of mind, intelligence, and foresight to actually know what is “good” from God’s point of view; or in otherwords, we cannot and should not judge God. The atheist, however, believes that he can.

    My comment to you on your blog posting sums this up quite well:

    “The heart that is open to loving God would love God, no matter who or what He is, flawed, perfect, ego-driven, or whatever.”

    God expects us to love Him unconditionally, as He loves us.

  24. @ the warrioress :
    You still don’t seem to be able to say correctly what atheists believe.

    In dialogue, it is important to try to make statements that shows you understand what the other said feels.

    You said:

    Atheists do not believe that God is good. They dislike God.

    Instead, an accurate account of what atheist believe generally probably closer to this:

    (1) Atheists don’t believe any god exists
    (2) Atheists believe that the god described in the Bible has many evil qualities
    (3) Atheists dislike the god described in the Bible
    (4) Atheists DO NOT dislike “God”, they dislike their understanding of Yahweh described in the bible and further, they don’t think such a god even makes sense.

    So, if you persist saying “Atheist dislike God”, you are persisting on not trying to truly understand each other.

    You said,

    Atheists do not understand the god of the bible, nor do they appreciate His judgment, actions, character, etc.

    So let’s say that is true. But if Atheists go to heaven after death and have their misunderstanding exposed and then they understand that god is indeed all-loving, I’d bet a lot would love him if they felt that he likewise loved unconditionally. It just that they believe that the god stories make no sense and the ones portrayed are very human, egotistical and thus not unconditionally loving. Egotistical is logically incompatible with unconditional loving, don’t you think?

    Atheists don’t feel they are judging God, they are judging their fellow humans as making a god. They don’t believe in a god so they can’t judge it. They are judging your opinions. If you liken your opinions to the same as god’s opinions, you have committed the greatest of arrogance, no?

    And yet that is exactly what Muslims, Hindus and Christians do — they tell us who god is and just how we should think about him.

    Hopefully this clears up your misunderstanding a bit before your write that post your are considering?

  25. @Sabio

    The only example I can arrive at that seems to fit what I’m trying to explain to you and to most atheists is the example of a parent and a child/father and child. Your own child doesn’t always necessarily think you’re a good guy, does he? I mean, sometimes doesn’t he get mad and think your judgment is mean, cruel, or simply out of line? As parents, though, we know more than our children. They have no way of “seeing around corners,” as Dr. Phil says. Children rely upon their parent’s judgment. It’s the same way with God and us.

    We cannot possibly understand the judgment and reasoning of God because we don’t have the abilities of God. We can’t see around corners either. We can’t tell the future. Those genocides, for example, where God wipes out entire groups of people, men, women, and children alike. Why? God knows what would have come forth had He not done so. We don’t know.. we can’t understand His actions; but there are reasons for everything God does and we learn this as we grow to know and love God through our relationship with Him.

    I agree with your numerated summarization of what atheists believe about God, but I submit that in their ignorance of who God really is, they have arrived at their own limited conclusions and these conclusions are erroneous. This is unfortunate. It has stymied their learning more and being completely open to knowing God. It has also opened them up to Satan and his manipulations.

    You say their battle is with Yahweh, not “God,” but Yahweh *is* God, according to the bible. These atheists are rejecting a being whom they have never even had opportunity to speak with or meet face-to-face, and have obviously also rejected relationship with Him so that there can be opportunity. How reasonable and intelligent is that? I say it is foolish, limited, and close-minded in its rebellion and demand that God appear as they think God should appear. It’s as if the created says to the Creator “How dare you be as you are? I don’t approve!” How reasonable is this?

  26. Very insightful post and I agree with you. God calls us to evangelize not only to Atheists, but to everyone. Yet as you said he also tells us that there is a time when enough is enough. There is only so much we can tell an unbeliever, it comes to a point when the ball is in their court and they have to make a decision, will they listen to God’s call or simply ignore it. My question to an unbeliever is simply this, What if your wrong?

    Thank you for sharing this! Much love for you my sister!

  27. @ the warrioress,
    Your comment is very long and there are many points I’d love to clarify but I’ve got to get to the clinic and get my kids off to school — I am sure your day is packed too. BTW, are you a single Mom with one child? It would be fun if your “Opening up My Life” tab actually contained more about you in concrete ways. For in the end, our lives are concrete — they are what we do each day and how we treat each other. (Well, that is my belief, you seem to put “Right Belief” on top of all that — but that is part of our dialogue).

