Atheists Disbelieving of Impostor Christianity
by Lenny Esposito
I’m in the middle of leading a group on an Apologetics Missions Trip to Berkeley, CA. One of the things we do on these trips is to invite prominent atheist speakers to come and address our students. They will speak on a topic and then we have a time of Q &A so the students can probe the atheist worldview and see how well it can support itself a cohesive theory.
We’ve had a couple of different speakers present so far on this trip. Both gentlemen said they had been raised in traditional Christian homes and both said they left Christianity because it simply didn’t make sense to them. The first speaker was raised a Southern Baptist, but at the age of twenty lost his Christian faith. Most of the reasons he offered for this were personal; he had built up an arsenal of ways to argue with Mormons or Muslims about why those faiths were untrue and engaged in these types of personal debates throughout high school. When a woman confronted him and told him that Hinduism was a much older faith than Christianity, he first went into debate mode. Just as he was getting ready to tell her she was wrong, he stopped, realizing that he didn’t really know if Christianity or Hinduism was the older faith. This caused immense doubt in him about Christianity; he was stating facts that he didn’t know and in his mind Christianity became just as fake as all those other faiths.
The Christianity he described turning away from was foreign to me. For example, he said that he felt closer to people as an atheist, stating “I no longer looked at people and thought, ‘You’re going to hell,’ or ‘you’re part of my group.'” That isn’t what Christianity is. It isn’t about being in the right club or if you can take down someone else’s beliefs. It is first and foremost recognizing that you are a sinner who needs to reconcile yourself to a holy God.
Our second speaker told us of how he was raised in Christianity by church-planting parents. He volunteered, started urban youth programs, and even went to seminary. Yet, he said that he never felt he had any type of personal relationship with Christ. In fact, the idea seemed foolish to him…
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