Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Relax & Enjoy Life

There is a religious war raging in the British Isles. Not between Catholics and Protestants, or between Muslims and Christians. This is between atheists and Christians. The British Humanist Association has been running an Atheist Bus Campaign for almost two years.

It is designed as a response to the “Jesus Said” ads, which feature a series of verses spoken by Jesus. They include banners that read, “JESUS said, “I am the resurrection and the Life. Whoever believes in me shall live.”

Atheists reacted with their own ads. All across the United Kingdom, buses have advertisements that bear the slogan, "There's probably no God. Now stop worrying and enjoy your life.” In a further response the Christian Party ran counter-ads that read, “There definitely is a God. So join the Christian Party and enjoy your life.”

Both the atheist ads and the Christian Party ads have been the target of lawsuits. Now it is not just a war of words, but a legal war as well.

I have been reading a lot of atheist writings recently, but these ads reveal what atheists really think about religion. They obviously think that if you are a theist then you worry and do not enjoy life. For them, faith means being troubled and joyless.

These atheist assumptions are disturbing. This means that the Christian gospel is not being communicated well. Salvation actually means peace and joy, as well as a number of other “fruit of the spirit.” The fact that Christianity apparently represents just the opposite to British society means that something is clearly wrong – either with the church or with the church’s image.

I suspect that it may mean that Christians are not exhibiting these Godly qualities that attract people to Christ. Humanists look at the church and only see a bunch of unhappy people who cannot enjoy life because they are afraid of divine judgment.

That is exactly the opposite of what true Christianity is about! The gospel means freedom from all fear, doubt, guilt and worry. It is joy in the Holy Spirit. It is deep peace that the world cannot give, to quote Jesus. But this message is obviously not being communicated to Brits.

The other possibilities are that humanists really do not understand Christianity or they are deliberately misrepresenting Christianity.  Both of these are unlikely. My perception is that humanists and atheists know Christianity at least as well as Christians do, and are no more deceitful than the average bloke. 

In any case, believers need to change people’s perceptions of Christianity by truly living our faith. Christians - Inform your face what your heart knows. Practice what you preach. No one cares what Jesus said unless they see that it makes a difference in your life. 

Slogans on the side of buses do not convince anyone, one way or the other. Bus advertisements apparently just result in lawsuits and more ill will. As Gandhi said, “An eye for an eye only makes the whole world blind.”

The best thing that can be done … to use the atheists own words … is relax and enjoy life. “Either God exists or He doesn’t. Relax and enjoy life!” Now that is a slogan both sides can agree on!

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