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How Christians Should Approach Atheists
#1

How Christians Should Approach Atheists
Are there some atheists who know that God exists and reject Him? In my opinion, yes; they exist.

But before atheists reading this become angry, keep reading. This is a "positive" post. What I deny is the following:


1) that all atheists are of that nature. Virtually all self-described agnostics clearly are not, and even many self-described atheists are not, either. They truly and sincerely don't believe God exists, based on many strands of reasoning that they would produce. They're not rejecting or rebelling against a God they know to exist.

and 


2) that we can know with assurance which ones actually know God exists and reject Him, and which sincerely don't know if God exists, or sincerely believe that He does not exist.


Therefore, given these inherent limitations, we should approach all atheists and agnostics with charity, civility, tolerance, and courtesy — freely granting them the benefit of the doubt, and believing the best of them, not the worst. Christians are commanded anyway to love all people, regardless of what they are like, or what they believe.


This would seem to be elementary, but lots of Christians are either ignorant of well-known biblical teaching, or are rejecting it (making an exception of atheists). See:

Quote:1 Peter 2:17 (RSV) Honor all men. . . . 

Romans 13:8 . . . he who loves his neighbor has fulfilled the law.

1 John 3:10 . . . whoever does not do right is not of God, nor he who does not love his brother.

Galatians 6:10 . . . let us do good to all men, . . . 

1 Thessalonians 3:12 . . . abound in love to one another and to all men, . . . 

Titus 3:2 . . . show perfect courtesy toward all men.

Hebrews 12:14 Strive for peace with all men, . . . 

1 Corinthians 13:4-7 Love is patient and kind; love is not jealous or boastful; [5] it is not arrogant or rude. Love does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; [6] it does not rejoice at wrong, but rejoices in the right. [7] Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

Romans 2:5-16 But by your hard and impenitent heart you are storing up wrath for yourself on the day of wrath when God's righteous judgment will be revealed. [6] For he will render to every man according to his works: [7] to those who by patience in well-doing seek for glory and honor and immortality, he will give eternal life; [8] but for those who are factious and do not obey the truth, but obey wickedness, there will be wrath and fury. [9] There will be tribulation and distress for every human being who does evil, the Jew first and also the Greek, [10] but glory and honor and peace for every one who does good, the Jew first and also the Greek. [11] For God shows no partiality. [12] All who have sinned without the law will also perish without the law, and all who have sinned under the law will be judged by the law. [13] For it is not the hearers of the law who are righteous before God, but the doers of the law who will be justified. [14] When Gentiles who have not the law do by nature what the law requires, they are a law to themselves, even though they do not have the law. [15] They show that what the law requires is written on their hearts, while their conscience also bears witness and their conflicting thoughts accuse or perhaps excuse them [16] on that day when, according to my gospel, God judges the secrets of men by Christ Jesus.

Whenever a self-described "Christian" treats you badly, keep this on hand and shove it in their face. If they don't respect these clear NT injunctions, then I highly recommend having nothing to do with them (but be sure that they are severely lacking in this quality). They represent neither Jesus nor Christianity nor biblical teaching. They are what the Bible calls "wolves in sheeps' clothing." As such, they deserve no further attention, and in fact, the Bible also urges Christians to separate from supposed Christians who don't exhibit these traits.
[F]anatical atheists . . . can’t hear the music of the spheres. (Einstein, 8-7-41)
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#2

How Christians Should Approach Atheists
Most atheists are atheists and agnostics, such as Richard Dawkins. I don't believe in gods, but I'm not 100% sure, just as I'm not 100% sure a coffee machine won't materialise over my desk out of thin air, or that Leprechauns and the lock ness monster exist.
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#3

How Christians Should Approach Atheists
(01-02-2024, 06:40 PM)Dexta Wrote: Most atheists are atheists and agnostics, such as Richard Dawkins. I don't believe in gods, but I'm not 100% sure, just as I'm not 100% sure a coffee machine won't materialise over my desk out of thin air, or that Leprechauns and the lock ness monster exist.

This confirms what I contended for above. Thanks.
[F]anatical atheists . . . can’t hear the music of the spheres. (Einstein, 8-7-41)
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#4

How Christians Should Approach Atheists
(01-02-2024, 06:36 PM)Dave Armstrong Wrote: Therefore, given these inherent limitations, we should approach all atheists and agnostics with charity, civility, tolerance, and courtesy — freely granting them the benefit of the doubt, and believing the best of them, not the worst. Christians are commanded anyway to love all people, regardless of what they are like, or what they believe.

