What Gets An Atheist’s (or other non-Christian’s) Attention?

As our culture becomes increasingly post-Christian it might be worth asking what it is that gets the attention of those who don’t consider themselves Christians?

Christopher Hitchens the well known atheist and antagonist of Christianity used to challenge believers with this statement: “Find one good or noble thing which cannot be accomplished without religion.” If Mr. Hitchens were still with us (unfortunately he died of cancer late in 2011), I would tell him that we’ve seen 2 such acts just in the month of June.

1. Charles C. W. Cooke is a self described atheist who writes for National Review among other journals. On June 19th he tweeted: “I am a non-Christian, and I must say: This is a remarkable advertisement for Christianity.” He then linked to the family members of the victims in Charleston telling the murder Dylann Roof that they forgive him and asking him to confess and repent so that he might find God’s mercy.

2. In a June 27th editorial in the New York Times entitled “He’s Jesus Christ”, Nicholas Kristof tells the story of Dr. Tom Catena who is the only doctor in the Nuba mountains in a particularly war torn part of Sudan. Dr. Catena does all his work without the benefit of electricity, running water, telephone, or even an x-ray machine. Attributing his work to his family and being a Christian, the doctor ministers to Christians and Muslims without distinction.

A Muslim paramount chief named Hussein Nalukuri Cuppi offered an even more unusual tribute.

“He’s Jesus Christ,” he said.

Er, pardon?

The chief explained that Jesus healed the sick, made the blind see and helped the lame walk — and that is what Dr. Tom does every day.

You needn’t be a conservative Catholic or evangelical Christian to celebrate that kind of selflessness. Just human.

So in a world where it is more and more difficult to be a Christian, maybe it’s the acts of love and service that will gain the gospel a hearing. Is there a way that you could serve in your neighborhood or work place?

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