Diversity in a church can be an ideal that is hard to reach. True diversity breaches, not only the various cultural barriers in any given city or society, but also race, religion, age, state of health, sexual orientation and socioeconomic status. If truth is universally true, then it should convert indiscriminately!

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A group of people in Western society that may appear ‘hard to convert’ are the Atheists and Agnostics. But we are blessed to be able to say that these faith groups are represented in our congregation. We do not shrink back from the challenge of learning what we need to put forward to convert such persons.
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It is our understanding that Atheists and Agnostics like almost all other humans are men and woman of faith. Sometimes they have great faith. In my personal experience I have found only a few that have actually read the bible. I am a scientific person. I believe in the scientific methodology of considering the actual evidence before reaching a conclusion. This is one of the fundamentals of my faith. I have studied science academically since before I was 10 years old. I was given a chemistry set as a boy. I have two science degrees, both Bachelor of Science and have had more than one career in science. I have read the entire Bible multiple times over and have studied the faith of any other person I have met sufficiently to be comparative to a high degree of satisfaction. I have rarely found other like minded individuals outside of my church.
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It is a fact that the London International christian church has a diverse group of former Atheists converted both recently and as far back as decades ago. As converted Atheists they are authorities on the life style of Atheists and the pitfalls therein.
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Speaking to Atheists in a general sense, I have heard someone say “Atheism is your crutch.. You have faith.. You believe something was created from nothing.. A big bang.. I say God created something from nothing”. As arrogant as this might sound it is most usually something I hear Atheists say regarding religion. Interestingly, I would probably agree with much of what most Atheists say about religion. However, something I try to make clear when I’m talking to Atheists or Agnostics is that when I talk about what I believe in, I am not at all talking about a religion. I find that much of what Atheists say about Christianity is very similar to what Muslims say about Christianity. The Quran defines Christians in a very special way. They are infidels who will be dealt with on Judgement Day (Sura 9:30). It also depicts them as erroneous. Most Muslims lay the claim to Christians today, that the Bible has been changed. I have found this the single most homogeneous belief of Muslims that I have spoken to in the last 29 years. Similarly, this is the claim of most of the Atheists I’ve met. I have very, very rarely ever met a Muslim or an Atheist that have read the Bible in order to know that what they’re saying is true.
I think this is perhaps a form of evidence that at least for Atheists, Atheism can be a crutch. Very similar to religion, for many Atheists it is something they choose to believe rather than something that they have proven is true. To know whether what ICC teaches is true or not, a prospective convert must practice the teaching (John 8:31-32).
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It is our experience as a church that there is a way to convert Atheists to Christ.
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Here are a few short testimonies of former Atheists and Agnostics in the UK International christian church.
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Chris
I was an agnostic because people in my Catholic Church preached one thing and did another. I based my perception of a religion on the people who practised it rather than their holy book. It wasn’t until I studied out the scriptures with some true Christians was I able to understand Christianity. I like to compare it with the first time I was introduced to a smart phone, ‘why would I ever go back’? Truly life changing!!!
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David
I was raised with a religious pentecostal background. At a very young age, I realised a pattern of culture and routine. This led me to believe I could develop my own faith and call energy God. I am a believer in Christ today because I received answers on life and doctrine from true followers.
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Luke
Growing up, there was no religion or faith in my family. My father ridiculed religion, especially Islam and my mum felt too hurt by the world to accept there being a presence of God. My grandmother (on my mum’s side) and great aunt believed in God, but they would never really share their experiences or talk about God with us. Despite neither of my parents believing in God, I was still christened as a baby! How’s that for Matthew 15:1-9?!
