I have a confession.
Some of my closest friends are atheists!
As a Christian you may be wondering how my best friend on this planet (besides God and my mom) doesn’t share my core belief in Christ as Savior.
Simple, we love each other despite our opposing faiths.
Jesus did the same.
He didn’t come to save the righteous but the lost (Mark 2:17, Luke 5:31-32, 1 Tim 1:15). He hangs out with people many Christians wouldn’t/don’t associate with- drug users, pro-choicers, adulterers, atheists.
Anyway, I was having one of many religious discussions with my best friend (we’ll call her Jane).
I was asking Jane a question about another friend of mine who’s also an atheist (we’ll call her Doe) . I was trying to understand Doe’s point of view about people not having evil/bad inside.
I can grasp that if you don’t believe in God, you don’t believe in satan.
But what I cannot comprehend is how someone can truly believe there is no such thing as “bad” people.
How do you explain murder? What causes people to do vile things to others if it’s not something evil/bad within?
When I brought this up to Doe, she couldn’t answer these questions. She also couldn’t satisfactorily contradict my point that we have to teach our kids to share. By nature we are born selfish. We must be taught “goodness” and have some form of moral code inside us in order to NOT give into our carnal selves.
Anyway, I was asking Jane to help me understand. After all, both friends are “good” people and this just didn’t add up. It blew my mind. No God. No satan. No good. No evil/bad. No right and wrong. Were humans really animals…slaves to their nature and not able or willing to bridle desires in order to have a structured society? How was society to function if there was nothing to govern? Did all atheists believe this?
I was really confused.
Jane’s response made me laugh, “It’s atheists like her that give us all a bad name.”
I could relate… certain Christians give us all a “bad name”.
This conversation reminded me of the legend of Alexander the Great. Supposedly Alexander the Great caught a soldier by the name of Alexander sleeping while on guard duty. Instead of punishing the soldier he told him to, “Change your name or change your conduct.”
There are so many times I want to tell Christians this.
Evidently this is a common phenomenon no matter what belief set you belong to.
If you’re wondering about Jane’s answer to my questions:
First, she does believe there are good and bad people.
Second, she thinks Doe has probably done some things she feels bad about and is trying to justify them so as not to feel guilty. (Which makes perfect sense to me as Doe used to be a believer in Jesus Christ.)
So now you have it: I agree with the atheist- “Change your name or change your conduct…you’re giving the rest of us a bad name!”
I could end this by asking if your conduct properly represents the name you go by… but instead I’m going to ask:
Do you have friends who don’t share your core beliefs? If so, do you engage in open conversation with them?
If you don’t have this type of friend…why not? Not only does it make you a more rounded person, it makes you a follower of Christ- a Christian AKA “Christ-like”.