I have a friend who strongly hates religion. While he doesn’t try to force Atheism down my throat, he does often go on a lengthy rant about all the evils religion (especially Christianity) has brought on to the world and holds Secular Humanism and Scientism on the pedestal. I am trying very hard to be kind to him and listen to him but sometimes I can’t help but personally get offended by some of his statements. I am not sure what to do because some of the stuff he says is personally affecting me.
Please, dear friend: whatever your friend says, do NOT take it personally.
I understand it feels like he’s talking smack about your mama, but any sort of pushback from you will only prove his point.
I’ve said this story many times, but in my old housing complex there was an awesome black gentlemen who was a guard at the security gate. He had to work with a raging atheist, who was also a pretty cool dude. Both of them became my friends. When I asked Terry, the Christian black gentleman, how he handled the atheist, he said some very simple words.
Oh man, he just don’t know.
That was it. No detailed script, no three-point plan, no evangelism cube, no apologetics. Just the simple reasoning: He doesn’t know any better, and that’s okay.
Because at one point in my life, I didn’t know any better.
At one point in your life, you didn’t know any better.
We all hated a weak version of Christianity that some lame college professor could dismantle in a thirty second lecture in the impressionable mind of a seventeen year old freshman.
I was an atheist who hated God, who hated Christians, who shrugged at Jesus.
We just didn’t know.
I hope you have patience for your friend, to remember what it was like the first time you walked nervously into church expecting to be judged, not knowing why these Christians were being so nice to you, thinking the preacher was scamming everyone with the offering plate, seeing some weird stuff on Sundays like “drinking the blood” and being “baptized with the Holy Spirit,” and hearing that murmuring during prayer time.
Try to remember.