Monday, December 06, 2010

Atheist's Bus Campaign

"Millions of Americans are Good Without God." This is the sign that an atheist group has put on Fort Worth buses during this Christmas season. Now a number of Christian leaders in the area are wanting to mount a counter attack.

What is your reaction to this campaign? I have to admit that my 1st instinct (usually a fleshly instinct) is to join in a battle of words -- if not condemnation. I want to quote Scripture to them: "The fool says in his heart, 'There is no God.'" I feel like I need to defend God. The Christian leaders I cited above are complaining that the ad campaign is "in your face", especially since it falls during the Christmas season. But is it anymore "in your face" than Christian ad campaigns have been? Why is it fair for us and not for them -- especially when we SHOULD be different?

But what is accomplished when we respond to people with the same tactic that they use? What really makes us different from them? And is what they said really so threatening? I'm sure there are many good atheists -- just as there are some really sorry Christians. Are we going to win them over by trying to outreason them?

I would like to simply dialog with them. I would like to ask them what they base their standard of "goodness" on, and how they came by it. But to call them "fools" or to tell them they are going to burn in hell is only going to build higher wall of resistance. After all, we are basing what we say on Scripture -- something they have already rejected.

Here's a novel idea. How about let's shower them with grace? Let's step out of our defensiveness (which is driven by our own insecurities), and let's just love them in the same way that Jesus would.

Let's also remember that we are ALL walking by faith. The atheist is putting his/her faith in human reasoning, and we are putting our faith in the One called Jesus. In the end, if they are right it doesn't matter. I have still lived a life that I would choose over anything the atheist has to offer. But if we are right, the whole equation is changed. And I am putting all of my hope and trust in that.


Jeff said...

Maybe our campaign can be a campaign of prayer - one where we ask the Lord to fill our hearts with love for all his children, that He leads us to serve and show compassion and that He paves the way for us to show the joy and peace of knowing Jesus reigns.

I used to want to respond with knowledge. Today I want to respond with love.

Kyle R. said...

My initial reaction is that they are certainly free to make that claim. Not only is it an American freedom, but I believe it is their God-given freedom. This freedom all began when God told a couple that they were free to eat of any tree in the garden, except one. God doesn't twist our arms and beat us up so that people will trust in him or even believe that he exists, for that matter. But like Paul says in Romans, his existence is really obvious.

Other initial components of my reaction:

1) What is their definition of goodness?

2) There's no reason to quote from God's word to an atheist.

3)Humans reason is good. Afterall, God gave us that ability. And although it is limited, God reveals himself in reasonable ways.

4)Truth in love is an important concept.

You're right! We do all walk this earth by faith...all humans do. Faith is an inescapable reality of human existence. I choose to put my faith in the creator.