June 5, 2008

Witnessing to Atheists

I've got some great yet simple advice for evangelical Christians wanting to "witness" to atheists. For all my regular heathen readers, "witnessing" is Christianspeak for sharing the "good news" with non-Christians. They want to convert you, and they think that dangling salvation in front of you will do the trick. But this post isn't for you; it is for them. I want to let them in on our secret and give them a bit of advice when it comes to "witnessing" to atheists.

So, what is my advice to evangelical Christians on "witnessing" to atheists? Don't do it. Told you is was simple. I know your church says you are supposed to do this and that you'll win friends and magic Jesus points for your efforts. I know your bible makes you think that this is what your god wants. I even know that your failures are more important than your successes because they reinforce your persecution complex. But don't do it.

Here is why you should not "witness" to atheists:

  1. We've already heard it. Trust me when I say that we're used to being bombarded by an endless parade of evangelicals, standing on our porches with their tracts, well-behaved children, and self-righteousness.
  2. Making a nuisance of yourself only diminishes your religion in our eyes. We know where your churches are, and we can come by if we wish. We don't need the sales pitch, and it just turns us off.
  3. We're probably more familiar with Christian apologetics than you are. Not only have we already heard your "good news," but we're no stranger to the arguments that impress you so much. In fact, we see through them rather easily. We don't become atheists on a whim; we've thought through this already.
  4. When you're "witnessing," you come across as extremely condescending. I know you try not to and that you think you do a fairly good job of it. But you radiate condescension and self-righteousness while spreading your message.
  5. We don't come to your home and evangelize atheism. Maybe we should, but we don't. Reflect on how you would like an atheist interrupting your family time or attempting to promote atheism with your children. How about treating us how you would like to be treated?
Time to recap. Witnessing to atheists? Don't do it.

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