DEAR BILLY GRAHAM: Why are some people so hostile toward religion? One of my co-workers claims to be an atheist, and if anyone says anything about God, their church or anything like that, he gets very belligerent. Why is this? — P.T.
DEAR P.T.: Most people don’t like to be told they’re wrong (even if they actually are), and this may be one explanation for your co-worker’s hostility. This is particularly true if down inside he has doubts about his supposed atheism (even if he vehemently denies that he does).
But in some ways his belligerence isn’t really logical, is it? After all, if he truly believes God doesn’t exist, then why should he get upset if people say God does exist? Why doesn’t he simply laugh at them or ignore them? Sometimes people who strongly oppose Christ are simply reacting against their parents’ faith. Sometimes they don’t want to give up their sinful lifestyle. Some day you might ask this man whether he knows why he reacts so strongly whenever God is mentioned.
Throughout history, those who believe in God often have been persecuted by those who deny him — sometimes very violently. Instead of allowing others the freedom to believe in God, they want to suppress them and restrict their rights. The Bible warns that “everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted” (2 Timothy 3:12).
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Pray for your co-worker, as only God can convict him of his sin and disbelief, and convince him of the truth of the Gospel. Pray, too, that you will be a witness for Christ to those around you, not only by what you say but also by the way you live. Sometimes the most persuasive argument we can give someone is the reality of a Christ-filled life. Do others see Christ’s love and patience and peace in your life?
Write “My Answer,” Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, 1 Billy Graham Parkway, Charlotte, N.C., 28201; or go to BillyGraham.org.
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