I have a new pastime – debating Atheists. I feel for them because religion has really given them a sour taste when it comes to Jesus. Atheists claim to not believe in God but if you look, you will find that the forums where Christians and atheists debate are flooded mainly with atheists and not with Christians. This tells me that they are still seeking God but have labeled themselves atheists because no person has ever given them a good description of who the true God is. It also tells me that Christians are afraid to take on their arguments because they themselves do not understand God and/or the message and motives of God completely.
If you wander into these forums as a Christian you will find that you are most certainly attacked and attacked quickly. Some will claim that they don’t believe in any God, PERIOD! But if you are patient you soon find out that they are actually open to debate ABOUT Jesus and that they are simply attacking you based on their interpretation of him (which itself is based on all of the misguided claims that Christians make about God’s nature and Jesus’ mission here on Earth). Most Christians that I see are themselves misunderstanding the reasons and motives for the cross. If Christians are confused by these things, just imagine how messed up atheists are!
It says in 2 Corinthians 5:19 “that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation.” I have found that most so-called Christians are debating with atheists and believers of other religions in the exact same manner that the unbelievers use themselves! Both atheists and “Christians” use ad hominem attacks, mocking, ridicule, memes and even fear tactics to try to get their points across! Very rarely do I see Christians using their testimony as a tool for reaching lost hearts. Even more rarely do I see Christians using a well-founded understanding of the cross to do the same. Missing almost completely are the fruits of the Holy Spirit in conversation with these lost children of God. https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Galatians+5%3A22-23
Understand what God was doing at the cross before you choose to debate with unbelievers (Bertie Brits’ messages are a great starting point). More importantly is to treat unbelievers in the same manner that Jesus treated sinners. He did not judge them, dismiss their words (but instead addressed them) and was patient with them. Above all he loved them with a pure heart. If this world is ever to come to know the Lord of all, Jesus Christ, then they absolutely MUST see Jesus in our words before our words have any effect in their hearts.
I like atheists. I find that the more I understand what God did for us at the cross, the more I find myself loving them and they liking me in return. Sounds kind of like Jesus, no?