The first half of this note comes from The Charles Darwin Bible which is a Bible that is used to answer the most common questions evolutionists have about Christianity. It can be found at www.wayofthemaster.com
Penn Jillette, the taller, louder half of the magic/comedy act "Penn and Teller," is a well-known atheist. He is so committed to atheism that he claims, "I cross the word 'God' off every dollar bill I touch."
However, late in 2008, Penn said that after one of his shows, a business approached him and gave him a Gideon New Testament. Pen noted, "It was really wonderful. I believe he new that I was an atheist, but he was not defensive, and he looked me right in the eyes...and then gave me this Bible. I've always said that I don't respect people who don't proselytize. I don't respect that at all. If you believe that there's a Heaven and Hell, and people could be going to Hell, or not getting eternal life, or whatever, and you think that, 'Well, it's not really worth telling them this because it would make it socially awkward'... how much do you have to hate somebody to believe that everlasting life is possible and not tell them that? I mean if I believed beyond a shadow of a doubt that a truck was coming at you and you didn't believe it, and that it was bearing down on you, there is a certain point where I tackle you- and this is more important than that... He cared enough about me to proselytize and give me a Bible."
This is an incredible statement, especially when considering that it was an outspoken atheist who said it. In addition, it should convict us and spur us into action. If an unregenerate man can put the equation together shouldn't believers be able to see the simplicity? I would think so. However, this is so often not the case. How unfortunate!
I remember hearing this statement from Penn Jillette for the first time. I shared the quote with a fellow believer soon after hearing it. He didn't put the equation together. In more or less words he stated that I shouldn't be getting advice from an atheist.
Interesting point. To some it may seem like wise advice. So who is right?
I didn't continue on with the conversation to much after that but I had a particular question in mind: Can God use an atheist or a non-believer to communicate truth and messages to His people? The answer to that question is a resounding, YES! Let's look at the Bible for our authority.
What about Nebuchadnezzar? What about Balaam? He was a wicked man who blessed Israel! God used him! There are several occurrences within the Bible (which should be our main source) and history that speaks to the fact that God can use atheists and other non-believers to communicate Truth, especially when we live in a society where many people claiming to be Christians can't even stand up and communicate Truth (another topic for another day)!
Even when it comes to the government, whether Christian or not, God uses them for His pleasure. "The king's heart is like channels of water in the hand of the LORD; He turns it wherever He wishes." Proverbs 21:1
So, we can conclude that God can communicate His Truth through the unbeliever, if He wishes.
So, what can we learn from Jillette's statement? He quotes someone saying that they won't share because it may be socially awkward. I would add to that statement. Many times people use excuses such as, "It's not "relevant,'" "You can't force people," " I don't want to push people into/away from Christianity," "It's not my spiritual gift," "I'm not brave enough," "I don't have all the answers," "I'd rather be their friend first," "I'm more of a friendship evangelism kind of person," or whatever.
I have just one comment to such statements: it was Paul who said, "Woe to me if I do not preach the gospel."
I challenge you to share the Gospel with someone before the week is through. And don't stop there. Share it with two people the next week!
This post was originially posted on Facebook on Friday May 1st, 2009