According to Wikipedia, roughly 450 to 500 million atheists form 7% of the global population. 76% of them reside in Asia and the Pacific. With 90% of its population made up of atheists China is home to the largest atheist community in the world. In light of these numbers have you ever thought about what are your chances of never meeting an atheist? What will you say if an atheist happens to question your beliefs? Given below are three ways you can respond to one. Not to convert him but to help you create a nurturing environment for a cordial conversation. [Image: Richard Dawkins on 18th September 2019 protesting the visit of Pope Benedict XVI to the United Kingdom Credit: Jasn]
Your story is an acceptable response to any Atheist
I have met several atheists in my lifetime, and when asked why I believe God exists, instead of reasoning with them I explained how I used to be a world-class failure before I began believing in Jesus. I know it’s an acceptable response to any atheist because at least one of them many years down the road had surrendered his life to Jesus.
Of course, reasoning matters. Nevertheless, let’s not put the cart before the horse, shall we? Now he might have a scientific counter-explanation to your story. Who cares? You have planted a seed of thought. After all, the golden rule is all about relationships. Love your neighbour as yourself. What good is our faith if we can’t coexist with our atheist brethren?
Point your atheist friend to an informative source
Now, I am not saying you must never, ever witness to your atheist friend. After all, if you love him as yourself you will not want to see him in hell. So how can you share your beliefs with him and not look like a threat at the same time? By pointing them to an information source. Jesus did it. He always pointed out the Pharisees, his biggest critiques to scripture.
Consider this video by Penn Gillette for example. (BTW: Penn is my favourite atheist) In it, he shares the gift of a pocket-sized Gideons Bible he received as a gift. There are many none – threatening yet straightforward resources on the internet that you can point your atheist friends to. Here are two sites I use all the time. Got Questions and Real Truth Real Quick.
Don’t give him the satisfaction of offending You
I love Penn. Unfortunately, however, there is also Dawkins. (If you know what I mean!) I don’t know about your country but in my country, there are many pseudo-atheists. Idiots who think atheism is a fashion statement. They think it’s uber-cool to run around mocking the religious while having no idea what it means to be atheistic.
If you ever happen to meet such pseudo-atheists, don’t get offended because it’s precisely what they want. Mark Twain said, “Don’t wrestle with pigs. You both get dirty, and the Pigs like it.” After all, Jesus forbade us from casting our pearls before the swine! If you are an atheist, I am not saying that you are a pig, but you might as well wear the hat if it fits you!
If there’s one thing I have learned from my conversations with atheists, they are not as bad as we think. At least not all of them. I am not trying to be politically correct here, mind you, but there are many good things we can learn from atheists. Well, most of them. After all, like I always tell you, our differences shouldn’t prevent us from accepting each other.
I seek to foster thoughtful and respectful dialogue. Toward that end, I require that you use your full name when commenting. Also, any comments with profanity, name-calling, and/or a nasty tone will be deleted.