Go ahead—read the title of this article again. Odds are, you answered no—BUT can you prove that an invisible pink unicorn flying with a Spaghetti Monster on a spinning teapot is non-existent?
Truthfully, I think we could all present a strong case against the reality of this mythical, edible, china piece thingy, but there are folks who use such images to argue against believing in God.
Common symbols amongst atheists and religious skeptics, the Invisible Pink Unicorn and the Flying Spaghetti Monster are the deities of parody religions; the Spinning Teapot is a concept, but all three are rhetorical illustrations intended to mock theistic beliefs in a supernatural creator. Their anticipated point is that you can believe in anything you want and insist its real…as long as nobody can positively, absolutely disprove its existence.
The real motive, of course, is to try to make us feel stupid for believing in God.
My first impulse is to return fire on those who ridicule my belief in God. I want to make THEM feel stupid for NOT believing in Someone Who has made His presence so known. (Romans 1: 20) Such a response, though, would only lead to a War of Words, with insults being hurled like missals and disses dropped like bombs. That isn’t exactly the path to winning souls! Besides, if I get hyped up and hot under the collar, it just gives atheists more ammunition for not wanting to accept the God I know is real.
So, how do Christians make their case? In 1 Corinthians 9: 19-23, Paul describes himself as a witness who tries to meet people where they are. For example, “To the Jews I became like a Jew, to win the Jews.” (v.20 NIV) and “To the weak I became weak, to win the weak.” (v. 22). He sums himself up as someone who has “become all things to all men so that by all possible means I might save some.” (v. 22)
Just what is Paul suggesting? Should we cover our car with anti-God bumper stickers to “become like an atheist” in hopes a few will follow us home where we can corner them with the gospel? Does he want us to go along with incorrect doctrines and lifestyles in an effort to win someone to Christ?
Actually, what Paul taught is connecting with people on levels they can relate to, which is why it helps to know why someone has rejected God. Do they think everything can be scientifically explained outside of Him? Do world conditions cause them to balk at a loving, merciful and just God? Do they rank giants, burning bushes and prophet-swallowing fish right up there with Mother Goose?
Knowing the “why” helps us to determine the “how” in witnessing to an atheist.
Archeological, scientific, logical and prophetic proof of the Bible exists. Spirit-led teachers have explored the scriptures and offer insight regarding the character and actions of our Almighty God. Ample resources are available to help educate us, equipping us to answer the arguments atheists might present. We need to study, to be prepared to defend our faith in the same manner it’s being challenged.
Of course, we don’t descend on the neighborhood atheist with our proof and a triumphant “Here! Put this in your teapot and spin!” Like Paul, we pray for doors to open, that our message be clear, that we’re wise in our dealings and are making the most of every opportunity, using conversation that is full of grace and seasoned with salt. (Colossians 4: 3-6)
Some atheists will seek more. Some will never budge. What they do with the Truth is beyond our control, but we can reach out to them. Remembering that the Holy Spirit convicts people of their unbelief, we must yield to being His vessel, remaining prayerful and obedient in all matters. (John 16: 7-9)
As for the Invisible Pink Unicorn Flying with a Spaghetti Monster on a Spinning Teapot…I can’t say it doesn’t exist, but one thing is certain: If it does exist, it’s because God created it for His own purpose and pleasure.
c. Donna G. Morton June 2008
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