A former atheist who found faith and now works with the Australian Bible Society says he used to think Christians didn't really follow Jesus because so many would rather give to humanitarian causes than share the Good News.
David Lepore, who's now a church relations manager with the Bible Society in Melbourne, told Eternity News on Tuesday that there were several questions concerning God and the world that didn't sit well with him when he was an atheist.
“One of my really strong debating points was you have this picture of this loving and caring God and yet there are millions and millions of people around the world who don’t even know the Bible exists or don’t even have access to it, so what kind of loving and caring God is that?” he asked.
Lepore continued: “From that I’d take it a step further and I would say, ‘Christians who say they believe in this Word and that they love it don’t really do anything to bring it to people. They’d much rather support humanitarian things rather than what they claim to be spiritual, everlasting things. So do they really believe in that stuff, because it doesn’t seem like it to me?’”
He decided to read books by famous atheist and evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins, along with material from John Lennox, a Christian apologist and math professor at Oxford University, and began suspecting that there could be a Creator after all.
Lepore then read the Bible multiple times in his search for truth, along with the Quran, the Islamic holy book, and talked with pastors and other leaders about faith. He eventually decided to become a Christian “mainly because of the evidence around Jesus, His authenticity and His character.”
Like a number of other Western nations, Australia has been experiencing a decline in religious identification. The country's 2016 census revealed that as much as one third of the population now say that they have "no religion."
The two largest Christian denominations, Roman Catholicism and Anglicanism, represented a 22.6 and 13.3 share of the population respectively, marking a continued decades-long decline.
When Lepore became a Christian, he said he realized that he had to switch his focus onto following Jesus.
“My mind said, ‘move from making the most amount of money possible to thinking how can I serve this Creator?’” he recalled.
Lepore eventually joined the Bible Society to reach young people and let them know why the Bible is important.
“I wanted to be part of the people who were doing it on the ground, talking about the importance of Scripture and letting people know that there are people who don’t have it,” he said.
While the majority of Australians profess Christianity as their belief, a national census in 2011 revealed that the number adherents to Eastern faiths, like Buddhism and Hinduism, is on the rise.
The Australian Bureau of Statistics revealed that between 1986 and 2006, the number of Hindus in Australia increased sevenfold, while the number of Buddhists increased fivefold.