Why do young people become atheists?

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by quantumfaith, Dec 3, 2014.

  1. quantumfaith

    quantumfaith
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  2. T Alan

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    They are born Atheists. They become believers.
     
  3. T Alan

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    some do anyway. Others stay in their unbelief.
     
  4. quantumfaith

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    I understand your position. The discussion, unless I missed it, did not discuss the "born" aspect. I realize (I think) you position on depravity, but I do not completely share the same with you.
     
  5. PreachTony

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    Are we born believing anything at all? Or are we blank slates?

    No one is born stating a position on anything. Over time, and through experience, you learn about the world around you. You learn that atheism is just as much a learned and practiced belief as any other religion.
     
  6. Revmitchell

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    According to the op those who became atheists did so because all they heard from the church was social justice preaching and being a good person but there was a severe disconnect between that and a relationship with Christ.
     
  7. quantumfaith

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    Unfortunately, there are a growing number of these "mainline" churches who have ignored and replaced the message of the gospel with "compassionate" service. Such service to our fellow man is worthy of our efforts, however it should never replace the gospel message of mankind's absolute need of redemption and its provision in the person of the Christ.
     
  8. T Alan

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    You suggested they 'become' atheist. I stated the biblical truth that all born are "Atheist", as the bible says: (1 Cor 2:14 ) "The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned." and that (1 Cor1:21) "For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe." and (1 Corinthians 15:46)
    "The spiritual did not come first, but the natural, and after that the spiritual.

    All are born unable to know God and therefor Atheist or at best Agnostic until the Spirit gives the ability to do otherwise.
     
    #8 T Alan, Dec 4, 2014
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  9. Revmitchell

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    Some years back I candidated at a new SBC church in a small village in Vermont. For many years it only had one small church there, a "community church", and a woman who was seen as the pastor. She made the statement that the worst thing Christianity has done throughout history was to tell folks that Christ shed His blood for their sins.

    That church had an empty gospel with an empty purpose. At the same time I think that actual Christ centered churches need to do better at discipleship and making the connection between our relationship with Christ and how to live our daily lives. In John chapter 17 Jesus prayed that you and I and all believers would be unified so that the world would know that the Father had sent Him. With that known fact we should make the connection by showing that we live our daily lives not to have better lives but to make sure the world knows that the Father sent Christ. That is where our connection and purpose comes from and that is what is missing from far to many churches.

    It seems that the central message in our churches today is that we just need to be more like Christ. I agree that we need to be more like Christ but we miss the heart of of it all if we do not explain what that actually is. I think just saying we need to be more like Christ lets people off the hook. We need to be more like Christ by being Holy. The standard we are trying to reach is not just being a better person. That just does not go far enough. The standard is that we should be striving to be Holy. Anything less than that is just false.
     
    #9 Revmitchell, Dec 4, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 4, 2014
  10. gigabyte71

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    That verse doesn't state that they don't believe in God, only that the natural person can't accept the things of the Spirit of God. There is a big difference between denying God's existence and accepting the things of God.

    Every single atheist I have known tells me they didn't start out that way, it was a progression over time.
     
  11. T Alan

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    Okay, then how does a "Spiritually dead" person accept the existence of a Spiritual GOD? But in reality, there are actully NO atheist. Better is the def, Agnostic. Enough is given in creation to know there is a God.
     
  12. gigabyte71

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    "Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened." ~ Romans 1:21

    Sounds a lot like they knew He is, but rejected him. That is NOT the same is denying His existence.
     
  13. PreachTony

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    Atheism is the stated belief in the non-existence of any sort of god, regardless the religious system. It is not an ignorance of the existence of God.

    Would you consider a three year old to not believe in Calculus, simply because they haven't been taught it? Or would you admit that they are merely ignorant of its existence because they've not yet learned?

    By your stated position (prior to the change noted above), then anyone who dies before knowing about salvation, regardless of age, is burning in Hell. By that logic, Hell is full of babies and toddlers. Now, I know that Calvinism doesn't have a problem with this line of thought, but some of us non-Cals simply cannot hold to that.
     
