How Do You Respond to Someone Who Says That Religion Doesn't Impact Them?

Brett shares how to start a conversation with someone about Christianity even if they don't have any interest in religion. 

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How do you respond to someone who says that religion has no impact on their life? There’re a couple different things to say. First, I would say that’s not my primary argument. I don't think that you need religion, God, or Christianity because it simply impacts your life or because it meets some felt need you have. My argument is that we need God because God is true. God is real. Jesus is the Only Way. I want to say; first and foremost, this stuff is true. That's why you ought to embrace it, believe, embrace Christ, and put your trust in Him – because He's true, and he's real. This kind of question avoids the truth question, and the truth question is primary. 

There may be a second angle we could go at this question if someone's talking about religion having no impact in their life. You might want to ask, “What do you mean by that?” Then ask what the implications are if that's the case. What do you mean? It has no impact on you personally? You haven't experienced the impact? 

You might want to find out what their experience with religion is. Maybe it hasn't been with Christianity. Maybe it’s some other religion, and that religion hasn’t had an impact on their life. That would lead the conversation in a different direction. Someone who's a Mormon, or Jehovah’s Witness, or Hindu, or Muslim, I’d say, well, religion doesn’t have an impact on my life. I certainly don't want to defend those other views. So this is where I would come in and say, “Yeah I wouldn't expect them to have a huge impact on you because I think they’re false religions.” So the conversation might go that way, but you have to get some clarification. 

There's a second issue in this question that they're probably not even aware of. I'm guessing they mean in their personal life, but then we can also respond by asking how they know if religion has had an impact in their life. What I want them to think about is the impact of religion not just on them individually but on cultures and societies. I think we can make a strong argument that Christianity has given rise to Western civilization and all the wonderful things that we have from Western civilization.

One example might be the rise of science. We can make a strong argument that this is motivated by Christian theism, and so the result is modern-day science. Has modern-day science impacted your life? Of course it has. What's gave rise to modern-day science? We make the argument that that was Christianity. If that's the case, then guess what? Religion has had an impact on your life. That's another angle that we can approach this question from.

Certainly I want to say whether you felt the impact or not, this stuff is actually true. Because it's true, then there will be an impact on societies and on individuals.

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Brett Kunkle

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