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Evangelizing to atheists

Discussion in 'Evangelism' started by elliestar11, Dec 18, 2010.

  1. elliestar11

    elliestar11 Active Member

    Hi everyone,

    I didn't see a place where I could post introductions, so I'll keep it brief: I was saved when I was three, and since then I've been committed to spreading God's word wherever I go. Jesus tells us to spread His Love to as many people as we can before the Rapture hits!! :nod

    However, I recently switched to a new school. With this economic crisis, my parents can't afford to send me to a godly Christian private school, and because they're working all the time to make ends meet, they can't homeschool me either. So I have to go to a public school. I realize that they teach sinful, depraved things to their students, but look on the bright side: there are more unsaved people there than there are at Christian schools or when I homeschool.

    Anyway, when I got there, the only class open was the Philosophy course. There's a lot of debate and argument in that class! :lol: Fortunately, the teacher (God bless him!) doesn't get in the way when I tell the class about God in my debates. He's not like the other anti-religious faculty at the school whose eyes burn with hatred whenever they see my Bible camp tee shirt. He wants students to speak their mind.

    But I always come into conflict with the same person over and over again. There's this girl in the class who is an atheist. I know that there are some moral arguments to use when witnessing to atheists, but she's a nihilist, which means she believes that there is no ultimate foundation for ethics. Honestly, she scares me a bit. Whenever I shoot down an argument of hers, she sits down and stares at me from across the room with evil, evil eyes. For a moment I thought they had reptilian pupils, but I was probably just seeing things. All I know about her is that she is bullied by many people... And with the way she spouts hatred about God unrepentantly, I fear that I can't reach her. Maybe it's demons, maybe it's just spiritual blindness.

    She told me, "Even if God did say, 'Thou shalt not kill', why should you follow him? You can't derive an 'ought' from an 'is'."

    Once she even said that not only should abortion be legal throughout the entire pregnancy, but that people should be able to kill their children right after they're born.

    I don't want to lose my faith, but ever since then I can't help but obsess over doubts about God and Jesus and His plan for us. They spiral around in my head constantly. "What if God isn't real? What if I'm living a lie?" Then, the last time I was in Church, praying for guidance, I suddenly had an evil urge to blaspheme the Holy Spirit! :shocked I try to rid myself of the thoughts by calling upon Jesus' name, but they just come back twice as strong as before. I'm afraid I'm going to become too evil for even Jesus to save. :crying

    I joined this forum because you people seem very nice and knowledgeable and supportive. How do I deal with this Satanic onslaught? I'm sorry if this seems too long to read.
  2. Robert

    Robert Well-Known Member

    First off, :pray: ing for you.

    A few things I'd like to know though: are you in the Word every day? Are you in prayer every day? When we aren't, that is when we are most vulnerable. Scripture is the very Word of God written for man; without it, we have no sword against the Enemy. And if we are not constantly in prayer, then we have no one to go to with our burdens. Prayer is our strongest weapon against the forces of darkness. It isn't just something 'we do in church' but an attitude that we are in 24/7. We can go to the Lord anytime, day or night, and ask him in prayer for help, guidance, comfort, and much more.

    Some verses for you:

    "Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm. Stand firm therefore, HAVING GIRDED YOUR LOINS WITH TRUTH, and HAVING PUT ON THE BREASTPLATE OF RIGHTEOUSNESS, and having shod YOUR FEET WITH THE PREPARATION OF THE GOSPEL OF PEACE; in addition to all, taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. And take THE HELMET OF SALVATION, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. With all prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit, and with this in view, be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints, and pray on my behalf, that utterance may be given to me in the opening of my mouth, to make known with boldness the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains; that in proclaiming it I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak." (Ephesians 6:10-20, NASB, emphasis mine)

    "All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work." (2 Timothy 3:16, NASB)

    "For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart." (Hebrews 4:12, NASB)

    Hopefully, this should be a start; I'll post more as I think of it. But for now, I think you need to go before the Lord in prayer. It's not to say that you aren't doing these things, but when I have trouble, it's what I immediately go to: the Word and Prayer.
  3. elliestar11

    elliestar11 Active Member

    Thank you so much, Robert. I think that in these times leading up to the Rapture, it's extra-important for the True Christians to stay on track and to not get distracted by the enemy. It's also break right now, so I have extra time to pray about it. :pray: I'll definitely add her to my prayer list. I hope she can feel God's Love... sometimes, with how hateful atheists are, I'm not sure. :ohno
  4. mattfivefour

    mattfivefour Well-Known Member

    It is the love of Christ that draws us. We cannot manufacture that love; nor can we use our human love. It is only as we walk in submission to God every day that His Holy Spirit can work in us producing the fruit that only He can produce. And as He produces it in us—which is an ongoing work that continues as long as we are attached to the Vine—then the love, joy, peace, patientce, goodness, etc, etc, will naturally manifest itself in us. I say "naturally" because it is the end result of our daily submission to Christ, our reckoning ourselves dead to our own lives and alive only to His every day. But there is nothing "natural" about it in nature. It is a supernatural work of the Holy Spirit that can only be produced in someone who has accepted Christ by faith and thus been born again.

