Home > Bible Teaching, Culture, Devotional > Evidence Even an Atheist Can’t Ignore

Evidence Even an Atheist Can’t Ignore

There was an interesting article I came across as I was prepping for a class I am teaching.

It was written by a man named Matthew Parris, a journalist from the UK, who has made very clear that he is an atheist.  However, after returning from a trip to Malawi, the country he was in as a kid, he made some really amazing assertions.  The article is entitled “As an atheist, I truly believe Africa needs God.”  You see, after watching many different charitable organizations come and attempt to help the people there, he came to the conclusion that the best help the people in this country were receiving was coming from Christians.

“In Africa Christianity changes people’s hearts. It brings a spiritual transformation. The rebirth is real. The change is good.”

Keep in mind that he calls himself an atheist.  Yet, he recognizes that there is something different about what followers of Jesus are doing.  It is far more than just throwing food at people or offering financial help; it is a transformation.  It is something that changes the heart and, as he says, it is a good thing.  He acknowledges this change in the daily lives of the missionaries he had known over the years.

“The Christians were always different. Far from having cowed or confined its converts, their faith appeared to have liberated and relaxed them.”

He goes on to explain even further about how as he has interacted with Christians, he has noticed a difference in how they talk, relate and what they do.  Even in their work there was an undertone of Christian life.

“Their work was secular, but surely affected by what they were. What they were was, in turn, influenced by a conception of man’s place in the Universe that Christianity had taught.”

Evidence suggests someone has been here

The evidence is overwhelming for him, which even appears to annoy him some.  It is as if he wishes this evidence wasn’t there, but it is.  I wonder how a world of supposed tolerance makes sense of all of the good going on because people are motivated to go love people in the name of Jesus Christ.  It would appear to me that so often the evidence is there, but people are ignoring it or distorting it because they just don’t want to believe it.  The human heart is inherently sinful, which naturally doesn’t appreciate being exposed.

This is exactly what happened back in book of Acts when the disciples went out and ministered in Jesus’ name.  There was clear evidence of His work, but so many of the people just didn’t like it.

In Acts 4, for example, right after Peter and John reached out to a beggar and he was healed, they were brought to give an account of the event to the court.  Obviously, if a man was healed and walking again, people were going to notice.   The community leaders were “greatly disturbed” because they were proclaiming Christ.  But, Peter was not going to deny Jesus again.

“It is by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified but whom God raised from the dead, that this man stands before you healed.” – Acts 4:10

There was no denying what had happened and now they told them what it was all about.  It goes on to say they were astonished and had nothing to say.  Their command was for them( Peter and John) to stop speaking in this name.  Of course, Peter told them that they cannot help but speak about what they had seen or heard.

And so it is with those of us who follow Jesus.  We cannot help but talk about Him.  This bothers people, but as we see from the Matthew Parris, it also confounds people.  We need to be all about Jesus and letting His love be known to those around us.  Even people who don’t believe in God are making claims about the changes that are taking place in lives because of Christ!

The evidence of God’s work is all around us.  Lives are being changed.  People all over the world are turning to Jesus Christ as the answer.  Why? Because people who truly follow Jesus are loving people and living in stark contrast to the selfish pursuits of a secular society.  People do notice these things.  The evidence speaks for itself.

“In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.” Matthew 5:16

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  1. authormjlogan
    June 20, 2012 at 2:34 pm | #1

    Great post Derek. Now I get to see how many of those atheists respond when I share this.

    • June 20, 2012 at 8:37 pm | #2

      Usually when I post something about atheism I get some response, but I haven’t yet.

    • authormjlogan
      June 21, 2012 at 4:11 am | #3

      Well I guess I went trolling. Can’t say I didn’t catch a troll.

      • June 21, 2012 at 3:33 pm | #4

        Did you throw it back?

        • authormjlogan
          June 21, 2012 at 4:36 pm | #5

          In a sense, yes. I don’t like to do that, but when the other party can do nothing but scream insults, there isn’t much point.

          Another party didn’t want to hear anything except that they are right and I am wrong. Two others were semi-reasonable. A fourth is at least making reasonable conversation, which is the best I can hope for.

          It’s interesting that the only comers to the conversation are atheists.

          MJ

          • June 21, 2012 at 10:44 pm | #6

            I read some of the comments. It would seem like the point was missed. That’s okay. I can’t change hearts, that is God’s work.

          • authormjlogan
            June 22, 2012 at 7:52 pm | #7

            I am only sorry that you were attacked so harshly and for that I apologize.

  2. June 20, 2012 at 11:09 pm | #8

    People ask me how it is I’ve managed to remain sober for so long (usually only those who drink inappropriately ask). My answer, “GOD.” They ask me how I know it is God helping me stay sober. My reply, “I didn’t ask anyone else.”

    Nice post Derek.

    • June 21, 2012 at 3:33 pm | #9

      I love that! In our culture of “self-help” that doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. But, then again, when you are sober with God and they aren’t sober and are trying everything else, there is reason to stop and notice. Thanks!

    • June 25, 2012 at 1:43 pm | #10

      What an awesome response Lisa :)

  3. June 21, 2012 at 11:54 pm | #11

    Christians have done a lot of good in the world. I have the utmost respect for the Catholic and Lutheran Family Services and their missions as well. The world was so certain when they got religion out of the schools that it would be so much better. . . and look at what rushed in to take its place. Brokenness, discontent, gangs, violence, lack of respect, etc. etc..

    Nancy

    • June 22, 2012 at 10:37 am | #12

      That is true. In fact, the fastest growing church today is in China. China has done everything that they could have to remove religion and people still found what they were looking for in Jesus Christ.

  4. June 22, 2012 at 10:59 pm | #13

    Great post Derek. Truly enjoyed it. God Bless You.

    • June 23, 2012 at 7:13 am | #14

      Thanks Grant. It is nice to see you again. I hope you are doing well.

  5. June 25, 2012 at 1:45 pm | #15

    It’s amazing how people can justify, or justify away, plain evidence. Of course, some Christians don’t help the cause. However, when someone gets it right, it shows. Great post :)

    • June 25, 2012 at 5:00 pm | #16

      You know what I don’t understand is how people who are atheists can get so bent out of shape about what I believe. I think atheism has morphed into a more anti-Christian religion, at least at times. If you want to read a good book on the topic of the new spirituality, the book “Why Jesus” by Ravi Zacarias is a great read.

      • June 25, 2012 at 9:40 pm | #17

        I know! When I come across them, I am not the one ranting and raving and calling names. If there is no God, why do they care that I believe in one? Telling. . . BTW — I’m looking for a small (as in not too expensive) book I can give to my students at our end of the year party. I want one that will make an impact and draw them to at least read parts of it. Do you have any suggestions??

        • June 25, 2012 at 10:33 pm | #18

          Exactly. — Do you have a specific theme in mind for a book? The problem with giving books is that many of them don’t get read. There are a lot of options, though, depending on what you are looking for.

          • June 26, 2012 at 1:47 am | #19

            Not real clear about the message yet. I know they will probably not read it (well most). But I like putting things in their hands that may catch their eye sooner or late–seed planting. I need something that will help them move beyond their shallow faith and start to grow in their walk with God. It might wind up being more of a pamphlet or some other item. Whatever it is, I will plan my party devotional around it. I’m open to researching suggestions too. I’ll know it when I see it. Don’t worry about it unless the Lord plants something in your mind :)

  1. July 2, 2012 at 4:05 am | #1
  2. September 30, 2012 at 1:59 pm | #2

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