  14. quantumfaith

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    As often, the disclaimer....I did not intend to for the conversation to track along theological fault lines. If you simply reject the premises proposed by Dr. Craig on factors that lead young people to a position of atheism....OK.

    I have spent my life working (in the public sphere) with young people and I think Dr. Craig nails it on his insights.
     
  15. PreachTony

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    quantum - Apologies if my statements were the ones to drag the thread off-OP. I felt they were relevant to the discussion with T Alan, though I can see how they would potentially create an off-shoot. It's difficult to discussion certain issues without touching on the "theological fault lines," as you called them, because these issues can be tied so closely to those lines.
     
  16. quantumfaith

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    Thanks for your concern. Is it possible to avoid these "fault lines" in pragmatic topic discussions....certainly. But we all have a tendency to at times fall toward those things we are each most confident of. As most everyone else, for me that "theological shuffle" is over and I rest comfortably in all I don't know. :)
     
  17. webdog

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    I disagree they are born atheists. We are born with what I call the Four C's, conscience (God's law written on our hearts), creation, circumstances (being placed in the exact location geographically and historically to "...seek Him, although He is not far from any one of us.", Acts 17:26) and ceaselessness (The desire to live forever, eternity "set in our hears", Ecc. 3:11). All point to God from birth.
     
  18. quantumfaith

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    :thumbs::thumbs:
     
  19. timf

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    Why do young people become atheists?

    Many young people are raised both in the secular school system and in their parent's church. They may know the church language and seem to be saved only to reject what they come to consider a facade as they grow older.

    Even children who are Christian can go so far as to claim to be agnostic (insufficient data) given the strength of the pull of the world. Some unsaved children may see no need declare themselves atheist and consider it sufficient just to ignore the subject of religion.

    Those that declare themselves atheist carry a bit more intensity in their rejection bringing themselves close to the penalty for rejecting even the knowledge of God.

    Romans 1:28 And, according as they did not approve of having God in knowledge, God gave them up to a disapproved mind, to do the things not seemly;

    I would assume most who declare in favor of atheism are unsaved. I would assume that some of the intensity of their conviction might come from embarrassment that they once considered Christianity in a favorable light when they were younger.

    One might see secularism as the state religion (the worship of man in general and self in particular) in the US. It is taught in every school and its doctrine of evolution is considered almost sacred in most every college. This is a powerful force to imprint on the unsaved.

    I see most youthful declarations of atheism to contain an element of zeal that is almost reactionary to something else. Most unsaved would be considered agnostic because they have little interest in religion of any kind. The motive to go further and declare for atheism is almost like getting baptized or confirmed for secularism.
     
  20. Van

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    Thanks QF for addressing an import issue!!

    What did the link say?

    In a survey (non-scientific) these 7 finding stood out:

    1) The self proclaimed atheists said they started out as open to the Christian message, contrary to Calvinist screed.
    2) The had apparently mainly attended "mainline" rather than "evangelical" churches, i.e. dying churches, not vibrant and growing churches.
    3) These churches had presented "warmed over humanism" where doing good and social justice were emphasized. Thus a culture where belief in the need of salvation through Christ is not central.
    4) The churches had failed to provide satisfactory answers to their questions, but instead provided "superficial answers." Apparently these questions involved:
    a) Evolution- where what they were learning in school differed for the denials offered by the church.
    b) Sexuality - where they believe people are born "gay" rather than choose to engage in homosexual activity. Again, this view is expressed and reinforced in all TV and movies coming out of the liberals.
    c) Reliability of the Bible - the absence of creative miracles today and the claims of facts disputed by science.
    d) Jesus - why is He the only way, why not Hinduism or Islam. ​

    5) Most of the self proclaimed atheists said they became atheist, not in college, but when between 14-17, i.e. middle and high schoolers. Should cause us to re-evaluate our ministry priorities, such as the senior pastor being far more involved and the intern not just allowed to babysit.

    6) Dr. Lang thought that some of the logical rational intellectual reasons given for adopting atheism were a smokescreen for damaged or abused children making decisions for emotional reasons. Some had prayed for God's intervention, and since the travail had continued, they decided God did not exist.

    7) They had been influenced by the Internet and social media (i.e. Youtube) where anti-Christian presentations are available 24/7.
     

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