Seems like a healthy way to interact with all people in all scenarios.
[Image: nL4L1haz_Qo04rZMFtdpyd1OZgZf9NSnR9-7hAWT...dc2a24480e]

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#5

How Christians Should Approach Atheists
Enki is pissed you chose the wrong god. But don't worry I'm sending you some charity, civility, tolerance, and courtesy. Maybe you will be forgiven.
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#6

How Christians Should Approach Atheists
Humanity has invented thousands of gods over the  millennia but this moron is just positive that his is the real deal.

You cannot reason with people like this.
Robert G. Ingersoll : “No man with a sense of humor ever founded a religion.”
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#7

How Christians Should Approach Atheists
(01-02-2024, 07:11 PM)Aegon Wrote:
(01-02-2024, 06:36 PM)Dave Armstrong Wrote: Therefore, given these inherent limitations, we should approach all atheists and agnostics with charity, civility, tolerance, and courtesy — freely granting them the benefit of the doubt, and believing the best of them, not the worst. Christians are commanded anyway to love all people, regardless of what they are like, or what they believe.

Seems like a healthy way to interact with all people in all scenarios.

Glad you agree!
[F]anatical atheists . . . can’t hear the music of the spheres. (Einstein, 8-7-41)
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#8

How Christians Should Approach Atheists
(01-02-2024, 07:36 PM)no one Wrote: Enki is pissed you chose the wrong god. But don't worry I'm sending you some charity, civility, tolerance, and courtesy. Maybe you will be forgiven.

Your undying concern for me is utterly evident.
[F]anatical atheists . . . can’t hear the music of the spheres. (Einstein, 8-7-41)
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#9

How Christians Should Approach Atheists
(01-02-2024, 08:13 PM)Minimalist Wrote: You cannot reason with people like this.

Funny. That's exactly how I view you! Good to have at least one trait in common . . .  Dance
[F]anatical atheists . . . can’t hear the music of the spheres. (Einstein, 8-7-41)
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#10

How Christians Should Approach Atheists
Another unsinkable rubber duck
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#11

How Christians Should Approach Atheists
Your god, like every other one, is make believe. Nonsense dreamed up by silly little hoomans who did not understand how anything worked, so they attributed it to magic.

The buybull, like every other religious text, is a crock of shit.
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#12

How Christians Should Approach Atheists
(01-02-2024, 06:36 PM)Dave Armstrong Wrote: Are there some atheists who know that God exists and reject Him? In my opinion, yes; they exist.

But before atheists reading this become angry, keep reading. This is a "positive" post. What I deny is the following:

1) that all atheists are of that nature. Virtually all self-described agnostics clearly are not, and even many self-described atheists are not, either. They truly and sincerely don't believe God exists, based on many strands of reasoning that they would produce. They're not rejecting or rebelling against a God they know to exist.

and 


2) that we can know with assurance which ones actually know God exists and reject Him, and which sincerely don't know if God exists, or sincerely believe that He does not exist.


Therefore, given these inherent limitations, we should approach all atheists and agnostics with charity, civility, tolerance, and courtesy — freely granting them the benefit of the doubt, and believing the best of them, not the worst. Christians are commanded anyway to love all people, regardless of what they are like, or what they believe.


This would seem to be elementary, but lots of Christians are either ignorant of well-known biblical teaching, or are rejecting it (making an exception of atheists). See:

[Bibley stuff redacted]
 
Whenever a self-described "Christian" treats you badly, keep this on hand and shove it in their face. If they don't respect these clear NT injunctions, then I highly recommend having nothing to do with them (but be sure that they are severely lacking in this quality). They represent neither Jesus nor Christianity nor biblical teaching. They are what the Bible calls "wolves in sheeps' clothing." As such, they deserve no further attention, and in fact, the Bible also urges Christians to separate from supposed Christians who don't exhibit these traits.

 
Bold mine

Alright, this part of the reply is to the atheists in the room.
 
Y’all listen. I KNOW some of you are going to get your panties in a knot over this post because Dave here is justifying his position with the bible. -But that really should not matter. Dave’s position is that we should treat each other civilly and we frankly get a lot of apologists here who do *not* treat us civilly. He acknowledges that this occurs and feels badly about it.
Maybe *don’t* gnaw on Dave unless and until he does something actually offensive (and politely disagreeing or presenting one’s position when invited to do so shouldn’t be considered offensive!)
 
