“As believers, we need to realize that the atheist – behind all of the alleged intellectualism, swagger, and bluster – are people that feel, and people that are often hurting.”
Christians often look down on atheists and judge them for pushing back so intensely against the thought of God. However, we often underestimate what has happened behind the scenes to bring them to where they are.
Dr. Alex McFarland tells the story of one instance when he was in a debate explaining that an atheist cannot have an objective standard of morality. This means that atheists have no way to determine what is right and wrong because they have no authority figure or god who determines what is moral.
An atheist responded to Alex’s statement and said, “Do you mean to say atheists can’t be moral?”
“Atheists can act morally, but they don’t have any universal objective reason to act morally.”
He went on to say that if there is no foundation for moral reality.
The lady began to cry as she felt her argument begin to crumble around her. Alex and his wife began to talk with her and the truth poured from the woman. She confessed that she was raised in the church and was molested by a youth pastor 40 years ago.
“She had this seasoned anger against the very idea of God.”
Alex has conducted interviews with many well-known atheists and he says that a majority were deeply hurt earlier in life.
“Show me an activist-level atheist and I’ll show you somebody who at some time past was wounded. For that reason, they need love, prayer, and our friendship.”
Instead of responding to an atheist with disgust and condemnation, Alex suggests Christians take a different course of action.
“We need to love people with no expectation of return.”
Ultimately, we want all atheists to come to know Christ. However, they need to be more than just our “project.”
“We need to love the atheist and befriend them. I’m not saying we need to embrace all that they stand for, but we need to speak out against the fallacy of atheism.”
Atheists are actively spreading their message to our children through schools and the media. As a result, we must take the initiative to ensure that the voice of truth rings louder still.
It is important for all Christians to show the love of Christ to atheists, because that love has the power to soften hearts.