    Anyway, I see you put up another post so maybe I can address the issue over there instead of on this thread.

    But here are some quick ones:
    You said:

    We cannot possibly understand the judgment and reasoning of God because we don’t have the abilities of God. We can’t see around corners either. We can’t tell the future.

    So, if I assume there is a god, then I would probably agree with you on this point. But the many writers of the scrolls that the councils decided to put together and cal “The Bible” seem to think they can know God. They try to tell us who he is. And as I repeatedly say (but somehow you don’t address), so do Muslims, Shintoists, Hindus, Mormons, snake-handling Christians, Christian Scientists and many, many more. They seem to feel — like you — that they have the ability to understand God –> “God is exactly what our favorite books tell us he is.”

    Because when it comes down to it, you may be surprised in the afterlife to find out that you have been worshipping the Bible and the opinions of others. Maybe another theist had it right, or maybe they all had it wrong.

    You are a Bibliolatrist — even your site name tells us that you fight for the Bible, not for God.

    So, knowing God is knowing the Bible for you. What percent is actually experiencing “God”?

    You also said,

    but I submit that in their ignorance of who God really is, they have arrived at their own limited conclusions and these conclusions are erroneous.

    But do you feel this is true of every Christian group that you disagree with. And I too use to be an evangelical Christian — was I ignorant then, did I suddenly become ignorant? Or did I just get possessed by the devil, deceived, prideful and hateful and not blind?

    I chastise Atheists for their constant attempts to stereotype Christian psychology, and I see you doing the same thing. You are trying to put all atheists in a nice convenient basket so you can feel comfortable dismissing them as foolish, blind or evil.

  28. @Sabio

    You said:

    So, if I assume there is a god, then I would probably agree with you on this point. But the many writers of the scrolls that the councils decided to put together and cal “The Bible” seem to think they can know God. They try to tell us who he is. And as I repeatedly say (but somehow you don’t address), so do Muslims, Shintoists, Hindus, Mormons, snake-handling Christians, Christian Scientists and many, many more. They seem to feel — like you — that they have the ability to understand God –> “God is exactly what our favorite books tell us he is.”

    Well, Sabio, when you talk with a Christian believer about their beliefs, you will talk about the Holy Bible because the Holy Bible is how the great majority came to know God, at least the god of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, at any rate.

    Now as for the many others who think they know Yahweh/God, I cannot say. My personal take on the matter is what the bible tells me and if their take is as mine is regarding this:

    Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me John 14:6

    than I suspect we are on the same page. If they claim another god that they know, I have little opinion about it as I’m only focused upon the One and Only god who can save mine and your soul, not the countless of others.

    You said:

    Because when it comes down to it, you may be surprised in the afterlife to find out that you have been worshipping the Bible and the opinions of others. Maybe another theist had it right, or maybe they all had it wrong.

    You are a Bibliolatrist — even your site name tells us that you fight for the Bible, not for God.

    I have not been and do not “worship the bible,” Sabio. Nor do I worship the opinions of others. I worship Yahweh/I AM/ and Yeshua/Jesus Christ, period. I know of these from the Holy Bible, and thus I honor, respect, and believe the bible as the inspired, “god-breathed” word of Holy God. I believe that these written words are meant for us from God Himself and attempt to live by what is written, under the direction of the Holy Spirit of God.

    You said:

    So, knowing God is knowing the Bible for you. What percent is actually experiencing “God”?

    Well, that’s another post entirely…

    Knowing God is not just knowing the bible for me. I met God when I was very, very young, as I’ve already told you. I didn’t know He was Yahweh at the time, however, but yes, I have “experienced” God and I would say that knowing God has been about 80 to 88 percent “experience” for me personally; the rest of knowing God has been through His word.

    You said:

    You also said,

    but I submit that in their ignorance of who God really is, they have arrived at their own limited conclusions and these conclusions are erroneous.

    But do you feel this is true of every Christian group that you disagree with. And I too use to be an evangelical Christian — was I ignorant then, did I suddenly become ignorant? Or did I just get possessed by the devil, deceived, prideful and hateful and not blind?

    The various Christians groups all have the basics in common, though some may disagree on certain doctrine, but we all agree on who Jesus Christ is, what He did, why He did it, etc., so you see, the differences are not that important nor divisive. More and more, various factions of Christianity are recognizing that Jesus Christ will be returning for His bride/His church. People are beginning to understand that who the church is, is described quite well within the Holy Bible.

