My Friend, the Atheist

Over the duration of my time in the Christian faith I’ve sensed a common theme among the masses (masses of people, not the Catholic service, though I did attend a lot of those as well). That theme being that there is some sort of invisible force keeping us away from “Non-Believers”, “Secular People”, or a whole other host of names we like to call “them“.

What is the reason that a lot of times we’re afraid to go outside of the box?  I do say “we” because at one point I was there too.  I get it though.  Once you step outside of said box you’re asked questions about your well being as if you’d been brutally attacked by a mountain lion, or statements are thrown at you such as “We haven’t seen you in group…is everything alright?”  The concern is always appreciated, believe me.  However, if every single Church event is not attended this doesn’t mean I’m leaving the Church itself.  Sometimes Christians just want to hang with non-Christians.  Sometimes it’s for witnessing and sometimes it’s just because there’s good people that aren’t Christians out there…yeah I know, I couldn’t believe it at first either! (Humor people, humor)

One thing we need to learn as the body of Christ followers is that we need to step away from our lives being involved ONLY with Christian activities and groups.  If we believe the gospel that we say we do then we need to find people that have a) Never heard it, b) Don’t believe in it, c) Need to come back to it, or a whole other host of issues.  Sunday is a time to worship our God, learn a fantastic message from our pastor, and use that knowledge to spread among the peoples of this world.  This could be done in a small group, yes, but I also suggest taking the time to reach at least one person outside of the Christian faith to lead and quite possibly disciple to.  Read Matthew 28, that should sum it up for ya’.

This doesn’t always need to be done by spitting Bible verses or even declaring your Christianity for that matter.  

As James said James 2:14-26 “Faith without Works is Dead”.

St. Francis of Assisi was also quoted saying “Preach the gospel at all times. When necessary, use words.” 

You can declare it all day, up and down, that you’re a Christian but showing people is going to do a lot more.  I don’t mean showing them because you feel you “have to” to that volunteer work, or you “have to” go out of your way to help somebody.  Do it only with a joyful heart.  

Back to “them“…

Take my good friend from home state of KY for example.  I’d have to say he’s hands down my best friend and has been for a while.  Though we don’t get to see each other but on a brief occasion when I go to my hometown in KY, I do enjoy a brief chat from time to time to see how things are going.  I especially love our chats on theology because he is…get ready for it…an atheist.  

OH MY LORD HAVE MERCY!  

That’s right…and he hasn’t been struck down by fire or lightning.  Another shocker, he’s a pretty rad dude!  They’re not all blood sucking vampires like some like to think

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Does his absence of faith effect mine?  I feel comfortable saying it does not.  If anything, it strengthens it.  Does my faith bring him closer to Christ?  I’d like to think so, but realistically speaking I don’t think it’s making a dent.  This is completely OK with me.  

It was said in the book of Matthew, Romans, etc. that Christ sat down with sinners.  He hung out with regular people.  In modern times he would’ve been grabbing a cup of coffee with that guy that cheated on his wife.  He would have taken a walk in the park with that girl that shot up on heroine right before they met up that afternoon.  He would’ve hung out with YOU AND I before we accepted Him.  Remember, we weren’t so different than the people we try so hard to separate ourselves from, and sometimes still aren’t.  

We are neither better nor worse in God’s eyes.   So why is it so difficult for some to hang out with their old crowd?  Some find that they may stumble.  I am not advocating this in any way.  If you physically cannot be around a crowd without falling again into a life of perpetual sin, then by all means do NOT do this.  I myself avoided a lot of locations for a long period of time before I was at a point where I was strong enough to face them again. 

If you have reached that point then I would encourage you to reach out to the people you may have left behind.  You never know…they might need you now more than ever.  

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