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Atheist TikTok User Comes to Faith in Jesus Watching Christian Videos on the App

08-30-2020
Photo by Kon Karampelas/Unsplash
Photo by Kon Karampelas/Unsplash

If you’ve read any recent headlines about the viral video app TikTok, they’re probably over its connection to the Chinese government or its warring with the Trump administration. But while there’s plenty to be concerned about, it’s not all bad news, and this story about a professing atheist who rediscovered Jesus on the app is a perfect example.

About a week ago, one 32-year-old user identified only as Felicia posted a now-viral video. Through tears, the TikTok user reached out to her followers to say she “need[s] help,” pointing out she had posted in the past about being an atheist.

“Now I’m really confused because all I see are videos about God and Jesus, and I actually prayed the other night, and I don’t know why,” she explained. “I guess I need help because I just don’t know where to start. I just don’t get how, if you guys claim He loves me so much, I don’t understand why I have denied him so many times.”

The young woman, who divulged in a later video that she grew up Christian but abandoned her faith several years ago, went on to say she’s “done so many bad things” and “doesn’t know where to start” in her journey toward rediscovering Jesus.

Felicia, whose username is “inkydoeshair,” posted a video the following day, thanking other TikTok users who reached out to her, admitting she was initially fearful about posting a video sharing her newfound faith but has been encouraged by the countless supportive messages she’s received.

In the beginning, she explained in yet another post, the mother of one felt like a “hypocrite” for going from being “so sure” there was no God to believe in Jesus in such a short period of time. Reading her Bible, though, Felicia said she found 2 Timothy 4:18, which reads, “Yes, the Lord will deliver me from every evil attack and will bring me safely into His heavenly Kingdom.”

The discouragement from feeling like a “hypocrite,” she said, is an “attack from Satan.” She also recalled seeing a bumper sticker the same day that read, “Do not stop believing.” Those two things — finding the Scripture verse and the sticker — were “a sign from God to say, ‘Don’t believe in that and believe in me,’” she explained.

As for her older videos, some of which contain colorful language, Felicia said she has no intention of deleting them — a question she said she’s received from several Christians on TikTok. Those posts, she said, help hold her “accountable” for how she’s changed.

“I can see where I was when I felt lost, and you can see it in those videos, and now you can see where I am now,” she said. “I never want to go back to feeling lost again. And I’m not deleting them because, hopefully, there’s somebody out there who, if they feel lost or if they feel like nobody can relate or understand, they know that someone else felt the same way.”

Speaking to Faithwire, Daniel Darling, senior vice president of the National Religious Broadcasters Association and author of the new book, “A Way With Words: Using Our Online Conversations for Good,” said Felicia’s story highlights why it’s critical for Christians “to engage these platforms,” because they are “where people are talking.”

While nothing can replace face-to-face interactions, many people — particularly teenagers and young adults — are having “real conversations” on apps like TikTok, revealing “what they really think and feel,” he explained.

“As toxic as social media can be, and it can be, and I talk a lot about that, I also think it can be used for good,” Darling said. “God has called us here in the 21st century — we’re not gonna go back to the 1950s, we’re not gonna all of the sudden become Amish. So the question is how do we steward well these engagement platforms."

The social media tools at Christians’ disposal affords the opportunity “to fill the space with joy,” because the internet can be a place that is “so degrading … but it doesn’t have to be, and we can push against that with the Gospel message.”

Darling encouraged believers to be mindful of those who, like Felicia, might come across what we post. While there are times when it’s appropriate to call out public leaders or to complain, he said, it shouldn’t be our dominant refrain.

“Let’s talk about how God is getting [us through difficult times], let’s talk about how we’re learning how to trust, let’s talk about the promises we have in Scripture,” he said. “And that kind of content, I think, over the long haul, will not just help people see the goodness of Jesus and want to come to faith in Christ, but also to edify brothers and sisters in the Lord.”

Please continue to pray for Felicia and others like her as they begin exploring the Christian faith.

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