    So you need to pray for His love and His compassion for this girl. Pray that He lets you see her through His eyes, not your own eyes ... regardless of how much human compassion you may have. It is a work of the flesh; only that produced by the Spirit will bear fruit. If you are willing to serve Him in even this then He will use you. But don't look for results from your efforts; look only for the results of His Spirit drawing her and working in her life to bring her to Him. If her soul is won it is a victory of Jesus Christ and the product of His sacrifice and His Spirit. Your part is to walk in obedience.

    By the way, welcome to RF, little sister!


    I just noticed in the Oswald Chambers thread today the following. It fits perfectly with what I am saying.

    "Loyalty to Jesus Christ is the thing that we "stick at" to-day. We will be loyal to work, to service, to anything, but do not ask us to be loyal to Jesus Christ. Many Christians are intensely impatient of talking about loyalty to Jesus. Our Lord is dethroned more emphatically by Christian workers than by the world. God is made a machine for blessing men, and Jesus Christ is made a Worker among workers. The idea is not that we do work for God, but that we are so loyal to Him that He can do His work through us ...."
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2010
  5. Meg

    Meg Well-Known Member

    Welcome to RF, Elliestar. If you'd like to properly introduce yourself, here's a link to the New Member Board:

    New Member Meet & Greet

    But as you can see, you're welcome here anyway. :hug First, I want to back Robert completely in what he advised. He knows from direct experience what he's talking about. Mattfivefour is out favorite Elder in Christ, and his insight is very sound as well. That being said, here's my take on this classmate of yours.

    I seriously doubt she's that hostile to Christianity just because she's chosen Christianity for no special reason to have an attitude about. I would take a powerful bet that there's something in probably her own experience or close relative's experience that caused serious harm. I have actually heard of a man posing as a pastor who was raping young ladies in his congregation. That is the sort of extreme abuse of ministry, and there are many other abuses of ministry that cause "atheists" to be bitterly hostile to Christianity. I used to be like that, but not quite as nasty as your classmate. she's probably saying things she doesn't really mean and giving you her very best dirty looks because she can't stand to be pushed in a Christian direction. Please DON'T try to find out why. That will just about certainly make her much angrier than she already is. Please DO show the girl kindness and respect. Its not your job to singlehandedly save her soul. It is your job to leave her with an impression that some Christians actually are decent people with respect for people like her. Now this is really important, because if you push her too hard, she's going to keep fighting back, and all she'll have to know about Jesus Christ is that He seems intrusive. Jesus Christ isn't intrusive at all, He's actually very kind and patient. And He's very much alive and very much real. So please do what Robert said, be sure and read your Bible every day and please be sure and pray every day. That will protect you from anything else you might be worrying about, OK.

    I hope this helps. :hug :hug :hug

    In Christ, Meg
  6. myinnuendo999

    myinnuendo999 Well-Known Member

    "Love never fails"-1 Cor.4:8. I say this truth because when Jesus was hanging on the cross he loved us and he conquered death and hate with His love. He said "forgive them Father, for they know not what they do--all of us even the class mate in your room. She's afraid of true love.

    PRAY, pray and pray for her and yourself that God would protect you and that God would provide opportunities for you to show her love in tangible ways. If not, don't ever force it. God's love is transcending and unconditional. That's the most beautiful truth. You can love her no matter what she does and she can't stop you all because of God's love in your life. I've dealt with someone in a Christian Chat room like the girl you are talking about. There's one thing I told her and I meant it, and that is no matter what you say and no matter how much you hate Christians,, I can still love you and pray for you and there's nothing you can do to stop me.

