05 June 2013

Atheists to Start Hotline for Religious Doubters

*This article originally appeared here at Christian Research Network.

It is no secret that the population of America's "nones"—those who either do not believe in God or do not affiliate with any particular religion—is growing. In August 2012, Christian Research Network reported on The Clergy Project, “a confidential online community for active and former clergy who do not hold supernatural beliefs.”

At the time of that report, the group boasted over 300 members. Today the homepage announces 455 members, as the organization continues to exist to help men and women in the clergy “move beyond their faith” as they “freely discuss issues related to their transition from believer to unbeliever.”

Designed to be a "safe haven" for those who profess faith in God while harboring unbelief in their hearts, a similar motivation as that which drives The Clergy Project is finding other avenues of outlet. CNN reports on a soon-to-be-launched 1-800 hotline for religious doubters:
photo: splityarn via photopin cc
Who can people call when religious doubts arise, but they're afraid to talk to their faith leaders or families?

A group that helps people "recover" from religion says it's ready to pick up the phone.

Recovering from Religion, which has about 40 support groups in the U.S. and Britain, plans to launch a hotline that will offer doubters an anonymous place to ask difficult questions and find communities of like-minded nonbelievers.

The group plans to staff the help line 24 hours a day and is modeling it after services like suicide prevention hotlines.

(Source)
The article states that the idea for the hotline was born as Recovering from Religion regularly received phone calls and emails from individuals "seeking counseling." Whether desiring to ask questions, to merely talk to someone, or to seek guidance on "coming out" as a non-believer, the hotline will exist to help those struggling with doubt and unbelief.

Executive director of Recovering from Religion, Sarah Morehead, shared with CNN that the purpose and mission of the hotline is not to convert people to atheism, but simply to "help them."
“Most of the people who contact us are working their way towards disbelief, so of course we are very equipped to handle that,” Morehead said. “That is not the goal, though, or the job of the facilitators.” (Source)
The group currently is raising funds for this project and anticipates that the hotline will be live in time for the holiday season, "which is often a difficult time for people struggling with religious doubts."

It is a tragic reality that many of the pews and chairs of the evangelical churches in America today are warmed by those who profess faith with their lips, but who, in their heart and in their lives, deny the Lord Jesus Christ. The world seeks to tell such people that it is okay to not believe in God or Christ, but the Christian must realize that these Christians-in-name-only exist as a great mission field.

It is very likely that much of this doubt among professing believers is the result of decades of watered-down, squishy, compromised preaching from the pulpits. Were the true Gospel proclaimed with boldness and clarity, those in its hearing would be confronted with one of only two options: repent and trust in Jesus Christ alone for salvation (Luke 24:47), or remain an enemy of God (Jas. 4:4).

When the true Gospel is proclaimed, the Father draws those who are His so that they might be saved (John 6:37–40; 44). But no one can be saved apart from hearing the great Gospel of salvation through Jesus Christ (Rom. 10:14–15). Let such endeavors as this atheist hotline encourage each Christian to boldly share the Good News whenever God offers opportunity, and let those men who have been called by God to preach not shrink from their great duty to proclaim the whole counsel of their Master:
I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom: preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching. For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths. As for you, always be sober-minded, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry. (2 Timothy 4:1-5)
Further Reading
Doctrine Matters
What God Says about His Word
Witnessing to a Blank Stare

1 comment:

  1. It might be a good idea to have some like minded people call the hotlines and share some scripture with these deceived individuals manning the phones.

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