Terrible Advice from Atheist Revolution
VJack from Atheist Revolution has given some terrible advice about witnessing to atheists. He says not to do it. I advocate ignoring that advice completely. VJack says:
I know your church says you are supposed to do this and that you’ll win friends and magic Jesus points for your efforts. I know your bible makes you think that this is what your god wants. I even know that your failures are more important than your successes because they reinforce your persecution complex. But don’t do it.
First, Jesus–not the church–says that we are supposed to do this (see Mt 28:19-20). As disciples of Him, I don’t see us disobeying the words of our Lord because VJack says so.
Second, what exactly are these “magic Jesus points” and how do I earn them? The last time I checked, the Bible teaches that it is Jesus who saves us and we cannot earn salvation. Following His commands are done out of love and free choice rather than some sort of compulsion or game.
The best witness to atheists, I think, doesn’t come from words but the way we live our lives. As St. Francis of Assisi said, “It is no use walking anywhere to preach unless our walking is our preaching.” Along the same lines, he said, “Preach the Gospel at all times and when necessary use words.” Living the Word of God to the best of your ability (Rom 12:9-21) will show the atheists that our chosen lifestyle is superior to their own. The atheists will want what we have. The words that VJack hates so much won’t even be necessary.
Recap: Witnessing to atheists? Do it with enthusiasm!
Posted on June 5, 2008, in Apologetics, Morality and tagged atheism, Evangelism, Jesus. Bookmark the permalink. 9 Comments.
more than defending the reason we might continue witnessing, i thought it brilliant that we are supposed to stop trying to persuade atheists of god’s existence and his love for them–yet, atheists are never exhorted to stop trying to persuade christians of atheism.
classic pot/kettle syndrome.
it seems to me that if we stop speaking about christ (to atheists, to muslims, to everyone), then they will have accomplished what is best for atheism: they will be allowed to make any statement about christ and christianity that they want, and we will sit back and not defend our faith.
i just find that ridiculous. why would we concede?
I’m not sure how your witnessing technique is supposed to work. What aspects of an average Christian’s lifestyle am I supposed to ‘want’ so badly that I’m willing to convert?
On “magic Jesus points” – you guys have no sense of humor at all do you? Can’t you see that was a facetious remark, or are you genuinely as devoid of character as that paragraph makes you seem?
Really, I have no problem with how you live your life, or what you choose to believe. I hope it all works out for you, and you live a long and happy life as a result. On the other hand, I’m on my own life journey, and have made choices which are not the same choices you have made… but they work for me, and I’m happy. You may not like my choices, but they don’t effect you or anyone other than myself. To insinuate that my choices are wrong and must be changed, is to strip away my free will and attempt to impose your own.
I thought long and hard to get to where I am today, and have developed a framework of ideas which works for me. This framework of ideas is incompatible with organized religion, and no amount of witnessing can change that. I’m sure that similarly, my raising questions as to the existence of supernatural forces in the universe is not going to have much of a measurable effect on you beliefs, is it?
By all means, I open to being asked questions about my beliefs – I’m not open to being told that I’m staring down the barrel of eternal damnation if I don’t conform to the rules of your chosen religion. All that amounts to is a bad way to make friends.
Why can’t I make any remark I feel like making about Christ/Christianity? Isn’t free speech the right of all?
and what does it matter to you anyway? Religious people make slurs against atheists/atheism all the time… are we not allowed to defend ourselves? Why would we concede?
you *can* make any remark you want to about christ and/or christianity.
it only matters to me when, in the next breath, you tell me to stop trying to defend myself when you do such. i have that whole free speech thing, too.
i submit it to you, aweraw, that neither side concede; but that we continue to discuss matters rationally, and with dignity and respect for one another–even if we cannot respect each other’s decisions and views.
that’s all i’m saying. if i’ve been unclear in stating that, i apologize. but surely you agree that discussion is a much better option than bullying either side to concede.
pax christi, awe.
Thanks. Your views are refreshing. If only more people were as calm and even handed as you appear, the world would probably not be in such a mess.
We (humans) get a lot more accomplished when we cast aside our differences and act in concert as inhabitants of the same planet, sharing our responsibilities to future generations of humans. It is unfortunate that so often we erect and respect artificial barriers (i.e. race, religion, locality) that only serve to divert our attention away from the fact that we’re all inhabitants of the same ball of mud flying through space.
thanks, aweraw…i appreciate your words. they are also refreshing! i couldn’t agree with you more!
“yet, atheists are never exhorted to stop trying to persuade christians of atheism.”
Um, excuse me? Most of the atheists I know do not step into an discussion with a christian unless the christian starts it because most of the atheists I know aren’t eager to hear the same arguments and blindness to things that christians have, yet so many christians I know would get in an out right argument with me over why I should believe in jesus/god in a heart beat.
C’mon now, we are pushing for more of ‘us’ to put the truth about atheism to christian eyes but that’s simply because most people have wrong ideas about atheists. Okay? Plus, there are so few of us compared to so many of yall that it really bares no comparison the urgings of whomever to do whatever regarding the differences.
Hello all, I love Jesus and I love Atheists. I often agree with atheists on certain issues. I also disagree obviously if i’m not an atheist. “christians” are not perfect, not a one. I often get just as frustrated with so called “christians” as atheists are. You can’t force anyone to believe anything, The problem with most “christians” today is they are unable to see outside their own little world, they do not put themselves in other peoples shoes and try to see things from a different perspective. I understand the views of atheists because i’ve put myself in there shoes and looked from their perspective. I do not agree with them, I believe and follow christ, but that is because I too have a perspective to look from that they may not understand unless they stood in my position. all I can do is Pray that Jesus himself helps them to see, not from our perspective but his. If we really beleive and understand the bible we would all stop arguing and love one another as Jesus has commanded us. no one can change another human besides the Lord himself, so stop trying. Pray and love and seek Him, wittness by example, not pressure and facts. Put yourself in there shoes and ask yourself if you lived there life and saw things they see, what would you believe? Start there. I do not even like to refer to myself as a “christian” because it has become something it ought not be. I seek the lord on my own through the word and prayer, not other people who don’t know what they are talking about. I follow Christ. Not a religion or a person or some doctrine. God can not fit in a box, so stop trying to box him in, get out of your box and maybe we can all get somewhere. peace