Pray for an Atheist Initiative on Facebook
…That It Stirs Religious Emotions
Between Christians and Atheists
FRANKLIN, TN (ANS) — No-one likes to be taken for a fool and, with April Fool’s Day (April 1), 2010 approaching, it is important to remember the Bible says those do not believe in God are just that. According to American Atheists (www.atheists.org ), there are over 30 million Americans who claim to be atheists.
April 1st is traditionally recognized as April Fool’s Day, but not many people know that day is also used to celebrate Atheists Day in the un-believing community. Christians, however, are not fooling around when it comes to trusting in the power of prayer and using social media to reach out to atheists. Now, on the heels of a federal appeals court ruling upholding the constitutionality of the phrase “one nation under God” in the Pledge of Allegiance, comes a national initiative created by Christians regarding April 1st or National Atheists Day.
Recently on the social network Facebook, Christians started a “Pray for an Atheist” initiative. (See: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Pray-for-anAtheist/324325528476?ref=search&sid=1049314985.1557583972..1) What started out as a forum for Christians to encourage each other and to become better informed regarding atheism has turned into a platform where opposing sides are challenging their religious views without reservation.
So where do atheists come from? How did such folks as Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, Daniel Dennett, and Christopher Hitchens become such ardent atheist?
According to the Bible, The psalmist declares, “The fool says in his heart there is no God” (Ps. 14:1), and in the book of Romans, Paul makes it clear that lack of evidence is not the atheist’s problem.
Are Facebook and other social venues the proper forum for converting people to Christianity? What would Jesus think of these new religious tactics for sharing your faith? What do Christians and atheists need to know about effective communication between opposing religious views?
Jim Spiegel, author of ‘The Making of an Atheist’ believes some of the new atheists openly declare their hatred for the Judeo-Christian God and are armed with arguments to show that belief in God is absurd and dangerous. “Atheism is not at all a consequence of intellectual doubts. These are mere symptoms of the root cause — moral rebellion and for the atheist, the missing ingredient is not evidence but obedience,” says Spiegel.
Members of the online “Pray for an Atheist” initiative agree to do the following:
- PRAY for an atheist by name for one month
- UNDERSTAND how people become atheists through resources (‘The Making of an Atheist’ by James Spiegel, professor of philosophy and religion at Taylor University in Upland, Indiana)
- INTERCEDE through prayer for an atheist. College professor and former atheist, Holly Ordway, author of ‘Not God’s Type’, credits the prayers of her local church for her conversion to Christianity
- ENCOURAGE other Christians through email and prayer who may have questions or have their own questions.
Holly Ordway, a professor at a community college and author of ‘Not God’s Type’, is another supporter of prayer as relationship as an evangelical resource. Ordway is a highly-educated, former atheist and professor of English, who represents a demographic supposedly beyond the reach of the church in postmodern America.
Ordway was once hostile toward Christianity, but through a series of conversations with a wise and patient mentor, Ordway not only became convinced of God’s existence, but embraced Christianity. Both Jim Spiegel and Holly Ordway are available to discuss the ‘Pray for an Atheist’ initiative and their views on Christianity versus atheism.
Monday, March 22, 2010 , By Michael Ireland
Chief Correspondent, ASSIST News Service
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