Instead of ending with another topic, I desire to encourage you, sharers of the Gospel. Do not be discouraged if the person you’re speaking to does not accept the Gospel, even if after you used apologetics. Be sure to show the same kindness you used when introducing yourself upon leaving, regardless of whether the individual accepts Jesus as their Lord and Savior or not. Remember they do not reject you; they’re rejecting the One who sent you.
To answer the titled question, of course! There’s no reason to not engage in a conversation with a self-professed atheist. A Christian will not “catch something” from them as if the atheist has some sort of disease. Conversing with an atheist will not cause you to lose your salvation. You may, however, find your patience to be tested and slight aggravation from their responses. Keep in mind how Jesus responded to the Sadducees and Pharisees. We are to be Christ-like in all things.
Have you ever heard someone say, “How can I trust what your Bible says? It’s full of contradictions.”? This response is all too familiar to me. Not only have I heard it before, but have also said it myself. My argument was that God said not to kill yet, many did who were considered His people. This was my response during a season of severe pride, covetousness, hardened heart, and lack of any empathy.
Today, we are going to look at a response from a skeptic who we may discern as being a feminist that has a misinterpreted view of the Bible. Before we begin, I want to clarify that I have absolutely zero issues with feminists. Not only am I a man of color, I also have two daughters of my own. I agree with the equal rights of all people. Plus, it’s biblical.
When Jesus performed miracles, signs, and wonders, many did not believe it (John 12:37). Thomas, one of the disciples who followed Jesus did not believe his fellow disciples when they mentioned Jesus’s resurrection (John 20:24-25). So, if you’re ever unfortunate to receive a response questioning the existence of Jesus, try not to be offended or surprised.
When evangelizing, many times we do not know the status of the person’s salvation, so we ask. In asking them one of the most commonly used question when evangelizing, “If you were to die today, are you sure without any doubt, that you will go to heaven?”, we will encounter a plethora of responses and questions. One of the responses that is commonly heard is what we will be looking at today. I have personally heard the following response from those who were a self-proclaimed ‘good person’, Catholics, and even Christians.
To simplify this response, the skeptic is denying God’s existence because of the existence of evil. This is actually a very common response. This claim is called “logical contradiction”; God is all-powerful, God is all-loving, and that evil exists. Given that there is an existence of evil, then God, who supposed to contain all the aforementioned qualities can’t possibly exist.
When first hearing this response/question, as Christians, it’s our first instinct to reply with a verse(s) from Scripture. However, we should restrain from doing this as our first response. We must remember the basics of apologetics (use a reply in which the skeptic can relate to that will cause him/her to question their stance and belief). Keep in mind that many have not read or even touched a Bible. So quoting Scripture right out the gate in defense, will usually result in your words falling on deaf ears. Today, I’m going to give two examples of the use of apologetics. The first is an illustration that my wife showed me from a social media post.
Surely sir, you understand that according to New Scientist, a well-supported evidence-based theory becomes acceptable until disproved. It never evolves to a fact, and that’s a fact. Through the help of DNA technology, it was proven that Neanderthals were actually humans, not ape-men. And “Ida” who was thought to be the “missing link in human evolution” was recently reclassified as a small tailed, extinct primate and ancestor of Lemurs, not humans.” I, however know of a book that actually explains the truth and disprove even more of the fallacies of the theory of evolution. Are you willing to read the truth for yourself or are you okay with holding on to the theory?
Well, we do not initially “beat” the listener with Scripture, because some may not have even touched a Bible. What you do is to get them to question what they believe. By doing so, you have an open door to plant the seed of God’s Word. During your conversation, you will know when it’s time to quote a verse from Scripture. But first, you have to spark their attention and curiosity. The same principle behind Jesus’ statement, “I’ll make you fishers of men.”
Efficiency is another reason. As defined by the Oxford Languages Dictionary, efficient means working in a well-organized and competent way and preventing the wasteful use of a particular resource. God’s truths are in you. He has revealed these things not just to save you but also so that you may go and take His truths to others so that they too may be delivered from the bondage that is brought on by lies and false teachings. There is a greater efficiency when we study the truth.
Why Apologetics? The first answer is simple. It is because Scripture tells us so. Being Christians, we know that the Bible is the Word of God. We all agree that the Bible is our written source of information which contains history, truths, evidence, and examples necessary for the understanding of our Christian faith.