And Dave, NGL there is a twinge of condescension in your post that I’m sure you don’t mean to convey given that you have been entirely civil based on what I’ve read so far (which admittedly is limited) and you seem to be pro-tolerance of others. Giving atheists the benefit of the doubt because you can’t know with certainly that they reject your deity or simply don’t understand your deity can be perceived as offensive. Be civil and kind because that’s the modus operandi you should adopt with all people. Their belief system should be immaterial if they are conducting themselves appropriately according to the social norms of their society.
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#13

How Christians Should Approach Atheists
Some seemingly polite christians stopped to pet my dogs on my way home from walking them in the park the other day. Then, after some friendly small talk, the adult of their group handed me a "cartoon" strip leaflet - christian apologetics. I read the first couple of frames and said to her: "I'm a staunch atheist actually, so this really isn't for me" - she replied to me "oh, take this one then," and handed me another about atheists.

We had a bit of a chat about a loving god inflicting congenital birth defects on the innocent, which I of course "won," then I said to to the three of them, "ah heck HAPPY CHRISTMAS!". They smiled widely and I went home with the two leaflets.

Reading them later (fuck me they were retarded) both in fact threatened literal hell, eternal torment and gnashing teeth, for those who do not "accept christ into their hearts." How I feel right now? I certainly wished I hadn't wished them happy christmas. I wish I'd have gone ballistic on their sorry dumb asses. If I see them again we're gonna have words, put it that way. True story.

Civil christians who aren't proponents of eternal damnation...rare...I mean, they believe what the bible says, right? Fuck'em.
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#14

How Christians Should Approach Atheists
(01-02-2024, 08:46 PM)Aliza Wrote:
(01-02-2024, 06:36 PM)Dave Armstrong Wrote: Are there some atheists who know that God exists and reject Him? In my opinion, yes; they exist.

But before atheists reading this become angry, keep reading. This is a "positive" post. What I deny is the following:

1) that all atheists are of that nature. Virtually all self-described agnostics clearly are not, and even many self-described atheists are not, either. They truly and sincerely don't believe God exists, based on many strands of reasoning that they would produce. They're not rejecting or rebelling against a God they know to exist.

and 


2) that we can know with assurance which ones actually know God exists and reject Him, and which sincerely don't know if God exists, or sincerely believe that He does not exist.


Therefore, given these inherent limitations, we should approach all atheists and agnostics with charity, civility, tolerance, and courtesy — freely granting them the benefit of the doubt, and believing the best of them, not the worst. Christians are commanded anyway to love all people, regardless of what they are like, or what they believe.


This would seem to be elementary, but lots of Christians are either ignorant of well-known biblical teaching, or are rejecting it (making an exception of atheists). See:

[Bibley stuff redacted]
 
Whenever a self-described "Christian" treats you badly, keep this on hand and shove it in their face. If they don't respect these clear NT injunctions, then I highly recommend having nothing to do with them (but be sure that they are severely lacking in this quality). They represent neither Jesus nor Christianity nor biblical teaching. They are what the Bible calls "wolves in sheeps' clothing." As such, they deserve no further attention, and in fact, the Bible also urges Christians to separate from supposed Christians who don't exhibit these traits.

 
Bold mine

Alright, this part of the reply is to the atheists in the room.
 
Y’all listen. I KNOW some of you are going to get your panties in a knot over this post because Dave here is justifying his position with the bible. -But that really should not matter. Dave’s position is that we should treat each other civilly and we frankly get a lot of apologists here who do *not* treat us civilly. He acknowledges that this occurs and feels badly about it.
Maybe *don’t* gnaw on Dave unless and until he does something actually offensive (and politely disagreeing or presenting one’s position when invited to do so shouldn’t be considered offensive!)
 
And Dave, NGL there is a twinge of condescension in your post that I’m sure you don’t mean to convey given that you have been entirely civil based on what I’ve read so far (which admittedly is limited) and you seem to be pro-tolerance of others. Giving atheists the benefit of the doubt because you can’t know with certainly that they reject your deity or simply don’t understand your deity can be perceived as offensive. Be civil and kind because that’s the modus operandi you should adopt with all people. Their belief system should be immaterial if they are conducting themselves appropriately according to the social norms of their society.

I think you're preaching the backhand version of religious privilege -- that we should be grateful when they aren't doing ill.
Mountain-high though the difficulties appear, terrible and gloomy though all things seem, they are but Mâyâ.
Fear not — it is banished. Crush it, and it vanishes. Stamp upon it, and it dies.


Vivekananda
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#15

How Christians Should Approach Atheists
(01-02-2024, 09:10 PM)Dānu Wrote: I think you're preaching the backhand version of religious privilege -- that we should be grateful when they aren't doing ill.