    As to you and what you used to be and your “ignorance,” I’m not thinking of you as anything of kind. You’ve apparently determined to reject what you once believed and you are most certainly not ignorant of what you knew then. I would look more into what you experienced and the realities of that, versus what you knew/know. As for possession, I don’t believe that happened either, though by rejecting Christ/God perhaps you have now opened yourself up to Satan, (I think that is quite possible), but I wouldn’t have a clue about possession, Sabio. You don’t appear to be someone who is hostile to Yahweh or Yeshua, nor do you seem to be particularly anti-theist thus far.

    You said:

    I chastise Atheists for their constant attempts to stereotype Christian psychology, and I see you doing the same thing. You are trying to put all atheists in a nice convenient basket so you can feel comfortable dismissing them as foolish, blind or evil.

    Obviously I don’t mean that all atheists are ignorant. You are most certainly not, nor is Keith, based upon what I’ve learned about the background of the two of you, Christianity-wise. You’ve heard the gospel and were immersed within it at one time, as was he. I don’t believe either one of you can use ignorance as an excuse for rejecting Jesus Christ, Sabio.

    Now as to the personal question you asked:

    BTW, are you a single Mom with one child?

    Yes, I am a single mother with one thirteen year old daughter. I haven’t put a lot of information on my opening page or in my gravatar because of some ugly harassment I was enduring due to my religious beliefs, on another site. What I experienced there made me very cautious of sharing any important particulars that would identify me to potentially unstable people. I am very open privately off of the blog when I began to trust someone though, and develop a deeper friendship with them.

  29. @Diana

    You said:

    Very insightful post and I agree with you. God calls us to evangelize not only to Atheists, but to everyone. Yet as you said he also tells us that there is a time when enough is enough. There is only so much we can tell an unbeliever, it comes to a point when the ball is in their court and they have to make a decision, will they listen to God’s call or simply ignore it. My question to an unbeliever is simply this, What if your wrong?

    Thank you for sharing this! Much love for you my sister!

    I agree completely, Diana. I try to listen to the Holy Spirit and follow His leading, and most especially if courteous, polite dialogue continues and I sense that there is a back and forth going on that both are benefiting from. Thanks for giving us your take, Diana!

  30. @ The Warrioress,

    BTW: Very nice use of html BLOCKQUOTE — it has cleaned the look up nicely! You are a quick learner. Also, thanx for the personal sharings. May I also ask what type of work you do so as to pay the bills etc….

    Now for some questions:

    (1) If your 88% was wrong

    If you get to heaven and you find out that God is exactly the one described by Muslims and that Jews and Christians literature had a lot wrong about him, and he offered you annihilation or stay in heaven and worship him, which would you do?

    (2) “Personal Relationship with God”

    I look forward to your post what percent of your “relationship” with Yahweh is due to reading the Bible and what percent is otherwise. BTW, I have looked (though probably not carefully enough), but since “relationship with God” is such a common phrase in your circles, can you tell me where I can find it in the OT or the NT?

    (3) Is the 12% without theology, without doctrine, without …

    But here is the thing — you say “88” percent of knowing Yahweh is through the Bible (loved the precision 🙂 you were generous to entertain the questions with me), so then 12% is subjective. I guess that is the “personal relationship” part. So my question is:

    Do you think that this subjective experience is hugely dissimilar to what man non-Christians experience with their god? I will just leave it there. I don’t want to ask too many questions. And please feel free to more any question and answer to a new post.

  31. […] Here is a post on a site worth the visit https://lifeofafemalebiblewarrior.wordpress.com/2012/07/29/should-christians-evangelize-atheists/ […]

  32. @ Shirley Anne (minkyweasal word) & Warrioress
    “In terms of evangelizing atheists, we should not hold back the gospel from someone just because he or she claims to be an atheist. Do not forget that an atheist is just as lost as a Muslim, Hindu, or Buddhist. God certainly wants us to spread the gospel”

    This is the type of mental dis-ease that caused the likes of Hernan Cortes and his ilk to venture over to South America and virtually annihilate the Aztecs. And aside from christianity (sic) he also helped spread numerous other diseases including syphilis.
    Evangelical Christians are some of the worst of the worst. The gods preserve us from nutjobs like this.

  33. @ Ark
    You said:
    This is the type of mental dis-ease that caused the likes of Hernan Cortes and his ilk to venture over to South America and virtually annihilate the Aztecs. And aside from christianity (sic) he also helped spread numerous other diseases including syphilis.
    Evangelical Christians are some of the worst of the worst. The gods preserve us from nutjobs like this.

