DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Does the power of prayer really work? One group in North Texas has serious doubts and they’ve issued a challenge to local churches to prove them wrong. “We’re constantly inundated with I’ll be praying for you from all of our Christian friends,” explained Randy Word, president of the Metroplex Atheists.
The Metroplex Atheists and its 500 members are challenging any church in North Texas to pray that one of its non-believers will become Christian. “This is a chance for them [Christians] to demonstrate that their claims actually work,” said Word.
Fellow atheist, Terry McDonald has offered to be the test subject. “Christians push the button of prayer all the time,”said McDonald. “We’ll have the National Day of Prayer in a few days and we kind of like to push back and let them know that it doesn’t always work as well as they think it does,” he added.
McDonald and fellow atheists are giving any church three months to a year to pray for Terry’s conversion to Christianity. If McDonald converts, he promises to publicly announce his faith in God.
Dr. Darrell Bock of the Dallas Theological Seminary finds the challenge amusing. “These promises about prayer are not carte blanche and you get anything you ask for. They’re much more complicated than that,” explained Dr. Bock. “I think the whole thing is a wonderful publicity stunt and the fact that they do billboards and that kind of thing just shows they’re learning from us and that’s nice,” he joked.
Over the past few years, the Metroplex Atheists have paid for interstate billboards and signs on the sides of Fort Worth “T” buses that read, “Millions of Americans are good without God.”
The group admits they seek publicity, because they’re trying to convince all faiths that “we’re not the devil and we’re just like everyone else.”
Pastor Robert Jeffress of First Baptist, Dallas says his church has no plans to accept the challenge, because he says it’s based on the false pretense that all prayers are answered. “The bible doesn’t promise that. The bible promises that God will answer every prayer that is within his will,” said Jeffress.
The Metroplex atheists say they don’t expect a local church to jump at the offer, but who knows? Miracles do happen.