Of course, we should (all) be grateful. We should also expect appropriate behavior, we should recognize it when we see it and acknowledge it. That's how you get more of what you like.
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#16

How Christians Should Approach Atheists
(01-02-2024, 08:17 PM)Dave Armstrong Wrote:
(01-02-2024, 08:13 PM)Minimalist Wrote: You cannot reason with people like this.

Funny. That's exactly how I view you! Good to have at least one trait in common . . .  Dance

You both may be right.
Mountain-high though the difficulties appear, terrible and gloomy though all things seem, they are but Mâyâ.
Fear not — it is banished. Crush it, and it vanishes. Stamp upon it, and it dies.


Vivekananda
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#17

How Christians Should Approach Atheists
(01-02-2024, 09:01 PM)Dexta Wrote: Some seemingly polite christians stopped to pet my dogs on my way home from walking them in the park the other day. Then, after some friendly small talk, the adult of their group handed me a "cartoon" strip leaflet - christian apologetics. I read the first couple of frames and said to her: "I'm a staunch atheist actually, so this really isn't for me" - she replied to me "oh, take this one then," and handed me another about atheists.

We had a bit of a chat about a loving god inflicting congenital birth defects on the innocent, which I of course "won," then I said to to the three of them, "ah heck HAPPY CHRISTMAS!". They smiled widely and I went home with the two leaflets.

Reading them later (fuck me they were retarded) both in fact threatened literal hell, eternal torment and gnashing teeth, for those who do not "accept christ into their hearts." How I feel right now? I certainly wished I hadn't wished them happy christmas. I wish I'd have gone ballistic on their sorry dumb asses. If I see them again we're gonna have words, put it that way. True story.

Civil christians who aren't proponents of eternal damnation...rare...I mean, they believe what the bible says, right? Fuck'em.

First of all, handing out leaflets is a douche move. Period.

But what difference does it make if a Christian believes what the bible says? What if you meet a Christian who believes in eternal damnation and doesn't shove it down your throat? They just happen to believe it, and maybe they even think you're going to hell but they don't harp on you about it. How do you handle that kind of Christian?
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#18

How Christians Should Approach Atheists
(01-02-2024, 09:01 PM)Dexta Wrote: Some seemingly polite christians stopped to pet my dogs on my way home from walking them in the park the other day. Then, after some friendly small talk, the adult of their group handed me a "cartoon" strip leaflet - christian apologetics. I read the first couple of frames and said to her: "I'm a staunch atheist actually, so this really isn't for me" - she replied to me "oh, take this one then," and handed me another about atheists.

We had a bit of a chat about a loving god inflicting congenital birth defects on the innocent, which I of course "won," then I said to to the three of them, "ah heck HAPPY CHRISTMAS!". They smiled widely and I went home with the two leaflets.

Reading them later (fuck me they were retarded) both in fact threatened literal hell, eternal torment and gnashing teeth, for those who do not "accept christ into their hearts." How I feel right now? I certainly wished I hadn't wished them happy christmas. I wish I'd have gone ballistic on their sorry dumb asses. If I see them again we're gonna have words, put it that way. True story.

Civil christians who aren't proponents of eternal damnation...rare...I mean, they believe what the bible says, right? Fuck'em.
Those sound like Jack Chick tracts. I'm sure people still pass them out. He was a first-class bigot and anti-semite among other things. He would definitely assume that all atheists know god exists but just refuse to submit to him. His depiction of unbelievers was always ugly caricatures with the worst possible motives, because without Jebus, you would "obviously" become completely depraved.
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#19

How Christians Should Approach Atheists
(01-02-2024, 09:19 PM)Aliza Wrote:
(01-02-2024, 09:01 PM)Dexta Wrote: Some seemingly polite christians stopped to pet my dogs on my way home from walking them in the park the other day. Then, after some friendly small talk, the adult of their group handed me a "cartoon" strip leaflet - christian apologetics. I read the first couple of frames and said to her: "I'm a staunch atheist actually, so this really isn't for me" - she replied to me "oh, take this one then," and handed me another about atheists.

We had a bit of a chat about a loving god inflicting congenital birth defects on the innocent, which I of course "won," then I said to to the three of them, "ah heck HAPPY CHRISTMAS!". They smiled widely and I went home with the two leaflets.

Reading them later (fuck me they were retarded) both in fact threatened literal hell, eternal torment and gnashing teeth, for those who do not "accept christ into their hearts." How I feel right now? I certainly wished I hadn't wished them happy christmas. I wish I'd have gone ballistic on their sorry dumb asses. If I see them again we're gonna have words, put it that way. True story.

