I’ve been deeply challenged by the tireless efforts of the men and women that advance the cause of the “new atheism” into the empty hearts of postmodern westerners.
Nature abhors a vacuum so in the absence of faith, unbelief or atheism becomes the anti-cause. The mission of these atheist crusaders is to rid the world (especially the young) of religious faith and “superstition.” They carry their message with zeal and with the confrontational style that rivals any fundamentalist preacher. In short, they seek converts – people who will “repent” of religion and follow the secular path to freedom.
Caricatures of the worst aspects of religion make it easy to gain people’s attention. Lumping all religions together, it becomes one monstrous “straw man” that can easily scare the average listener more than hell itself. Tragically, they are gaining momentum, especially in the arena of the university campus and the media.
If this were a boxing match, the Church would be sitting on a stool in the corner of the ring, dazed and confused and doubting whether we were really “called” to this fight. What can we learn from their efforts?
Talking to Ourselves
First and foremost: We must start engaging our culture with the Gospel beyond the church walls and stop just talking to ourselves. The majority of the effort we exert as Believers is talking to fellow Christians about being better Christians.
“Missional Church” is a term we debate vs a real mission we do. We have deceived ourselves by not obeying the Word ( James1:22).
Most of the people in our churches have heard enough to be teachers themselves, but are defenseless against the basic arguments and accusations of the opposition.
The Gospel is the answer to the cries of the human heart, but the lack of zeal to proclaim it demonstrates our lack of faith in its power.
We can also see that if we don’t step up and speak a clear message, the enemies of the Gospel will gladly take our place.
History has shown that God will allow a Goliath to taunt His people, knowing that someone like David will be provoked into action.
May we be shaken out of our stupor, get off the stool and get back into the fight for this generation.
Photo by lewishamdreamer.