Posts Tagged ‘atheists’

More Atheists?

March 28, 2009

There was a recent poll that showed an increase in people claiming to be atheist.  The conclusion that was being drawn by many is that this means that the church is failing, that fewer people in church means that the church is losing relevance.

I have a different interpretation of the data.

It is possible that the people who are now claiming to be atheists formerly attended churches only out of pressure to do so for appearances sake.  It might have been to appease their family members, or maybe because they wanted to maintain a certain image in their communities, or maybe even just to network for business purposes. At any rate, if they were attending church for the wrong reasons then it is good for both the church and for them to no longer attend.

It is good for the church, because we have enough problems with hypocrites.  If a person is attending church and has no belief in God, or no interest in learning about God, then they are being hypocritical.  They are there for the wrong reasons and will possibly contribute to church problems.  Problems in the church, as well as problems in the community for the churches reputation.   So atheists leaving the church is a good thing for the church.

It is also better for them.  If they are a part of a church, people will treat them as fellow believers.  There will be no effort to convert, those already perceived as believers.  If they are avowed atheists, not attending any church, not pretending to believe, they will be recognized as people who need the Lord, and will be the subject of peoples’ prayers and witnessing.  This may lead to their salvation, and back to the church as believers, which would be a good thing for them.