As an Atheist, my life had no consequence, no real meaning and no purpose. This, naturally, is a very dark place to be in. Throughout my young adulthood and university life I tried to fill the gap in my heart (that had been made from unfulfillment) with drugs, alcohol, chasing women, a music career etc. With none of it every giving me a sustainable fulfillment. I remember times as an Atheist where I would sit there and wish there was a God, accepting that life would be so much better, more meaningful and simpler if there was, but I just couldn’t bring myself to believe. I was in search of some kind of spirituality (leaning more towards Buddhism, because I thought it seemed cool) at the start of my degree, at which point two disciples of Jesus reached out to me. I shrugged them off, athiestically, but kept in contact over our shared love of music. Four years or so later I was invited out to an open mic showcase held by their church. After some deliberation, I attended and had an incredible time! The sincerity, love and devotion to the people around them and the God that they were serving blew me away. A couple of days later, a brother shared their faith with me over the phone and his testimony spoke volumes to me. The way he illustrated the emptiness of his heart, the attempt of fulfilling it with worldly things and the realisation that God was the only thing that could fill that void dropped my jaw to the ground… So I began studying the Bible. After a series of 6-7 studies however, I still didn’t believe in God. I was giving it my all, waking up every morning at 5am to pray and read the Bible, living the life reflected by what I was reading and the disciples around me, even my ex girlfriend saw my example and started studying the Bible too! but I still was finding it so difficult to believe in God, to the point of being upset and frustrated with myself for letting these people down, thinking that God just wouldn’t work for me. So through advice from one of the brothers, I decided to give myself completely to prayer. I got down on my hands and knees and BEGGED God to build a relationship with me, some kind of connection or tether. I wasn’t asking for a sign, or a declaration of proof, I just wanted to feel faith. After some consistent and desperate prayer, God not only filled the emptiness that had been in my heart for as long as I could remember, but he made it overflow! I made some radical choices that day, left my flat, broke up with my girlfriend and got baptised that Sunday. I’ve never looked back and thank God everyday for saving me out of that lonely place. I now find my personal Atheism very confusing and even amusing.

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Michelle
I always believed in a “higher power” but had essentially given up on a Christian God because of the hypocrisy and “a form of holiness with no power” that was evidenced in the denominational religion (Catholic and C of E) I grew up around.
As a young woman I searched other forms of “holiness” and “happiness”. Spiritually, I looked into Eastern and New Age “religions” more aligned with my ethnic background. Sadly none of them helped me become a better person or feel any happier. Actually, my sadness and disillusionment with life increased. I ended up being addicted to alcohol and marijuana and also failed at countless relationships including being divorced in my late twenties. Finding myself at the end of my tether, was where God stepped in. He was good to me and heard my prayer which was more a wish list and I was able to find truth and meaning through His Word.
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Sandra
I was an Atheist because I was brought up that way and I completely believed that there was no God. I believed that radical left wing politics was the only way to change the world. I didn’t believe in God or religion and pitied those who professed it.
At the age of 25 I got into drugs because I wanted to experiment and to find out more about myself. What I discovered, however, was that I was a complete and utter moral wreck. My excessive drug taking and immoral lifestyle only made me hopeless and depressed.
Due to drugs I discovered my inadequacies and wickedness and I longed to change. I had hope that there was a way I could be that was filled with love, kindness, compassion and goodness to others. And I believed that this was God.
So that is how I came to believe.
I didn’t want to consider Christianity in my search to find God but, try as I might, I could not change. I remained filled with darkness, immorality, selfishness and hatred for others. God was elusive and I became desperate and depressed.
It was only then that I finally allowed myself to study the Bible.
The truth I found was what I had been searching for and I was able to change at last. I believe with all my heart that the Bible is the only way to find and stay close to God and I have been a faithful disciple for over 20 years now.
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These short testimonies are absolute proof that Atheists (even those hardened in their faith) can and do get converted to true followers of Jesus Christ!
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If you are an Atheist or Agnostic please consider coming along to our meetings and studying with us. If you are religious and do not have such testimonials in your church please consider the great weakness of your faith and come and see the true miracles of conversion at the International Christian Church in London, Birmingham and all around the world! Give God a chance!
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