Atheism has become quite the movement in America and the Western world. It’s always been around, since before the Bible was written. The Bible refers to those who don’t believe in God in some of the Psalms and other books.
But it seems to be making quite the comeback especially in America. Fueled by naturalism, science, and secularism, atheism has been emboldened. Like no other time in history, religions of all kinds have had to explain themselves and fight for the right for existence.
A new wave of atheism is now taking root, called New Atheism. Rather than simply be the choice to not believe in God, New Atheists have become a form of activism against all religion. Rather than proclaim the philosophical view that religion is not for them, they have become evangelists for atheism.
They have actually stated that religion is
People like Christopher Hitchens, Richard Dawkins, and Sam Harris are big proponents of this new atheism. They have done everything but become flat-out violent against anyone that is religious. They fight against religion in general, but are specially hostile toward Christianity.
I would call this “hard atheism.” Their goal is to campaign against your religion, to challenge every facet, and to personally attack you as being stupid for believing in God. They will take everything you say and twisted around so many times that it will look nothing like what you said. It is their goal to get you off your guard and make you doubt every belief you ever held. They want to tour the world upside down and watch it burn.
Another form of atheism is “soft atheism.” These are people who have by default chosen atheism as their worldview. They are very closely related to agnostics, people who did not take a stance on the issue of God or theism. “Atheist” is best defined as stating for certain that there is no God. The problem with hard atheism is that they would have to be all-knowing to make such a statement. It’s impossible to know for certain that God doesn’t exist unless you know all things, which happens to be one of God’s attributes! Atheism in its purest form is self-defeating.
Hard atheists are very hard to share our faith with. If they were completely honest, they would tell us that they don’t evilly hear our story or anything about our religious views. They see anyone who is religious in any way as unintelligent, uninformed, and behind the times. They see religion as something to cover up the truth of science and make us feel better about meaningless living.
Although it’s never impossible to get through to anyone about Jesus, and Jesus can save even those who are the farthest from him, you will find your efforts to witness to hard atheists almost always unfruitful. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t stop trying!
Soft atheists and agnostics, however, are a bit more down to earth. It will allow you to provide evidence and tell your story. They will listen with interest, seeking to understand the truth if it is out there. You will find more success speaking to these types of people.
No matter who you speak to, know that the Holy Spirit is beginning to soften them to the gospel. Whether the soil is hard as a rock or more like sand, you should never be afraid to share your faith with anyone. If the Holy Spirit directs you to that person, you have a mission and they have a need to hear your story.
What have you come up against as you’ve shared your faith? Leave a comment below and tell me what you think about these different groups in our society today.