    No one said anything about annihilating anyone. Nor do we intend to spread STDS around through a blog. We are sharing our faith, just as you share your lack of faith and anti-theism. How is what we’re doing any different, Ark?

  34. @Shirley Anne/Minkeyweasel World

    http://minkyweasel.com/2012/08/06/a-note-for-the-unbeliever/

    Shirley, this post you did for the unbeliever is absolutely wonderful. I enjoyed this so much. I must read this again and again. I had forgotten that and it is beautiful. I do hope those who are reading here will stop by and visit this. Thanks so much.

  35. @Sabio

    (1) If your 88% was wrong

    If you get to heaven and you find out that God is exactly the one described by Muslims and that Jews and Christians literature had a lot wrong about him, and he offered you annihilation or stay in heaven and worship him, which would you do?

    (2) “Personal Relationship with God”

    I look forward to your post what percent of your “relationship” with Yahweh is due to reading the Bible and what percent is otherwise. BTW, I have looked (though probably not carefully enough), but since “relationship with God” is such a common phrase in your circles, can you tell me where I can find it in the OT or the NT?.

    Sabio, you can find discussion of our relationship with God or Jesus Christ here. We are discussed as sons of God and heirs, as adopted in our relationship to God through Jesus Christ; there are also various interpretations that actually utilize this word, “relationship.”

    GOD’S WORD® Translation (©1995)
    As far as our relationship to Christ Jesus is concerned, it doesn’t matter whether we are circumcised or not. But what matters is a faith that expresses itself through love. Galations 5:6

    GOD’S WORD® Translation (©1995)
    God has done all this. He has restored our relationship with him through Christ, and has given us this ministry of restoring relationships. 2 Corinthians 5:18

    New Living Translation (©2007)
    So now we can rejoice in our wonderful new relationship with God because our Lord Jesus Christ has made us friends of God. Romans 5:11

    Romans 8:14-17 “For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. 15For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father.” 16The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, 17and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together.”

    2 Corinthians 5:18 “And all things are of God, who has reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and has given to us the ministry of reconciliation;”

    Galatians 3:27-29 “For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. 27For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. 28There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.”

    Hebrews 9:13-15 “For if the blood of bulls and goats and the ashes of a heifer, sprinkling the unclean, sanctifies for the purifying of the flesh, 14how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? 15And for this reason He is the Mediator of the new covenant, by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions under the first covenant, that those who are called may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance.”

    Galatians 41-5 “Now I say that the heir, as long as he is a child, does not differ at all from a slave, though he is master of all, 2but is under guardians and stewards until the time appointed by the father. 3Even so we, when we were children, were in bondage under the elements of the world. 4But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born£ of a woman, born under the law, 5to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons.”

    Romans 5:10 For if, when we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life!

    Colossians 1:20 and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.

    Colossians 1:22 But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation–

    I John 3:1-3 “Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of £God! Therefore the world does not know £us, because it did not know Him. 2Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.”

    You said:

    (3) Is the 12% without theology, without doctrine, without …

    But here is the thing — you say “88” percent of knowing Yahweh is through the Bible (loved the precision 🙂 you were generous to entertain the questions with me), so then 12% is subjective. I guess that is the “personal relationship” part.

    Sabio, I said that 88 percent of knowing God for me is through experience and the rest is through the bible. The 88 percent is the subjective aspect, imo. And yes, this is the personal relationship part.

    You said:

    (So my question is:

    Do you think that this subjective experience is hugely dissimilar to what man non-Christians experience with their god? I will just leave it there. I don’t want to ask too many questions. And please feel free to more any question and answer to a new post.

    Sabio, I can’t say what non-Christians are experiencing because I’m not them. Subjectively-speaking, it would be difficult to speak for another person. Depending upon who they claim their god is, I think I could better answer this..

  36. @ Warrioress

    Translation Bias
    You quoted Galations 5:6 as an example of “relationship with Jesus” quote. The Bibles you chose was “GOD’S WORD Translation (1995)” and “New Living Translation (2007).

    See b my diagram here at “Translations Pathway”. The two bible you quoted were “Dynamic Equivalent” translations where the Evangelical translators read their bias into the text and translated what they wanted to hear — what they feel the “original intent” of the writers was. Some call these Paraphrased ‘translations’. Being a former translator, I am very aware of these issues.

