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Evangelizing Atheists - a good thing or bad??

Discussion in 'General Theology' started by BobRyan, Jun 30, 2014.

  1. BobRyan

    BobRyan Junior Member

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    A recent thread was started - showing a video of a mission trip that had the goal of reaching out to atheist and agnostic students on university campuses near Rome.

    http://www.christianforums.com/t7830104/#post65906807

    A comment came up that deserves a thoughtful response.

    I understand that such things exists. But when you watch the actual video in the OP you see that this is not what is being discussed at all. Rather they are going to universities around Rome and reaching students that identify themselves as atheist/agnostic. Student that claim they have not been in church since being an infant. Students that say they are angry at Christianity.

    Be that as it may - in this case we are not talking about faithful Catholics - but about atheists and the need to evangelize them regardless of what they did as infants.


    Which is why I was shocked that this example of reaching out to atheists would even be a problem at all for Catholics!!

    If your scenario of "going to the Catholic church to make protestants out of Catholics" were the issue in the actual video - I would be very sympathetic with the complaints here.

    in Christ,

    Bob
     
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  2. GoingByzantine

    GoingByzantine Seeking the Narrow Road Supporter

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    Bless you BobRyan, for being kind and fair in your analysis. There is no problem with evangelizing atheists, the only problem is to do so through lies. As the man in the video did. Clearly my thread was only leading to animosity between users, so I had it shut and locked.

    I think the dispute is over what the definition of an atheist is, especially according to some missionaries. Is it "anybody who is an unbeliever", or is it "those who do not believe what we believe." After all, the missionary said 90-95% of Italy is Atheist, and it just so happens that roughly 90% is Catholic...so...it seems the missionary was saying that Catholics are Atheist.
     
  3. Mama Kidogo

    Mama Kidogo Τίποτα νέο μυθιστόρημα τίποτα

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    Evangelizing non believers including atheists is our duty. But when they tell you they are christian our duty has been fulfilled.
     
  4. Shiny Gospel Shoes

    Shiny Gospel Shoes Active Member

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    Not so, for even those that claim the name of "Christian" [which is rare for almost any 'catholic', though there are certain exceptions, I speak from personal living experience of my own past, 30 years], there is always the more closer and more perfectly intimate walk with the LORD of the 7th Day the Sabbath:
    And he began to speak boldly in the synagogue: whom when Aquila and Priscilla had heard, they took him unto them, and expounded unto him the way of God more perfectly. Acts 18:26

    Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord. Ephesians 5:10

    And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them. Ephesians 5:11

    Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is. Ephesians 5:17

    Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. 2 Timothy 4:2

    Why?

    For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; 2 Timothy 4:3

    And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. 2 Timothy 4:4
    There are many which call themselves "Christian" [or even 'Catholic', or other names], yet they only have the "form of Godliness", denying the power thereof:
    This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. 2 Timothy 3:1

    For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, 2 Timothy 3:2

    Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, 2 Timothy 3:3

    Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; 2 Timothy 3:4
    Sounds like it is talking about the heathen up until the very next verse, where it reveals it is talking about those which claim to be in the Body of Christ:
    Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. 2 Timothy 3:5
    And these so-called religious believers, actually withstand the Truth in the name of Jesus...
    Now as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith. 2 Timothy 3:8
     
  5. Mama Kidogo

    Mama Kidogo Τίποτα νέο μυθιστόρημα τίποτα

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    I would expect this answer from one of the SDA. But those not under you in the Church are not your's to judge, reprove or lecture. But as it is your tradition I understand your motive to do so and respect you following what you are taught .
    Now how odd that you would post scripture saying to leave them alone when you begin with "not so".
    I take it from your post that when you ask someone if they believe you also question them about many other things. That is not sharing the gospel. That is what evangelicals call churching them. I call it sharing the epistles rather than the gospel. Nothing wrong with that except it is not evangelizing. It's teaching. and teaching reserved for those of the Church.
     
  6. Shiny Gospel Shoes

    Shiny Gospel Shoes Active Member

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    Sure, for one should be able to give the reason for the hope that is in them...

    What is the Gospel? [I am asking you].
     
  7. Mama Kidogo

    Mama Kidogo Τίποτα νέο μυθιστόρημα τίποτα

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    I respect your right on having those threads closed. But they were very informative. They were also telling us how some view us. I just equate the bantering with the noise of construction. If you silence the hammer and saw you don't get it finished. That said I don't blame you for wanting it out of your name.
     
