My favorite character from Toy Story is T. Rex. He, the mightiest of all the carnivores who ever walked the earth, didn’t like confrontations. I can relate to T. Rex. I have many opinions, I just hate defending them. It’s easier, isn’t it, to live in harmony with friends and family, never broaching into territory where we may encounter conflict? After all, aren’t we supposed to love our neighbors? How can we love them if we’re arguing with them all the time?
I know you know better. Loving someone means telling them the truth. And often we must defend the truth. Life isn’t like those little video clips they show in church where you tell some guy on the bus about your faith and he just collapses into a puddle of tears and gives his heart to the Savior. In recent history, you would have likely gotten an “I’m not interested” and enjoyed the view of his back for the rest of the trip. More recently, however, the atheists have gained in popularity, and in aggressiveness. And they have trademarked words like “reason” and “free thought” so that no one else can claim either if they believe anything other than the atheist philosophy.
Rest assured, my friends, you are as reasonable and free in your thinking as any atheist, even more so. For you believe in something that requires you to think outside of what you can touch, see, hear, and smell. A response I often have when challenged for my “shallow” thinking is, “Isn’t a bit arrogant to dismiss something present in an infinite universe when, in all likelihood, you are not the highest order of intelligence in that universe?” The atheist must paint himself into a corner. He must believe in something so fantastic as to be unbelievable–the creation of matter out of nothing–but refuses to believe in a God who fits perfectly into the giant question mark at the origins of the universe.
You can reason. Say it with me: I can reason.
Let’s take a little stroll into your new found love of debate. The atheist you’ve just met on the bus, on Facebook, Twitter, or any other number of socializing places, will always make a statement similar to this one: “You cannot prove the existence of God.”
While it’s true you cannot produce a photograph, YouTube video, or even a smudged fingerprint of the Almighty, you can use a method that scientists have used for centuries to prove the existence of something. Pluto was discovered not first by telescope, but because scientists realized that the behavior of the other eight planets pointed to the existence of a ninth. Electrons were believed to exist long before anyone came up with a microscope powerful enough to see one. You know your kid is up to no good, not because you caught him in the act, but by his extremely polite behavior this evening.
Everything that is has a cause. What your challenge to the atheist is, is this: if you believe that the universe has an origin, or a beginning, what is the cause? He won’t know. He may argue that science has yet to discover it, but you probably already know that once they do, they’ll have another question to answer immediately behind that one. If there’s a cause, it has to be pretty fantastic. It had to take nothing, absolutely nothing, and make something out of it. Yeah, that’s a tough thing to do. The atheist will debate you on this endlessly, but will never be able to give you an answer. You will answer with an intelligent Creator. You may not convince him, but you will not lose. Jesus doesn’t command you to debate the gospel to the world. He only commands you to deliver it. Plant the seed and move on. You may not have another soul to add to your “win” column, but you will not look the fool. You’ll look intelligent, thoughtful, and reasonable.
Yes, you’ll be asked other questions. Things like “why does God allow evil?” But trust me, if you read your bible, listen to some good sermons, and most importantly, think, you’ll reason through every debate. Be respectful, enjoy a new friend who may or may not disagree with you, and re-discover the lost art of friendly debate (I know, it’s an election year, what’s friendly debate?). But I have faith in you, and God has given you His Holy Spirit to guide you.
You can’t lose.