I think it was last year around Christmas time that I heard of the billboard wars between an atheist group and a Christian group In New York City I believe, but it could have been Houston. (I know there’s a big difference, my memory escapes me at this point.) Now however these billboard wars are taking place closer to my hometown, just up the road in Indianapolis.
My biggest question is who really thinks a giant billboard is going to persuade someone to believe in God?
“Hey that giant billboard says I need God…I’ll stop and pray now.”
Isn’t there something better a church can spend its money on? Helping the poor and needy for instance.
These billboard wars send mixed messages to the unbelievers in the city about what’s really important. They’re the grown up equivalent of two children arguing over which is a better color blue or green. It’s a silly argument, everyone knows green is the better color.
I beleive the atheist’s group billboard actually makes a good point. They say: “You don’t need God to hope, to care, to love, to live.” which is true, and digs at the biggest problem in the church in America today. The church for far too long has focused wrongly on behavior modification, teaching that Jesus is some kind of life enhancement. We’ve all heard a message that says something to the effect of: “Believe in Jesus and love God and all the little pieces in your life will fall into place.” I actually heard that very thing one morning visiting a church.
This kind of thinking is 180 degrees backward from being the gospel that Jesus actually taught. In fact Jesus actually taught that your life would be much harder and that people would hate you for being a Christian.
The atheist’s biggest problem, just like anyone else’s is their sin, whether they admit to it or not. The Bible says that there is none who seek God. All have gone astray and that the heart of man is evil from birth. The atheist doesn’t need God to care or love or live this is true, but I question the hope that they have, hope in what? A better tomorrow if they just try a little harder or if the “right” things fall into place. It’s a hollow hope at best, but I suppose they are capable of hoping.
Habakkuk 2:4 says:
“Behold, his soul is puffed up; it is not upright within him,
but the righteous shall live by his faith.”
No, the atheist doesn’t need God to live a happy life, but what happens after that? As christians we fail when we present Christ as some kind of life enhancement. We undermine the entirity of the Gospel.
While I don’t completely agree with the use of money by the church, like I said I think it presents a mixed message, the billboard does have a point. We do need God. We always need God’s grace. No matter how much we don’t deserve it. The athiests may not understand but they are only living by God’s grace. And whether they want to or not the athiest will glorify God and honor Jesus as king (Phil. 2:11-12) if not in this life than the next. Believe it or not…