Atheist, Igtheist, Or Apatheist?

America has seen a disturbing rise in the number of people who call themselves atheists. Over the last five years, the number of people who describe themselves as atheists has increased from just over 15 percent to just under 20 percent. The part that is most disturbing about this is that the increase seems to have come most from the youngest generation of adults, often called Millennials (those between 18 and 32 years old). If you would like to see a full description of this report and my analysis, please click here.

This new phenomenon means that 1/5 of the adult population has no church affiliation. In the youngest age group, 1/3 have no church affiliation. In my post yesterday, I surmised this gives the church a wonderful opportunity since many of these people describe themselves as people who still pray. Many other of the unaffiliated adults actually believe in God.

What about the rest of this group? Who are they?

Many of these folks are true atheists. They believe in science but not in faith. Science has taken the place of faith for them.

But many others are not really atheists. They are what some observers have called igtheists–they simply do not  know God or the things of God. This is particularly true of the youngest group of adults. Many of these young adults were the products of broken homes. Some lived by the week in the house of their mother and then moved to live with their father for a week. Many grew up without any faithful religious example.

Others of this group are often called apatheists. These are people who are not searching for any kind of satisfying church or religious experience . Obviously, these will be the most difficult to reach.

But, they can be reached. Not one of these folks is outside the realm of God. God’s Spirit is at work in our world. Let us be the people who pray for our unreached friends and who ask God to give us opportunities to touch their lives.

The words of Jesus apply here: “This is what the kingdom of God is like. A man scatters seed on the ground. Night and day, whether he sleeps or gets up, the seed sprouts and grows, though he does not know how. All by itself the soil produces grain–first the stalk, then the head, then the full kernel in the head. As soon as the grain is ripe, he puts the sickle to it, because the harvest has come” (Mark 4:26-29).

God is at work producing a great harvest. Let us work with Him to expand His kingdom.

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4 Responses

  1. As a matter of housekeeping, I clicked on “here” and nothing happened. Usually when I do the screen goes to your subject.

    Thanks for the insight. Hopefully mine is helpful to the blogers who read this, as I urge them to tone down the rhetoric about the “left” in our meetings. An invitation might get someone in the doors once, but when they hear the attacks on those they believe are trying to fix what those parents or grandparent messed up in the Name of God with actions far from God’s teachings, they are not likely to return. Sadly, we only confirm what they thought about us from the start.

    Please Pray for Mary, a young lady who grew up being abused by a Southern Baptist Pastor step father. She has been through rehab at least 8 times. I just heard, she is once again hospitalized.

  2. Request # 2. Pray for Robert, born into a Christian home 6/02/48. He has a disability. He suffered a stroke yesterday. I helped him in the E. R. yesterday, he has been admitted for tests. (He got to the hospital too late to be helped, hopefully the cause may be determined.) His brother is an atheist. Robert may lose his independence which is dependent on the interdependence of people of Faith and his ability to function.

  3. I will join in prayer for the requests above.

    This is an important issue to discuss. Can someone be an Athiest? Scripture teaches man is without excuse. Man knows that God exists. Man rather suppresses the Truth. In order to supress something, you must know it is real.

    Romans 1
    18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, 19 because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. 20 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, 21 because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Professing to be wise, they became fools, 23 and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man—and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things.

    The majority of youth today, whether affiliated with a church or not, are simply not converted. They are lost, and I dare say most of their parents as well. They are not a part of the remnant. I was not a part of the remnant when I was young. In my years in the so called professing churches, I have seen no brokenness over sin, no brokenness over the price that was paid for them. They are not humble and contrite before the Lord and His Word.

    We must revert to the preaching of our Lord and WARN them. The wrath is already upon them. Preach the full Gospel that has power to save and not a superficial sinner’s prayer to accept Jesus in to their heart (which is not biblical and has no power to save) and make Him their personal Lord (He is already their Lord whether they curse Him or praise Him. God has given Him a name that is above all names that every knee shall bow….

    I say this with love and urge all of us to repent (which continues on through your sanctification), study the gospel of Jesus Christ – the cross of Christ, share our testimony, and pray that the Holy spirit work in us and our children’s lives to open their eyes and see the Lord of Glory. To see their brokenness, sin, and their need. To cry out for salvation….while salvation may be had.

    A day is coming when the thunder will stop. When the warnings stop. When He is here to judge.

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