Have you ever agreed with an atheist?
Have you ever agreed with someone outside your realm of faith? If you are a Christian, have you ever experienced a point of agreement with an agnostic or an atheist? I have one such story to share with you from an article by Matthew Parris, originally published in The Times - 12/27/08.
I returned, after 45 years, to the country that as a boy I knew as Nyasaland. Today it's Malawi, and The Times Christmas Appeal includes a small British charity working there. Pump Aid helps rural communities to install a simple pump, letting people keep their village wells sealed and clean. I went to see this work.
It inspired me, renewing my flagging faith in development charities. But traveling in Malawi refreshed another belief, too: one I've been trying to banish all my life, but an observation I've been unable to avoid since my African childhood. It confounds my ideological beliefs, stubbornly refuses to fit my world view, and has embarrassed my growing belief that there is no God.
Now a confirmed atheist, I've become convinced of the enormous contribution that Christian evangelism makes in Africa: sharply distinct from the work of secular NGOs, government projects, and international aid efforts. These alone will not do. Education and training alone will not do. In Africa Christianity changes people's hearts. It brings a spiritual transformation. The rebirth is real. The change is good.
There is the agreement! The Bible says the solution to mankind’s issues involves a change of heart. This atheist’s view and the Bible match on this issue.
I will give them an undivided heart and put a new spirit in them; I will remove from them their heart of stone and give them a heart of flesh. // Ezekiel 11:19
For out of the heart come evil thoughts—murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander. 20 These are what defile a person; but eating with unwashed hands does not defile them.” // Matthew 15:19-20
Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. // Romans 12:2
God, through the gospel of Jesus Christ, will change hearts. Thank you, Jesus, for such transformational power.
Blessings to you in Christ,