This week’s post is from guest writer Ronald Cain who writes about “Debating Atheism”. Using 8 points he details great approaches to make your points while keeping your Christian faith the main subject of debate.
Debating Atheism: Do and Don’ts.
With Atheism already a strong and growing influence worldwide, it can be easy for a Christian’s faith to waver and/or be offended by the prospect of an Atheist rebuking them for their beliefs. It can be tempting for the Christian to go on a tirade about why denying God’s existence is sin, thus adding ammunition to the Atheist’s point of God being “hateful and bigoted.”
People do want to be heard and respected. How can Christians communicate effectively and respectfully, whenever they come across an Atheist? Below are 8 things to consider for Christians to engage with an Atheist about Christianity:
- Don’t Be Afraid To Confess Your Faith
“Some Christians have been in situations where the topic of their faith comes up, and all they can say is that they have faith even though they’ve never done any soul-searching on it,” says Harvey Crawford, a blogger at Writinity and Research papers UK. “Instead, confess your faith, and don’t try to work your way around it to appease the Atheist. You can say that your faith is not just a story you tell yourself to feel good. From there, you can explain what leads you to believe that you have a real relationship with Something outside of this world.”
- Know The Bible, Don’t Quote It
Remember that the Bible is a source of great wisdom, not something that you can pull quotes out of thin air. Trying to quote the Bible to an Atheist is like being a doctor explaining a diagnosis by reading a passage from a random book. Instead, know the reasons behind why the Bible would say the things it says, and be ready to explain them.
- Pray That God Sends You Someone
God calls people to be His ambassadors, not by having them do battle with an unsuspecting atheist, but by having them spend time seeking Him through Bible study and prayer. Only then can Christians ask Him to send someone to them to try and change their mind. The more time you spend with God, the more His heart and compassion for the lost will come to you.
- Don’t Assume Atheists Are Atheist
Sometimes, Atheists are Atheists, because they don’t know what to believe, meaning that they’re not sure if there’s a God or not. Or, they might be mad at God for unfortunate circumstances. Or, they might feel like they’re missing something in their lives. You don’t know.
Instead, only assume that someone is Atheist, because they simply haven’t seen any evidence that God exists.
Reach for God’s goal, not ours.
- Understand God’s Goal, Not Yours
God calls on Christians to plant a seed. In other words, you can only defend Christianity the best you can, even if Atheists still hold true to their beliefs. It’s not your job to convert people – it’s God’s.
- Be Interested In Hearing The Other Party
“Rather than go on a theological debate with Atheists on why God exists, realize how He has already shown everyone His existence, as written in Romans 1,” says Harvey Lane, a journalist at draftbeyond.com and lastminutewriting.com. “Instead of trying to tear down the Atheist, listen to their side of the story. You’d be surprised how many people feel lonely and worthless, that they’ve turned to Atheism. So, when you have some hope that God cares about them, God may cause them to change their outlook.”
- Share Your Story
Testimony is a powerful thing. By sharing your story, you might inspire someone to leave their Atheist beliefs, or at least, have them grow more open to listening to a Christian. In other words, never underestimate the power of a changed life.
Think about who you’d be without Christ. Would you have been a slave to sin? Would you have been lost in the world without God? You might offer hope to anyone by sharing your story.
- Pray, Pray, Pray
Finally, regardless of how Atheists treat you, or question your faith, it’s still important to pray for them. Not only that, but also pray for guidance for yourself, and for a receptive heart within your atheist friend. This is both good for you and your friend, so that there’s no turmoil between you two.
Check out this blog post about: God’s Grace
Remember, too that not everyone will believe in God; but, it’s not your job to convert people for Jesus (that’s His job). A little mental preparation will help you be ready to present a case for your faith, without coming across negatively, as you may be perceived by believing friends and family.
Ronald Cain as a professional writer, he has a strong passion for reading and writing, and loves to mentor those who want an extensive career in writing.