By Lisa Quintana
Americans who say they are “non-religious” have grown in recent years. About one-in-five people (one-third are under the age of 30) claim to be religiously unaffiliated, according to the Pew Research Center. Some have a name for this new trend: “Apatheism.” This means people are apathetic about if there is a God and how He relates to their lives.
Here are three things Christians can do to combat apatheism:
1. First off you can pray. The Holy Spirit can work on their hearts while we obey the commission Jesus gave us—to proclaim the good news and make disciples.
2. Show them a reason to care! Find out what they care about and how they make value judgements in those areas. Then, you can ask them if they have a sense of “better” and “worse,” and how they work towards the better. Most recognize they have a standard higher than what they’ve lived up to. Once clarified, use their own claims as starting points to discuss how to best live, and naturally the necessity of God can be introduced during this conversation.
It’s not popular these days to call people “sinners,” but that’s what we all are, and we need to show the need for redemption. Be careful, however, in how you help them discover this fact. Remember rule number one: pray that God changes their heart. What many don’t understand is how holy God is, and without a basic understanding of sin, it’s difficult to see how people have sinned against God, breaking the holy relationship that we were designed for.
We all have a sense that there must be something more to this life; the cosmic chaotic accident evolutionists claim started all of this just doesn’t satisfy that unmet longing inside a person for purpose. Some need help to discern that unmet longing. This is why discipleship is so vital! We need to cultivate relationships with people and help them to see that those longings can be met in the love of God through Jesus Christ…