Hello, what approach should one take when trying to reach out to atheists born and raised in godly Christian homes as opposed to those raised without God’s word?
Hi @ALandis, that’s a really good question!
I think there are two things you need to ask so you can have a meaningful conversation. First, I think you should ask, “What do you mean when you say, ‘I am an atheist?’” If you ask a dozen atheists this question, you’ll probably end up with close to a dozen different answers. It’s really important to know what the person’s objection instead of assuming he or she fits into a one size fits all box. So, ask this person define what he or she means by atheist so that you can fully understand his or her position.
Second, I’d ask them why they are an atheist or what led them to hold to their atheism? If you asked a dozen atheists this question, you’ll likely get 3 or 4 dozen different responses to this question. This question is necessary because every good conversation has an appropriate starting point and you need to figure out where to start this one. For example, the response “I don’t think Christianity answers the Problem of Evil sufficiently” requires a much different conversation than, “I’m an atheist because I was sexually assaulted by a man who claimed to be a man of God.” Our goal is to answer the questioner and this is the first step.
Once you have these questions answered, you’ll have a much better “lay of the land” so to speak. And because you know the objection (first question) and the reasons they hold the objection (second question) you can now have dialogue with purpose rather than reciting rehearsed answers. If you have questions and problems answering the objections, you can always ask here on RZIM Connect because there are many knowledgeable member who are more than ready to help!
Thank you so much for your response. I have never thought of asking that first question; I don’t think I imagined it would yield more than one answer! I will try that next time.
Thank you for asking, all questions are relevant?
My first thought was
Hebrews 4:12-13 NKJV
For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account.
I dont believe for one minute that a person who has heard the word for most of thier young life will ever escape the power and what the word uncovers.
John 14:26 NKJV
But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.
As you simply share the word, truth, in love bathed with heart felt earnest prayer it will not return void.
We all know there can only be one ultimate truth and we must deny that TRUTH or be decieved to accept a lie.
Just as light and darkness cannot coexist neither can truth and lies.
Hope this helps.
Thank you, Mike. These are precious verses, and your encouragement to bathe the truth in love with earnest prayer is what I truly need to continually remember. I appreciate you and @boabbott taking the time to respond.
Thank you @boabbott For the response. It is helpful even to me
I love the part of asking the questions to have an entry point for the discussion. Also the question may help to open up the questioners assumptions.
@ALandis, as you wait on God for His leading and insight I pray that while asking the questions and thru the discussion it will be very fruitful.