atheism, atheist, witness, witnessing, evangelical, evangelism, religion, christian, christianity, jesus, jebus, god, convert, conversion, testimony
Today I learned how to witness to atheists. I also learned that I must not be an atheist, because they sure weren't talking about me, or anyone else I know. (You simply must click on the link. The picture of Andy the Atheist is priceless. Apparently, atheists are always high. I'd also like to know where to get that shirt.)
Andy the Atheist
Atheism is defined as "not having a 'god belief'." try "lacking a belief in gods or deities or supreme beings". "god belief" is a really weird phrase. This is important to remember, because it's not that an atheist doesn't believe in god, because that statement opens the possibility that god or a supreme being exists. no, doesn't believe in god pretty much covers it, and does not "open the possibility" that god exists. if i say that i don't believe in tiny pink unicorns, am i opening the possibility that tiny pink unicorns exist? The atheist's worldview is driven by pure rationality, reason, and the scientific method. we're vulcans? that's a new one. The result of this is that most atheists hold the theory of evolution to be true, BECAUSE IT IS and they reject the possibility of the spiritual world and an afterlife. Most surveys show that around 15% of Americans call themselves atheist. That's actually (yes, I overuse "actually". I've come to terms with it.) not true. This figure comes from a survey, in which atheists are lumped together with agnostics and the "unaffiliated". More accurate surveys put atheism at between 2 and 5% of the population.
What Andy Believes
Andy believes that atheism is the most rational and reasonable worldview, something insulting is sure to follow sometimes because of the 'damage' done by religion throughout the centuries meh, but mainly because it seems to be the most consistent with the observable world according to the scientific method. that "according to the scientific method" is freaking me out. ummm . . . what other way is there to interact with the observable world? what other world is there? oh . . . . yeah.
Andy lacks a 'god belief'. see above
About the Trinity:
Since Andy lacks a 'god belief', the concept of the Trinity is totally irrelevant. true, but you know why christians are so into the trinity? because it resolves that tiny problem of god speaking in the plural on occasion. I think Occam's Razor applies, but whatever.
Genesis 3:22 (KJV): And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever:
Andy believes Jesus was either just an ordinary person, or never existed at all. He will oftentimes refer to the 'Jesus-Myth', i have never heard an atheist refer to the "jesus myth". is this a dawkins thing? or when he is being really sarcastic, refers to 'Jebus' (a sarcastic reference to Christ). I think this originated with the Simpsons.
About the Bible:
Andy believes the Bible is a collection of myths, half-truths, and lies designed to lead ignorant people astray and give power to religious leaders over the masses.
it is the placebo of the masses, after all.
About the Afterlife:
Andy does not believe in an afterlife. live now, this isn't prep for a final exam, people.
In Andy's mind, there is no need for salvation from sin and hell. He doesn't believe in sin, and he doesn't believe in hell, so why does anyone need to be 'saved'? this is an odd interpretation of atheism, because it implies that atheists don't find anything morally repugnant or ethically wrong. i don't use the word "sin", but i don't find lying, stealing and murdering to be acceptable, either.
the next section is entitled: What the Bible Teaches. I'm not going to bother with it, because I find what the bible teaches to be irrelevant.
Things to Remember
The first thing you need to ask an atheist is "do you really seek to discover the truth - even if it costs you your reputation, and even your friends?" BWAHAHAHAHAHA! I love the implication that the only reason I'm not on my knees praying to the lord right now is that they'll take away my scarlet A if I do. If the answer is no, then realize that he/she is not willing to go where the evidence leads .; you won't be having an honest intellectual dialogue, so, if they aren't willing to convert to your brand of christianity, they're ignoring the evidence and are intellectually dishonest. way to frame the argument but your conversation may still have a spiritual impact. it's called "planting the seed".
Don't talk about sin with an atheist. In their worldview, morality is generally dependent on the situation and neutral, so there is no reference point in their minds for a concept of breaking God's universal laws. we're hopelessly sinful. we can't even understand why murder is unacceptable. and we lie a lot, too. i'm lying right now!
Don't get dragged into arguments about what God did or didn't do. it's so obnoxious when atheists bring up god punishing innocent women and children, or forcing Pharoah to continue the plagues against his will. kinda hard to talk about a "just god" after that. Focus on the evidence that Christ existed, died on the cross, and came back from the dead. what evidence? i'll grant you that the story of Yeshua is certainly based on a real person, but i have seen no evidence outside of the bible of anything else. As well, your personal testimony can be a powerful tool, because it's very difficult to 'disprove' the real and lasting change that Christ has brought to your life. actually, it's unnecessary to disprove real and lasting changes in another person's life. i am totally willing to concede that someone's belief changed them. that does not prove that what they believe is objectively real, only that it's real to them.
Bottom line with an atheist (or anyone else for that matter we're just like people!) - you cannot argue someone to faith in Christ isn't that my line?, but you can (and should) live such a Christlike life that those around you sense something different, which opens the door for you to explain the 'evidence'. if that makes fundys nicer people to be around, i am all about that. please, do so.