  8. BobRyan

    BobRyan Junior Member

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    in the video the missionary starts out saying that they are not going to practicing Catholics but rather to atheists. The statement is made that the people they are going to are angry with Christianity and are not attending any church - but are embracing atheism as their "belief".

    In your post you say that 90-95% are Catholic and I assume you mean by that practicing Catholics who actually attend church and who do not embrace atheism, who do not hate Christianity, who in fact embrace the Gospel as is taught in the Catholic Church.

    Certainly if that is the case in Italy and specifically on the university Campus - then Itally stands head and shoulders tall above all of Europe and the US and every country on the planet and this missionary has mis-stated his case and his mission.

    But I have to doubt that this is the case in Italy because even the Pope has declared that there are few nations actually promoting Christianity today at the level found in America. And heaven knows we here in America have our problems.

    Here is a web site that says that only 37% of Italians are practicing Catholics.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religion_in_Italy

    But they do not say that 37% of university students in Italy are practicing anything. In the video you posted - the target group was university students.

    in Christ,

    Bob
     
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2014
  9. Mama Kidogo

    Mama Kidogo Τίποτα νέο μυθιστόρημα τίποτα

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    So you suspect they are lying and you need proof? Good luck with that.
    The Gospel is the Good news . The news that Christ(God) has paid the debt for the whole world that we could never pay. It is written for your examination in Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. But all anyone needs is simplified for us in the third Chapter of John as Christ explained it perfectly there.
    Now if you had asked me how to continue in a walk of salvation, I'd have included the letters to the Churches. One does not need a bible study for salvation. One does not even need a bible for salvation. These are very helpful for the walk of a Christian but not requirements.
     
  10. ViaCrucis

    ViaCrucis Evangelical Catholic of the Augsburg Confession

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    .
     
  11. Mama Kidogo

    Mama Kidogo Τίποτα νέο μυθιστόρημα τίποτα

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    There must be some wisdom in that dot.^_^
     
  12. LittleLambofJesus

    LittleLambofJesus PESKY DEVIL! GIT! l SAID GIT! Supporter

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    Evangelizing Atheists - a good thing or bad??

    Can't SDAs post on GT w/o bringing up the Sabbath? :doh:

    It has been discussed ad-nauseum on GT and CF since I have been a member here.

    CF has finally created a special sub-board just for y'all and the MJs to debate the Sabbath......:liturgy:

    http://www.christianforums.com/f1131/
    Sabbath and The Law The Sabbath and the Law forum is for discussing a variety of topics related to Sabbath day worship and keeping the law

    And besides, we first have to bring the atheists [along with the apostate religions of Judaism, Islam, Hindusim...etc.] to Jesus and the Christian NT first. Then teach them about our Jesus and His Father.....IMHO..


    .

    .
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 1, 2014
  13. Mama Kidogo

    Mama Kidogo Τίποτα νέο μυθιστόρημα τίποτα

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    Some can. But I doubt those would be considered good SDA's;) What seems explicitly forbidden is posting in one color.
     
  14. Rhamiel

    Rhamiel Member of the Round Table

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    the multi-denominational situation in the USA has really left Christianity without a voice in the public sphere

    who speaks for "Christians" on moral issues in the USA?
    any one person?
    any one denomination?

    and in the void, the desires and beliefs of Christians are easily ignored.

    Yeah, a lot of people in the USA are Christian, but no one group has a majority, no one person is a true leader
    You could argue that the Rev. Billy Graham may have held this position at one point, but his health is poor and no one has really taken his place.

    go do missionary work
    have a revival
    but Italy does not need "church planting"
    there are enough churches there allready

    and creating cultural disunity is NOT the work or Christ
     
  15. MoreCoffee

    MoreCoffee Repentance works.

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    "The Lord of the seventh day Sabbath"?

    Jesus is Lord of the Sabbath but he didn't say "the seventh day Sabbath" ... Jesus is Lord of the rest of God, the rest into which God calls all Christians, a rest from our own works is not a rest from good works; in fact Jesus' dispute with the Pharisees was about doing good on the Sabbath when their law forbade it. The Pharisees objected to Jesus doing good on the Sabbath and set about doing evil to him on the Sabbath; is it not true that they had him killed quickly for the sake of their Sabbath? Perhaps a pause to reflect on what their attachments to the seventh day brought out of them is in order.
     
