“There’s no God. Go ahead and enjoy your life.”
Perhaps you’ve seen a similar billboard in your city. Christians can be tempted to overreact to such marketing campaigns. Have you considered how Bible themed billboards might engender a similar response from secularists?
“Hell is real!” This sign stands in stark contrast to the billboard advertising an adult book store. Believers are media savvy as well, so it appears.
But isn’t there a degree to which we are all missing the point?
As I read in the Psalms today I was reminded that in Christ, God died for the godless. We are quick to quote Psam 14, “The fool says in his heart, ‘There is no God.’ They are corrupt, they do abominable deeds,” yet we ignore the ending of the verse, “there is none who does good.” Furthermore, we completely neglect the next two verses:
“The LORD looks down from heaven on the children of man, to see if there are any who understand, who seek after God. They have all turned aside; together they have become corrupt; there is none who does good, not even one.”
We act as though this is an issue of us against them. The Bible lumps us all in together. We are all corrupt. No one seeks after God. Not even one.
But there was One who walked among us who was different. The Word became flesh. In Him was life and the life was the light of men. The light shined in darkness and the darkness did not comprehend it. But for all who believed in his name, he granted the right to become the children of God.
What if we learned from his methods? What if instead of battling billboards we built bridges resulting in authentic relationships and meaningful dialogue?
The message of Christ did not come packed in slick marketing print, nor plastered on road signs, but wrapped in swaddling clothes tucked away in an obscure manger. He came not to affirm moralists nor condemn secularists, but to offer life to all who would believe.
His message came in the form of flesh and in the context of meaningful relationships. I understand why some resort to ad campaigns. It’s much easier, and in the long run, less expensive: relationally, emotionally, financially, et cetera. But should we really consider such efforts worthy of our time, or more importantly of our message?
Jesus said his followers would be known by their love, not their billboards.
What’s your sign?