Continuing the search for reasons why many have opted out of theism to embrace atheism, several possibilities come to mind. However, as the choice must be individualized, the reasons people come to reject the Christian faith will more often than not be indigenous to the individual.
Personally thinking, when there is a willingness to engage in reasonable dialogue, you might attempt to establish a time and place when the choice to reject God was made – there was that moment. Consider environmental issues such as a bad childhood, abuse, divorce, dysfunctional family life, abject poverty, health issues, loss of job, and so forth, things that naturally challenge faith. It may be a traumatic event experienced personally or in the life of someone endeared. There is always a trigger, a smoking gun somewhere that tips the scales.
Knowing that God has given every man a measure of faith (Romans 12:3) and that salvation has been (or will be) presented to all (Titus 2:11). We must look to find the interrupter in a person’s spiritual circuitry, identify it, then lovingly and compassionately provide the needed counsel to nurse them back to spiritual health. Obviously, this approach demands a willing mind and considers the individual as having formerly believed. Thus, at the top of your to-do list is prayer, enlisting all who will come into prayerful agreement with you that such willingness is fostered.
Another reason some fall away to atheism is they just don’t want there to be a God. The idea of having to change their lifestyles doesn’t work for them. They prefer a live and let live, do your own thing world where all is permissible, a “my will be done” belief system is the preferred. The reasons why such a view is incomprehensible should be abundantly clear – even to the atheist. Unfortunately, it is not.
For such people, a divine spiritual awakening is the only cure. This may happen through argument, but only as accompanied by God’s word. For, “faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ” (Romans 10:17).
Honestly, I am both amazed and appalled at the absence of scripture when a non-believer is engaged. Have we graduated to such a place of spiritual prominence that we no longer need the bible to win the unbeliever to Jesus? Have the words in red lost significance? Are we now able to do the work we entrusted Jesus to do in our own life? I don’t think so.
The apostle Paul wrote, “For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified” (1 Corinthians 3:2). Why? “It is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes” (Romans 1:16).
In my humble opinion, no one has ever turned from sin to faith in Jesus apart from the gospel message being shared – no one. An atheist can be engaged in an argument for hours on end, for a lifetime, in fact, but they will not be changed by mere argument, regardless of how reasonably or convincingly it may be presented. Let your words be seasoned with HIS, the Holy Spirit will be with you, teaching you exactly what needs to be said in that moment (Luke 12:12). After all, who knows the other person’s heart best? It certainly isn’t me, and I will wager that isn’t you either.
Needless to say, there is much more to be said on this subject and many more reasons for people abandoning Christianity. The few thoughts I share are extremely abbreviated as it would relate to this vast field of inquiry. If you would like more information on the subject of Apologetics, I highly recommend the works of Dr. William Lane Craig. You will find information on defending and sharing your faith with those who may be antagonistic towards Christianity at Dr. Craig’s Reasonable Faith website. Go to http://www.reasonablefaith.org/