  16. MoreCoffee

    MoreCoffee Repentance works.

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    I reckon it must be a commandment in one of those books that you and I don't have in our bibles ;)
    Thou shalt not write thy posts in one colour neither shalt thou eschew bold and underlined text for he that doest these things is an abomination and his posts shall surely perish.
     
  17. Shiny Gospel Shoes

    Shiny Gospel Shoes Active Member

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    Opinion... yeah, well...

    You see, attempting to speak to atheists/etc [which deny that God Created in the 6 Days and Rested the 7th day of Genesis 1-2, Exodus 20:8-11, etc], without speaking to them of that fact, as Paul did...
    And saying, Sirs, why do ye these things? We also are men of like passions with you, and preach unto you that ye should turn from these vanities unto the living God, which made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all things that are therein: Acts 14:15
    ...is unscriptural. For you see, the Sabbath Commandment is right there... in Pauls appeal to return to the Creator [Gen 1-2, Exo 20:8-11 ["For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it."], etc] which created them... even as Peter spoke to the Jews in reminder, Acts 4:24.

    God winks at ignorance, and is long-suffering, but now calls all men [including you] to Repent [turn from Sin, which is transgression of the Law, and denial of the Creator] and obey Him:

    Who in times past suffered all nations to walk in their own ways. Acts 14:16
    And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent: Acts 17:30
     
  18. Shiny Gospel Shoes

    Shiny Gospel Shoes Active Member

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    ... if you continue to choose to be just a staff in the old man's hand, that of course is up to you... however,

    Context declares the 7th Day:
    "But when the Pharisees saw it, they said unto him, Behold, thy disciples do that which is not lawful to do upon the sabbath day." Matthew 12:2
    "And he said unto them, The sabbath was made for [the] man, and not [the] man for the sabbath:" Mark 2:27 [see Genesis 2:1-3, where God created...]

    "And Jesus answering them said, Have ye not read so much as this, what David did, when himself was an hungred, and they which were with him;" Luke 6:3 [see also Matthew 12:4; a reference to the old testament, 1 Samuel 21:4,5,etc, speaking
    of the changing of the Bread on the 7th Day, as was required; Exodus 25:30; Leviticus 25:4-9; 1 Samuel 21:6; 1 Chronicles 9:32], even as Numbers 4:7 and 1 Samuel 21:3-6 [see also Matthew 12:3-4; Mark 2:25-26; Luke 6:3-4 in conjunction] verifies]
     
  19. MoreCoffee

    MoreCoffee Repentance works.

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    I cleaned up the excessive use of colours and use of the KJV in your post; my changes can be identified by their colour, royal blue.

    When a Christian reads the scriptures and quotes them it is good to include relevant context so that one's readers are not misled. Now in the above post the first quote was a little bit misleading without its immediate context so I included the context. By doing so I hope that the reader will be able to see what saint Paul was discussing - not the Sabbath but rather that worship and sacrifice belong to God and not to Paul and Barnabas who the gentile pagans took to be Hermes and Zeus, respectively. Similarly with the second quote (whose context I did not include for brevities sake) which deals with a remarkable work of healing done by saint Peter, his defence before the elders, and the Christians' great joy at the works of God through saint Peter. The passage is long, too long to quote in full, so I urge the reader to open their bible and read it in full; verses one to twenty two tell the story of Peter's miracle and verses twenty three to the end of the chapter tell the story of the Christians' reaction. The prayer in verse twenty four is a praise of God's greatness but it is not about Sabbath observance despite what the post quoted above says. The other passages mentioned in the post are not intended to teach Christians to worship God on the seventh day nor to rest on that day nor to require them to observe the ten commandments, despite what the author of the post claims.
     
  20. MoreCoffee

    MoreCoffee Repentance works.

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    Once again I made some changes to the passages of scripture quoted in the post above; my changes are shown in royal blue. And once again the context makes a significant difference in how the passage is read. In these passages Jesus is not urging Christians to observe the seventh day but rather he is urging the faithful to do good on every and any day regardless of what the Pharisees said about the seventh day. The message is not about being bound to keep seventh day sabbath regulations formulated by religious authorities it's about doing good to one's fellow human beings and showing kindness to other creatures.
     
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