    If you believe satan is attacking you, please talk to someone who is a Christian so you BOTH can pray for the girl and yourself.

    welcome precious sister
  7. Psalm73

    Psalm73 Well-Known Member

    Oh boy. I've been in many a similar situations. I go to a public high school too (my school has five grades I'm in grade eight). For dealing with doubts and for getting better arguments, I'd suggest reading some of Lee Strobel's books over Christmas break (A Case for The Real Jesus, A Case for Faith, and a Case for a Creator might be good. They have student editions if you want easier to read ones). I've gotten into many an interent debate with atheists, and I know it's hard- eventually, I've left the debates because the other people always got really rude. As for dealing with satanic attack, have people (parents including) pray for it to stop and for God to send an angel of the Lord to protect you. Also, verbally rebuke satan and demons in the name of Christ. Try not to think about the attack to much, and also, stuff caused by being messed with, God probably won't get angry at- whenever I've gone under heavy satanic attack, I've equated it sorta to getting raped- your not doing it willingly (I apologize for the horrid analogy), so God's not going to punish the victim (though still ask God's forgiveness and for them to stop).
    Pray for this girl.
    My friend Phillipa's an atheist. She's not one of the hard-core ones; she just doesn't believe. We have debates/ discussions on this sort of thing, but they are always respectful. polite, and not akaward because we're close friends. I keep on praying for her, continue praying for this girl =)
  8. mattfivefour

    mattfivefour Well-Known Member

    Will do. :thumbup And praying for you too, Sophie, that God will continue to shape you into the witness that He has in mind. \o/
  9. elliestar11

    elliestar11 Active Member

    Thanks for the tips, Psalm. Everyone is really supportive here. :thumbup And I will definitely check out those books and pray extra hard! The devil's just a big sore loser. He'll never win! :yeah:

    I know that all people have knowledge of God written in their hearts, and I think at the core the girl is probably a nice person. From what I notice about her, she's actually very smart, but her intelligence alienates her because everything she says seems very arcane. She's not really into makeup or boys or flashy clothes. But what she says and believes really troubles me. It seems to make everyone around her who hears it begin doubting moral codes... like "What if there's nothing wrong with murder?" "What if there's nothing wrong with stealing?" etc. I'm sure she has good intentions, but boy, is Satan using her in hideous ways...
  10. Robert

    Robert Well-Known Member

    Well, if she wonders about the morality of stealing or murder, ask her hypothetically how she would feel if someone stole from her or tried to harm her. Chances are, she probably wouldn't like it very much.
  11. Meg

    Meg Well-Known Member

    I wonder, Ellie, if this girl is old enough to understand what she's being led to believe. There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that she's being fed bad ideas by someone older. "Someone older" isn't necessarily someone she knows in person, she could be picking up influences from TV, movies and books such as Twilight. That disgusting CSI TV series would be an example of the kind of influences that would misguide her thinking. Given the way death and murder are glorified on TV and in books and movies these days, I can see where a kid would get very confused. When I was your age, it was casual sex. TV so cheapened the idea of sex that I didn't understand what was wrong with it, and neither did my sister and my niece. We girls all got in trouble young, because no matter how hard my Mom tried to warn us, the pop culture was "shouting her down", so we tried it for ourselves... :(( The consequences weren't good.

    I think you should continue to pray for and pray about this girl. And anything she says or does that makes you uncomfortable, pray that the Holy Spirit "clean it off you". Praying like that is not only effective, it is also important. I learned to do that when I'm talking to someone who uses really bad language or something, and it made me feel dirty. That kind of prayer works, even if you have to think-pray in your head because you can't pray it out loud.

    My heart really goes out to your troubled friend. Please try to be kind and gentle with her, quietly and caringly disagreeing with her. If she sees you get upset, you'll come off as insecure and defensive, so try to be strong in prayer, confident but gentle at all times in front of her. You may be the only person there is in her life to set such an example for her.

    I know a woman whose parents are really sick. She barely speaks to them any more, and I don't know whats become of her, but I do know she's having a horrible time. I feel so sorry for her, we don't get to choose our parents...

    You're a good Christian, Ellie, and I hope when school starts back up, you're feeling confident about dealing with these issues some more.

    :hug :hug :hug :pray: :pray: :pray: :hug :hug :hug
  12. elliestar11

    elliestar11 Active Member

    I brought this up to her in class once. She said, "Of course I wouldn't like that! But that doesn't show whether it is right or wrong." She added, "Psychopaths, people born without a conscience, obviously don't find murder or theft distasteful. But does that make it right?" Finally, she said with a serene grin on her face, "As I've said before, it's impossible to derive an ought from an is... I'm sure that if anyone here searched for the true reasons behind their moral codes, they'd find no logical justification whatsoever."

    :crying :crying I am so sad for this girl...
  13. Robert

    Robert Well-Known Member

    That was the info I needed....

    She apparently thinks that she has everything 'thought out" ahead of time. It's common with atheists to think that they are the only ones who are thinking logically or rationally, with a clear level head.

    Unfortunately, we cannot argue people into the kingdom of God; it's a heart issue, not a head one. But in this instance, she needs some food for thought or she is going to continue on with that line of 'logic" (if we can call it that).

