Awhile back, an atheist group in England put these signs all over buses in London.
The first time I saw this sign claiming that there is probably no God, I thought to myself “how sad.” How sad that there are people with such strong hostility towards 98% of the people on this planet that they felt the need to publicly post a sign to ridicule believers. Because that’s exactly what this sign was intended to do. It was a campaign to mock believers. I have quite a few atheists friends, I think more so than the average person because of my educational background. Sociologist, especially academics, tent to lean towards the atheist side of things. And of all the atheists I know, none are “worrying” about the existence or non-existence of God. They’ve made up their minds and they are actually enjoying their lives quite a bit. So the sign couldn’t have meant to convert people to atheism. Those who believe will not be dissuaded. Those who are confused and are actually worried will not stop worrying because of a sign on the side of a bus. If seeing this sign will actually make them stop worrying, they weren’t too worried to begin with. How sad that they would spend money just to mock people who believe differently, because atheists are as faithful, if not more faithful and more fundamentalist believers than most religious people. They believe with all their heart that there is no God and they are in-your-face about their disbelief.
Then Christians responded with…
And the first thing that came to my mind was “How dumb.” Yes, how utterly foolish of those who put out this response. First of all, how arrogant. The atheist sign said nothing about Jesus, nothing about Christianity. Half the people in this planet believe in a god who is not the Judeo-Christian God. Why is it that Christians automatically assume that it’s a direct attack on us? Second, some comments are not worth dignifying with a response. If half the planet does not know God, don’t we Christians have better things to do and better places to spend our money and resources, than on the side of a bus? Shouldn’t this money have gone to help those who are actually confused and worried? Third, there is the issue of false advertising. But “Join the Christian Party and Enjoy Your Life”? Really? What does that mean? Is that what the Bible says? Is that what Jesus calls us to do? “Come follow me, you’ll be at a party and you’ll enjoy your life.” What part of the Bible is that from? My Bible talks about a Jesus who called people to pick up their cross and follow him. I follow a Jesus who called me to leave everything behind to follow him. The Bible actually says that we don’t come to Christ to enjoy our lives! We come to Christ to enjoy God! Jesus says “Enjoy your Savior! Enjoy me! Come with your worries and your doubts! Come confused and angry! Come, even if you are hostile to Christianity and you think they are a bunch of delirious fools who believe and talk to invisible celestial beings. Come and enjoy Jesus!”
That’s the invitation I give to all those who are confused or curious. The atheists sign was fair and honest (though maybe a bit condescending or even malicious). As intellectually honest thinkers, they left the door open for the existence of God. Truthfully, no one can prove to you whether “there definitely is a God.” It cannot be proven by logic or in a court of law. It can only be believed through faith. I believe there definitely is a God, not because I’m smart or I’ve gain some special insight that no one else knows about. I believe that there is a God because He was fully revealed in Jesus Christ, and by His grace, he has given me faith to believe. I believe because of the faith given to me. But the atheist sign is intellectually honest because the say that “There’s probably no God.” They are not so arrogant as to say that there is definitely no God, because they cannot prove the non-existence of God. So I use the atheist sign to welcome all those who are curious. Even if you believe that there is probably no God, come to Providence and find out. Join us and check it out for yourself. As Blaise Pascal famously outllined in his Pascal’s Wager: If you don’t believe that there is a God and you are right, you neither get to celebrate nor suffer. If there is no God there is nothing after you die. But if you believe that there is no God and find out you were wrong… you are going to have a problem.