On the day that you were born the angels got together
And decided to create a dream come true
So they sprinkled moon dust in your hair
And golden starlight in your eyes of blue
Remember this one by the Carpenters? It should be a theme song for Christians as a reminder of how we should view and what we should want to do with people … celebrate their uniqueness and get close to them.
Someone asked what to do with an atheist friend with lots of objections to Christianity. Well, first and last, you love her. Then you realize she is seeking the same God you know. She may even be a Christian on a path to truth, and though that path may look like it is aimlessly winding nowhere, as far as God is concerned, it’s a straight line to Him.
When you realize this, then you realize you don’t have to talk anyone out of believing anything. If given the opportunity, we want to talk them into Jesus. We are not trying to win an argument. We are not trying to prove Christianity by disproving everything else. We are seeking truth and rejoicing when we find it. Remember, we are not confronting people; we are walking alongside.
Mostly, we want to get close to people. We want them to talk while we learn to listen. We want to learn as much as we can about what someone believes — not to tear it down, but to find what truths are present there. If someone is into some mystic spirituality, they are realizing a spiritual dimension to life. This is good, and something we want to encourage, not do away with.
Remember our job is to walk alongside people and point to the truth. The priority is getting close to people. You can’t point someone somewhere unless you are next to them, walking alongside them; otherwise, they will think you are pointing at them and get defensive. We are all pilgrims on a journey. You can only see what someone else sees by getting close to them and looking in the same direction, and you can only show them what you see in the same manner.
Love this from Today’s Catch: “Remember, we are not confronting people; we are walking alongside.” and Amen!
It’s quite difficult these days to stay out of arguments while pointing people towards the truth. So many atheists, it appears, aren’t seeking “god” as such, but believe that the highest “power” is science and technology and that the only “authority” is one’s own conscience. “Being a good person” seems to suffice. But all that being said, we have to remember that God has placed us in this very time and space — not the early church, nor the Reformation, nor any of the Revivals since the 19th Century — because He knows we’re the ones who can carry His truth and keep carrying it in spite of today’s groupthink.