Civil christians who aren't proponents of eternal damnation...rare...I mean, they believe what the bible says, right? Fuck'em.

First of all, handing out leaflets is a douche move. Period.

But what difference does it make if a Christian believes what the bible says? What if you meet a Christian who believes in eternal damnation and doesn't shove it down your throat? They just happen to believe it, and maybe they even think you're going to hell but they don't harp on you about it. How do you handle that kind of Christian?

I think I'd call them, now, a disingenuous cunt for not trying to save me from eternal damnation, also known as, ignoring the elephant in the room.
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#20

How Christians Should Approach Atheists
(01-02-2024, 09:20 PM)mordant Wrote:
(01-02-2024, 09:01 PM)Dexta Wrote: Some seemingly polite christians stopped to pet my dogs on my way home from walking them in the park the other day. Then, after some friendly small talk, the adult of their group handed me a "cartoon" strip leaflet - christian apologetics. I read the first couple of frames and said to her: "I'm a staunch atheist actually, so this really isn't for me" - she replied to me "oh, take this one then," and handed me another about atheists.

We had a bit of a chat about a loving god inflicting congenital birth defects on the innocent, which I of course "won," then I said to to the three of them, "ah heck HAPPY CHRISTMAS!". They smiled widely and I went home with the two leaflets.

Reading them later (fuck me they were retarded) both in fact threatened literal hell, eternal torment and gnashing teeth, for those who do not "accept christ into their hearts." How I feel right now? I certainly wished I hadn't wished them happy christmas. I wish I'd have gone ballistic on their sorry dumb asses. If I see them again we're gonna have words, put it that way. True story.

Civil christians who aren't proponents of eternal damnation...rare...I mean, they believe what the bible says, right? Fuck'em.
Those sound like Jack Chick tracts. I'm sure people still pass them out. He was a first-class bigot and anti-semite among other things. He would definitely assume that all atheists know god exists but just refuse to submit to him. His depiction of unbelievers was always ugly caricatures with the worst possible motives, because without Jebus, you would "obviously" become completely depraved.

Yeah, they reminded me of Chick tracts, I'm aware of them. I threw them away, knew I should have kept them to post online for derision. Ray Comfort was listed on one of them as a source of the content, I remember.
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#21

How Christians Should Approach Atheists
Also remembered the website linked on those tracts: https://www.whydidigetthis.org/
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#22

How Christians Should Approach Atheists
(01-02-2024, 09:23 PM)Dexta Wrote:
(01-02-2024, 09:19 PM)Aliza Wrote: First of all, handing out leaflets is a douche move. Period.

But what difference does it make if a Christian believes what the bible says? What if you meet a Christian who believes in eternal damnation and doesn't shove it down your throat? They just happen to believe it, and maybe they even think you're going to hell but they don't harp on you about it. How do you handle that kind of Christian?

I think I'd call them, now, a disingenuous cunt for not trying to save me from eternal damnation, also known as, ignoring the elephant in the room.

And if they did try to save you... you'd be mad at them for that too?

Dexta... That is not how civility and tolerance are supposed to work.  Facepalm
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#23

How Christians Should Approach Atheists
(01-02-2024, 10:29 PM)Aliza Wrote:
(01-02-2024, 09:23 PM)Dexta Wrote: I think I'd call them, now, a disingenuous cunt for not trying to save me from eternal damnation, also known as, ignoring the elephant in the room.

And if they did try to save you... you'd be mad at them for that too?

Dexta... That is not civility and tolerance are supposed to work.  Facepalm

No, I'd respect their honesty and treat them like the deluded infants they are. Don't put words into my mouth please, Aliza
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#24

How Christians Should Approach Atheists
(01-02-2024, 06:36 PM)Dave Armstrong Wrote: Are there some atheists who know that God exists and reject Him? In my opinion, yes; they exist.

What is that supposed to mean?

Do you mean that they believe your deity exists, but rejects it's divine status like in the following examples: "Jesus existed, but he was not a God" or "Your god is too weak/petty/evil/stupid/small to be real God".


Or do you mean something akin to the following examples: "God exists; he is real; he is a true God; but I don't like him so I reject his existence to spite him" or "God exist; he is real; he is a true God; but I don't like him so I try to convince myself he doesn't exist to feel better about me disobeying him".

I would say that the first set of example does represent actual atheists, but the second does not. They represent what we call misotheists not atheists.
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#25

How Christians Should Approach Atheists
https://armstronginstitute.org/239-uncovering-the-truth

Well bugger me!
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