How To Chase Away an Atheist

When I was an unChristian (i.e. atheist/agnostic), lots of well-meaning believers turned me right off with their misguided attempts at evangelizing.  Or maybe they really were trying to get rid of me.  Either way, here are .  . .


1. Say this: “You’re not really an atheist, are you?  I mean, deep down you really believe, right?”  Here’s what that sounded like to me: “So, you’re a liar.”  Awesome way to lead into a conversation about Jesus.  Not.

2. Or say this, “You know you’re going to hell, don’t you?”  Think about this logically – if I didn’t believe in God, I didn’t believe in hell.  In fact, the whole idea of hell was one of the reasons I rejected God in the first place.

3. Tell an atheist they “Have a God-shaped hole.”  I’m a Christian now, and I’m not even sure what that means.  Using Christian bumper-sticker slogans like that one is a great way to repel atheists.

4. Accuse them of rejecting God because they just want to do what they want to do.  This one’s really just an insult.  “You’re a selfish, arrogant libertine.”  It is a great thing to say if you want to denigrate a person and block any hope of a mutually respectful conversation.

5. Debate evolution.  That’s actually just what I wanted when I was away from God.  If I could turn the conversation into an argument about science, then I didn’t have to deal with Jesus.

6. Insist that an atheist prove there is no God.  First, you can’t prove a negative.  Second, if a Christian was trying to get me to their point of view, why was there a burden on me to prove anything?

7. Accuse atheists and agnostics of being hypocritical because they celebrate Christmas.  The equally repellent corollary is “So who do you thank at Thanksgiving?”  They’re national holidays, dude.  Besides, I liked the presents at Christmas, and the turkey at Thanksgiving whether I believed in God or not.

8. Ask, “Why are you so angry at God?”  If there’s no God, then no one to be angry at. It’s the old “When are you going to stop beating your wife” attempted-trap-of-a-question.  If you hit me with a question I couldn’t answer, I wasn’t going to talk to you long.

9.  Hitler.  As in, “You know Hitler/Stalin/Mao was an atheist.”  You didn’t want to get into a debate with me about who has caused more misery, atheists or Christians.  Trust me on this.  It’s another great way to make sure that Jesus never comes up in the conversation.  And, although Godwin’s Law is specifically applicable to online arguments, it works in person too – once you bring up Hitler you’ve lost the argument and the discussion is over.

10. And finally, something that is absolutely positively guaranteed to elicit laughter and stifle meaningful conversation, answer someone who says, “I don’t believe in God” by saying, “Well God believes in you.”  The more sincere, the better.

You’re invited to add your own examples in the reply section.

About pastordavesimpson

I'm an unexpected pastor. Why unexpected? Because no one is more surprised than me that I'm a pastor. See the "About" page on my blog for more info.
This entry was posted in Atheism, Christianity and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

16 Responses to How To Chase Away an Atheist

  1. How does an atheist become a pastor? And why?


    • Well, first the atheist becomes a Christian. Then, much to his surprise, he experiences a call to ministry. That’s a lot of what this blog is about – the journey from unbelief to Christianity and finally to being a pastor. See the “About” page of the blog for a little more info.


  2. 11. Try to convince them that your god exists using anything other than evidence.

    Because really, I’m thrilled believing makes you happy, but your happiness isn’t going to convince me.


    • Yes . . . but. Is happiness – or some other change(s) in someone’s life that they attribute to their faith – not evidence of a sort? Not “proof” of course. Thanks for contributing to the discussion. (Beyond any faith stuff, a huge problem with the kind of statements we’re talking about is that they stanch discourse – never a good thing.)


      • “Is happiness – or some other change(s) in someone’s life that they attribute to their faith – not evidence of a sort?”


        We have documentation of people changing their emotions and even how they feel to a certain extent based on their beliefs. Sometimes referred to as ‘placebos’.

        And I’m much happier than I ever was as a believer.

        But that isn’t evidence for atheism being true. It’s just evidence that how I’m living my life happens to make me happy. And the same is true for your religion.

        If one religion was the only way people found to be happy, that might indicate something. But no religion fits that bill.


  3. Donna Hostetler says:

    So what works to attract an atheist? Do you have a top 10 on that?


  4. 12. Mention the “atheist agenda” in the media.


    • That’s a good one . . . on a related note I was going to put something on the list about connecting being a Democrat/Liberal with being anti-God. It’s a good way to “disqualify” a good segment of folks from Christianity. I was kind of surprised to find you didn’t have to be a Right-wing Republican to be a Christian based on which Christians get the most press. Hey – maybe that’s part of that media “atheist agenda.”

      (I’m kidding about that last sentence – hard to do sarcasm in print.)


  5. David says:

    So shall we call you Paul then? (Another famous “un-Christian” who became a believer and was then called to serve Jesus and minister to His followers .. )


  6. Pingback: How NOT To Chase Away an Atheist | The Unexpected Pastor

  7. Great blog entry. I am wondering what you think of author Richard Dawkins’ observation: “We are all atheists about most of the gods that societies have ever believed in. Some of us just go one god further.”


  8. Pingback: Are We All Atheists? | The Unexpected Pastor

  9. Pingback: How to be a Christian without being a jerk about it | The Unexpected Pastor

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s