Tuesday, August 11, 2009

There Probably is No God . . .

There probably is no God . . . if you believe the advertising on buses, that is. Late last year a group of folks began purchasing advertising space on buses and in tube stations across the UK. The ads said: “There's probably no God. Now stop worrying and enjoy your life.” Ads are now appearing in other countries across Europe and in major cities here in the United States. (For more on this story including a video go to http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/7813812.stm.)

There’s more. Have you heard of de-baptism? I hadn’t until recently when my son directed me to an article in USA Today. The article featured a 32-year-old medical transcriptionist who decided to renounce her faith by being de-baptized … all part of her Atheist Coming Out Party. According to the article, within the past year, "de-baptism" ceremonies have attracted as many as 250 participants at atheist conventions in Ohio, Texas, Florida and Georgia” and now it is spreading to other countries. In Britain more than 100,000 people have downloaded de-baptism certificates. (Go to
http://www.usatoday.com/news/religion/2009-07-21-atheists-debaptism_N.htm for the story.)

Atheist ad campaigns? De-baptism certificates? What’s up?

Obviously, these articles are just a reminder that the greatest wars are not fought with sticks and stones. They are fought with words and beliefs. Sticks and stones can break your bones, but beliefs will determine your eternal destiny.

Jesus once told a parable about a man who sowed good seed in a field. Over night an enemy came and sowed weeds in his field. When the seeds germinated and began to grow, he realized what had happened. “An enemy did this,” he rightly surmised. What to do? Jesus said “It’ll all come out in the wash” - okay “harvest.” (See Matthew 13:36-43)

But there’s another point, a poignant reminder, one we’d do well to remember: not everyone is sowing good seed, at least, not from our perspective. We share the gospel; they preach atheism and encourage de-baptism.

Churches across the city are in the middle of an important initiative. . . gearing up to share the gospel with everyone in the city in their own heart language by Easter Sunday, 2010. We want to saturate Houston with the good news that God loves us and offers salvation and eternal life through Jesus Christ. But not everyone will be happy about this. Some will take a very contrarian point of view. Some folks, even in the church, might suggest we don’t need to do this because not everyone will respond positively. (I’ll address that in another article.)

What should we do? Retreat? Be silent? Not do it because someone won’t like it? Not at all. When you have the truth, you need to share it. Freely, but not forcefully. Graciously, not aggressively. That’s what our Pentecost Houston / Texas Hope 2010 initiative is all about.

Just know, there are others with a different agenda. That just makes what we have to do more urgent because, contrary to the ads, there really is a God and knowing Him is the key to really living.

For more information about Union Baptist Association and its ministries, view our website at
http://www.ubahouston.org or call 713.957.2000

Our Vision:
Healthy, reproducing congregations cooperating to transform
our communities, Houston, and the world!

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