    Let's take a comment of hers for example:

    It is not a case of deriving an "ought from an is", but a matter of getting a "shalt not from the I AM." She is using subjective morality, not objective. And since subjective anything depends upon our own point of view, we can (and do) end up very much skewed in our observations. God, being who and what he is, is the ONLY true objective individual. He sees all things, knows all things and has the ability to do all things and be all places. Since she doesn't have this ability, her views on what is moral and what is not is at the very least skewed, and since they are not based on instructions issued from the only objective viewpoint, she cannot depend upon her "morality", since it is by definition of subjectivity NOT a clear and true view of morality.

    in short: since she is NOT God, she cannot decide for herself what is moral and what is not, since she has no ability to be truly objective. Therefore morality by necessity must come from an objective viewpoint.

    Hopefully, this should aim her back to the main subject: is there a God? And you can proceed with her from there.
  14. elliestar11

    elliestar11 Active Member

    I'm not sure i understand. Could you explain this again?

    Thanks for the help though! :nod
  15. Robert

    Robert Well-Known Member

    Sorry :lol: What I mean is: It's not a case of deriving what should be from what is, but deriving what we SHOULD do from God Almighty (In Exodus, God told Moses that He was "I AM"). In other words: our morality isn't because we THINK it is what is right, but ti is because of what God says is right.
  16. Meg

    Meg Well-Known Member

    The problem with subjective morality is that there is simply no stopping point. I have been giving this issue a lot of thought, and I too have serious concerns about this girl. Ellie, there may not be much you can do about her as an individual. Every time there have been cases of mass murder, there are people who have no conscience, these types are known as sociopaths, and they are impossible or nearly impossible to reach. They are the ones who do the actual killing, and they are incapable of seeing anything wrong with it. Your role in this mess may well be to balance her madness by standing your ground quietly in Christ, and being an influence on others around you both. This is the example Deitrich Bonhoeffer set in his trials. No matter where he went, including the last 18 months of his life spent in a very bleak prison cell, he set an example of kindness, quietly standing his ground in Christ. Everyone who knew him in every circumstance spoke well of him, and when things were at their worst, when he was in a group of prisoners who were very hungry and very cold, he was a ray of light to all, including the guards. Even the atheists spoke well of him.

    If we can't change people, we can at least stand on what we know is true. I know that sounds bleak, and trust me, I am deeply troubled by your description of how this girl thinks. I have been running arguments through my mind, but one thing i don't want to encourage is giving her the idea that she can land on top by being more ruthless than anyone else. Thats always my concern about knowing too much about evil, and I do know too much about evil, is giving unstable people ideas.

    So I am going to stay quiet for now, and ask you to let us know what develops when school gets back in and all of you are together again. I would certainly urge you to work with the other kids this troubled young woman has caused to doubt, balancing her demented ideas with heart Truth. I think that may be one of the more important things you can do in this situation. I say that, because the Lord waited to reveal Himself to me, until I had reached a point in my own understanding where I fully understood what was wrong with subjective "morality" and why. Because when I finally fully understood what was wrong, I was able to very freely accept His point of view on the difference between right and wrong, so Scripture, particularly the Epistles of the NT were of everlasting value to me.

    Meanwhile, you and everyone else your age remain deeply in my prayers.
  17. seank6

    seank6 Well-Known Member

    i know this is off topic and deviates from what yall are talking about but something struck me and its something that i wrestle with and maybe yall can help answer this: how does someone get saved when they are 3 ?or for that matter under the age of accountability?
  18. elliestar11

    elliestar11 Active Member

    My parents are both Bible-believing Christians and they were the ones who introduced me to Jesus Christ and His Love. :yeah:

    Naturally, I accepted Him into my heart!
  19. Kist

    Kist Well-Known Member

    It's rather simple actually when you think about it. The age of accountability is just that, the age that makes you accountable for your sins, it is only at the time that . Before that time you are not held responsible for them, so you do not need to accept Christ Jesus for forgiveness. Paul wrote about it in Romans 7:9 "For I was alive without the law once: but when the commandment came, sin revived, and I died." This clearly shows, we are not dead due to sin, untill the Law comes alive in us.

    On topic: Subjective Morality is the morality kind that is determined by the society right? If she agrees that that must be true if subjective morality is true, you could ask her how then she can be in favor of murdering babies if most people in your country are against it(cause you see she just contradicted herself right there if she believes that about subjective morality). Also you can ask her if, if everyone in Germany thought it was okay to murder tens of millions of people it was then okay to murder them.
  20. Meg

    Meg Well-Known Member

    My understanding is that subjective morality means its for the individual to determine moral values.

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