How Christians Should Not Treat Atheists.


Emilio gives us a fairly good illustration of how Christians are never to treat atheists (or people of different worldviews). This is exactly what we do not need when it comes to debating/discussing/interacting/chatting etc. with atheists, and people who disagree with us.

Sure, you get atheists who are real bigots and you get atheists who are really good, down to Earth, decent people. I know many of them; I talk with them. Do I think that they are “self-righteous hypocrites?” No I don’t. I think that they are simply atheists…

Then to say that atheists “kill babies, get drunk, kill each other, steal, lie, commit adultery” is just dumb, although atheist are known for condoning questionable moral acts more so than others. Just because some would steal, lie or get drunk is hardly warrant to generalize their entire populace. Atheists, in general, are smarter than most Christians. Does that mean there are no highly intellectual Christians who are smarter than atheists? No. So, on that note then how many atheists actually kill babies, or how many have torn childrens hearts out? Is that 90%, perhaps 70% or is 0.05% (or maybe even less than 0.05%)? It’s hard to take Emilio seriously here at all.

Yet, would Emilio think that atheists are in their right to generalize Christians on the level of the Ku Klux Klan? I am sure that he would take offense to that, but that is exactly what he is doing to atheists. That is unfair to good living, loving atheist brothers & sisters.

Then his line that “atheism is no different to Islam” is ridiculous. Firstly, just the obvious: atheism is not a religion; Islam is. Secondly, Islamic militants (a minority of Muslims, for Emilio’s information) blow people up in the name of their ideology.  The last time I looked it appeared that the vast majority atheists in the West are quite a peaceful bunch (though you do get that horrendous New Atheism strand). How are they remotely analogous to Islam? They’re not.

Then Emilio has his diabolical “I’m holier than thou” nonsense: “they hate Christianity yet we live a Holy life.” Hate is a strong word here. On one end the minority New Atheists very much do hate religion. On the other hand, the majority atheist population don’t hate religion; they’re just not religious & they happen to disagree with religious people. They are fully in their right to disagree and it would be wrong to confuse the two. Disagreement does not necessitate hate. Secondly, Emilio is in no position to have “I’m holier than thou” stance. Emilio, like me, on a biblical worldview, is a sinner. Emilio, like me, is no more worthy of heaven than an atheist, a Hindu or a Muslim. The Christian is only able to look forward to eternal intimacy with God because of what he (not the Christian) has done for us on the cross through Jesus Christ. Emilio, judging by his absurd & inaccurate statements, is certainly no exemplar of moral perfection; in fact, moral perfection doesn’t, on his biblical worldview, exist. So, Emilio would probably need to get off of his high horse,and become a proper Christ-follower.

Jesus says to “Do to others as you would have them do to you” (Luke 6:31). Does Emilio, based on his comment, do this? No. Jesus says to “love your enemies, do good to them” (Luke 6:35). Does Emilio do this? No. Jesus says to “Love your neighbour as yourself. There is no commandment greater than these” (Mark 12:31). Does Emilio do this? No. Would Emilio think Jesus would be proud to call him a follower? No.

The point is that the Christian is to set an example to the world and for others to follow, and most do just that. But, like with all worldviews, you get the rotten apples that make it bad for everyone else. Christianity included. To disagree is one thing; in fact, we ought to disagree, but to hate is altogether something different. Hate only perpetuates and fuels further hate. So how then is it productive, given the Christian worldview, in the quest to winning converts to Christ? Would an atheist, or a Muslim, who reads at comment somewhere online like Emilio’s feel the love of Jesus? Surely not and may argue that they would leave even further cemented in their unbelief.

13 responses to “How Christians Should Not Treat Atheists.

        • I think it’s definitely a lack of general respect. It’s also intolerance of those who believe differently. People become agitated when what they believe is challenged so they become hateful of those who challenge them. Also it’s in retaliation to others (in this case atheists) are are equally, if not more, disrespectful towards others.

            • Probably because, at times, they haven’t the answers for certain things, even though their faith is supported by facts. And people in general just don’t like their beliefs being challenged. It would also depend on the person who’s being challenged.

          • And aren’t Christians supposed to not retaliate in kind when reviled, as by the example of Jesus? I would think the admonition to not take vengeance, “for vengeance is mine saith the Lord” would be sufficient

  1. Completely agree James. My cousins are atheists and they are just plain awesome! We’ve had our talks on religion, and they’re always open to what I say, but I always make sure to listen to any objections they may have. I do admit I’ve had my share of heated arguments with internet atheists in the past, but whenever I engage in a religious debate I take extra thought of my attitude. Am I angry or frustrated? If so, I need to bow out of the conversation. I believe Jon Foreman says it best in his song, “Terminal.”
    “The moment I start cursing
    at the traffic or the phone
    I remind myself that we have all got
    cancer in our bones.
    Don’t yell at the dead
    show a little respect.”

    • Thanks for sharing this, Lucas. I pray that God keeps giving you wisdom for dealing with others in those situations (online & with your own cousins)!

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