Global Atheist Convention stimulates Christian evangelism
Published: 17 January 2012 (GMT+10)
This year, Melbourne will host a Global Atheist Convention for the second time in a row, providing Australian Christians with a great opportunity to advance the gospel of Jesus Christ.
There is little doubt that the media will give full-on coverage as they did last time, with features and interviews sympathetic to the atheists and antagonistic toward God.
That means God will be in the news, and people across Australia will be open to talk about spiritual things.
It’s unlikely the media will give Christians opportunity to balance atheistic misinformation about science and the Christian faith. At the last convention in 2010 the ABC and Melbourne Age effectively acted as a mouthpiece for the godless program.
But that won’t stop the truth getting out and the Gospel being proclaimed as Christians across Australia become mobilized.
At the time of the last Atheist convention, CMI sent an open letter of invitation/challenge to the convention organisers for a public creation-evolution debate. We got a rejection back the same day—which didn’t surprise us, except for possibly the speed. Instead of the debate, CMI ran a multi-session seminar, also in Melbourne, Called “Countering the Rise of Atheism—the Evidence for Creation”. Some 400 to 500 people attended this event. This year there could be an even bigger response across Australia as Christians mobilise to share their faith with their friends and relatives and distribute relevant resources (see suggestions to the right).
News of the convention prompted Dennis Prince, publisher, editor and pastor, to create a one-off newspaper to cover the issues and proclaim the greatness of the Creator God. He was concerned that people who are ill-equipped and gullible could be easily swayed by their academic talk.
“These are not your average atheists”, Dennis said. “These are militants with an agenda—to rid the world of Christianity and the freedoms and benefits it has won over the centuries.”
Dennis explained, “The words ‘in your backyard, on your watch’ came to my mind. I felt sure that was God speaking—not just to me—and that a token response was not what he was seeking.”
To stand against the atheistic propaganda Dennis Prince realised he needed material that dealt with the atheists’ weapon of choice in public debate—‘science’ and evolution. So he has adapted, with our blessing, some of the many articles published on Creation.com.
Dennis said, “The Regal Standard is a twelve-page newspaper, designed to honour God, broadcast his deeds, answer the hard questions and encourage the reader, and God’s children everywhere, to follow him.”
Dennis says the articles in the paper will challenge people at a fundamental level. One is entitled, “I was wrong!” and it details the reversal of the world’s most notorious atheist after 50 years of atheist activism. The new discoveries of science were a key factor.
The paper has several articles by prominent scientists who explain how science and faith go hand in hand. One of the most surprising articles is about an atheist academic who explains why he believes Africa needs God.
Lines to practice dropping into your conversation:
‘Did you hear about the atheist Convention in Melbourne?’
Have you seen The Regal Standard?
Do you have any spiritual beliefs?
Have you seen Creation magazine?
What do you think of Jesus Christ?
A number of people have already seen the paper and many have commented on the power of the scientists’ testimonies and the article about the “Honest Atheist”. One person said, “I’m going to order 200 to hand out to my friends.”
Dennis believes that Christians want to make a tangible contribution, but often feel ill-equipped. And so Dennis has embarked on this project. “With a bundle of newspapers they can answer the hard questions and make a mark. Just $20 will give them 100 copies and an hour or two will put them in letterboxes or tertiary institutions or shopping centres or whatever.”
Did you attend the last global atheist convention in 2010? Have you since come to know the Lord? Please tell us your story via the “Comment” button below.
Prince is convinced that the atheist convention can galvanise churches into constructive positive action. “We must capitalize on the interest generated, and transform the potential for harm into an opportunity for great good.”
The next few months provide an amazing opportunity for Christians in Australia to make a bigger impact for Christ than usual. The Regal Standard is one effective tool that can be used as a conversation starter with friends, to answer questions that people ask, and to distribute through communities, universities and workplaces.