Automatic Transcript Generated:
So Fraser is asking, what do you say to someone who believes God only exists if you believe in him?
I love this frasier. Really good question. And I hope this will give you a good approach to deal with someone like this. And I think the temptation is going to be first to try approach it philosophically, right? Say something. Does a tree falling in the forest make a sound if no one’s there to hear it? And scientifically we know there will be the vibrations and if there was any audible perception, like for sure there would be a sound captured, or does the sun shine if there’s no one there to perceive it? I mean, is, is perception needed for reality? Is belief needed for God to exist? Of course it’s ridiculous, but we’re going to lose the argument if we try to engage, I think, someone like this intellectually. Now there are some people who really do want the intellectual discussion and are willing to have that conversation and can separate their emotions from the beliefs and over time maybe make progress. But even I in encounters with people who are very cognitive in their approach to philosophy and God, still we often encounter emotional barriers. And perhaps the most important concept to bear in mind is that people do not care what you know until they know that you care.
And so that means you need to have a relationship, you need to be known and known by them. There’s a certain level of intimacy there that we were just talking about a moment ago. So let’s look at some Bible verses I think are very spot on and helpful here. Let’s start with Psalms 14, verse one. Psalm 14, verse one, and not putting anybody down. But this is going to be important for understanding the context of dealing with someone who denies God. And this verse says, the fool has said in his heart there is no God. So anybody who’s a God denier, the Bible says is a fool. Why are they a fool? Is the Bible again being condescending and putting somebody down? Is that the point of this verse? No, but it’s trying to tell you you’re dealing with a person who’s been fooled, someone who’s been deceived, and someone who is not acting in their own best interest. So don’t quote those verts to them again. Don’t say, oh, well, you’re a fool. According to the Bible, that’s going to be unproductive. But keep it in mind you’re dealing with a fool. So how do you deal with a fool?
Proverbs one seven. It says, the fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction. So again, the Bible is saying what I was saying earlier. You’re not necessarily going to win by reasoning with them. It’s probably going to be very fruitless. Proverbs 122 how long will mockers delight in mockery and fools hate knowledge the Bible just talks about even at the end days that many will perish because they have not love of the truth. Most people don’t love truth anymore. They really would rather believe the lie and God will let them fall into a deep delusion. This is one of the greatest warnings that say in all of the New Testament over and over and over again, don’t be deceived, don’t be deceived, don’t be deceived. And again, why are they deceived? Because people would rather be deceived than accept the truth. And why are they reluctant to accept the truth? That is the key question. If you can understand the why now you can better really minister to these people and make more headway. Because the why gets to a deeper reason of why they’re resisting that there’s a God.
Yeah, they have all the evidence and under certain circumstances they might choose to accept it. But why are they rejecting it? Why in their heart? Let’s go back to Psalm 14, verse one again. It says, the fool has said in his heart, so where’s the problem? It’s a heart problem. So you’re dealing with heart issues. Are we going to be then properly addressing the heart of the God denier? Proverbs 1433, I’m reading from the NIV version. It says wisdom reposes in the heart of the discerning. And even among fools she lets herself be known. So deep down they’re going to see wisdom. They know it’s there, they can’t ignore it, but they’re resisting. It still at the heart level. So don’t bother getting into the what. And oh, yeah, god exists. Let me show you all the evidence. Get into the why. Why should they care that there’s a God? Why should they be willing to accept that there is a God? Because you’ll find that so many people are resisting God because they actually have a false perception of who God is. They would rather reject a God. Say I don’t believe in a God.
If they think that God is a tyrant who’s evil and oppressive, who just wants to see people burn forever and ever and they might think of their loved ones and if God exists, then they think that then that means there’s a hell where there’s eternal suffering. And I’ve known some people talk about how when they’re speaking to this type of atheist or God denier, they say, you know what, I’m an atheist too with respect to that type of God, I don’t believe there’s that type of God. You are correct to say that type of God should be rejected. If God is a tyrant, he’s vengeful, he’s angry, he’s hurtful. Why should we want to associate with him? Why should we even give him the benefit of us acknowledging him? Right? So think of their heart, find out, discover why are they resisting? Why don’t they want there to be a God? And when you understand the why, now you can finally have an informed discussion with them and at the end of the day too. When you are showing them love, you are really showing them what God is like. John 1335 jesus says, by this all will know that you are my disciples if you have love for one another, for many we see the only means by which they will see God is through us and our love.
Many people, when they look at Christians, what do they really see? Do they see love? Or do they see angry, hateful Christians who are out there condemning and criticizing? Do they want to be a part of that group? Absolutely not. And then would they want to be associated with that God that they seem to be in the image of? Absolutely not. So if we spent more time really thinking about how are we showing up as representatives of God, what are we in our words and our deeds, showing the world about God’s character? When we’re more mindful of this, we’re probably going to have a way more headway. I wish when people thought of Christians, they thought, yeah, those are the nicest people, the most trustworthy people, the safest people to be around, the people that you want to be around, that it’s just healing to be in their presence. Wouldn’t we like that to be said about Christians, about our church? And yet I think a lot of the criticisms we face as Christians, as Christians by the left, by the atheists, by whatever group you want to call them, a lot of their criticisms, I think, are well deserved.
And we need to humble ourselves, confess our sins, and really strive to show the love of God in our heart, properly be his example in the world. And when they see that love, that’s when they’re going to respond to God as it’s written one John 419, we love him because he first loved us. And for many people, they’re not going to be able to feel and comprehend and know the love of God until they see that love coming from us, the love of God making its way from God to us, to them. And we need to just be more mindful of how are we loving the world, how are we loving others? Rather than getting angry in the debate, can we show the love and patience and kindness and joy just to be there with this atheist, to have this time with them? That’s when we’re going to really make big headway with such a person. Absolutely.
For the full episode:
Share this video with a friend:
In His Service