    So amongst all those verses you mined, I don’t see “relationship with God” which is a phrase that is a favorite among Evangelicals, as if it is a standard Biblical phrase. Many folks feel that such thinking is very recent. But that is a long conversation.

  37. @Warrioress”
    You replied…
    “No one said anything about annihilating anyone. Nor do we intend to spread STDS around through a blog. We are sharing our faith, just as you share your lack of faith and anti-theism. How is what we’re doing any different, Ark?”

    It is very important for you (and every other ‘christian’) to remember that the groundwork has already been done for you, usually from the perspective of a sharp implement and numerous vile invocations.
    Most Christian heresy has been eradicated ( political (theological) solution being the inevitable outcome after physical barbarism had run its course.
    So, the annihilation has already occurred. And aren’t you the lucky ones as even your distorted theological views would have ensured you would be on the rack. Yes….always wise to remember your glorious history, not so?
    Although we now have have religious terrorism to contend with, worldwide suicide bombings etc. Though its doubtful you would ever see the irony(payback?) in this.

    I am not preaching non-belief, merely commenting and posting on the diatribe religiously inclined people post – and it’s such a shame there are not more posts from other religions – so it seems -refuting the lies about your ridiculous faith is sometimes tiresome in isolation. Where are the Jews Hindus and Muslims? Are they still hiding in the closet? (Read: Shul, Mosque Temple or meeting room above the Pig and Whistle) On second thoughts, maybe this is a good thing that the other religiously inclined are keeping mum?
    No you cannot spread STD’s through a blog….please don’t be facile.

    Sharing is one thing…this implies an action that is mutually beneficial, a win win situation. Posts that denigrate Gays/ Gay marriage for instance is as disrespectful as anything you claim I might write. And your supposed authority from which you write is nothing but a load of rules written by an (possibly mythical ) ancient civilization from thousands of years ago.

    Considering how long humans have been around, Monotheism is but a blip on the evolutionary screen. A smudge, like a squashed fly. As I have suggested in the past, religion will run its silly course and all your theological and biblical nonsense will be laid bare; commonsense, love and common humanity will triumph over religious hokum and people will emerge better for its demise.

    Furthermore, punting your faith as anything other than faith is little more than lying. It is not truth.
    A big Amen to that day. Hallelujah!!

  38. @ Warrioress
    Found this comment on the link you provided. I think it’s brilliant and also accurate.
    Conversion Rate: Evangelicals vs Atheists [Open Thread] (bilerico.com)

    “Snarky answer:… extremist Muslims bomb towers. Extremist Christians bomb abortion clinics. Extremist Buddhists set themselves on fire. Extremist atheists go have a microbrew and talk about philosophy.

    I think I’ll stick with the atheists, thanks.”

  39. @Arkenaten

    “Snarky answer:… extremist Muslims bomb towers. Extremist Christians bomb abortion clinics. Extremist Buddhists set themselves on fire. Extremist atheists go have a microbrew and talk about philosophy.

    I think I’ll stick with the atheists, thanks.”

    Ark,

    This presumption of yours requires research ….

    There is the obvious, of course.

    The communist atheists were certainly extreme, would you not agree? They still are. And we know what they did in the past.

  40. @Warrioress.
    Oh, yes, without doubt! You refer to Stalin Mao Tse Tung, Pol Pot etc I presume?
    However, while their actions were vile and unconscionable their motives were primarily political, rather than anti-religious.
    I know Stalin is quoted as saying that ‘Religion is the opiate of the people’, and thus set out to eradicate it, but this was secondary to his goal of communism. The same applies with the others.
    Religious fanatics be they Muslim or Christian are guided by the supposed Word of God and thus consider themselves justified in their horrendous actions .
    Now there are bad religious folk as there are bad atheists, the major difference is that an atheist (like me) will NEVER foist responsibility for my actions on a silly deity – but you would, wouldn’t you?

    The ‘Snarky’ quote by the way, is from one of the links YOU provided.

  41. Thank you for posting this. I also do appreciate suggesting some resources about this. I already know Turek’s and Geisler’s book but not the one from Ravi. I also would like to suggest the book Who Made God? by Edgar Andrews. http://booksforevangelism.org/who-made-god-by-edgar-andrews/

  42. Nettie,

    Thank you so much. I look forward to reading this book you suggest. I appreciate you reading here and commenting!

  43. […] Should Christians Evangelize Atheists? […]


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