Wednesday, November 19, 2008

of community...

A recent article in the Washington State Journal talked about the movement (in advertising at least) of atheists who are making public statements. If you've watched the news much lately, you've probably seen these signs. Things like "Why believe in God? Be good for GOODNESS sake", or "Beware of Dogma", etc.

I can understand why the atheist community would want to say things like this. Advertising has always been a way for a misunderstood group, or company who feels they have something to offer, to make a statement about themselves publicly. I know some Christians are getting very upset, saying how offended they are, even accusing atheists of hate speech, etc. I think Christ would model a different response, than protesting that our "rights" have somehow been trampled on, and fighting to remove such ads.

I'm personally not offended, even though I disagree with most of what they're saying. The same way I disagree when certain restaurants tell me they're the best in the Midwest. But I didn't want to talk about advertising.

A quote from the article, "Still, leading activists say nonbelievers tend to be just as wary of organized atheism as they are of organized religion -- making it tough to pull together a cohesive movement. "A pastor can say to his flock, 'All rise,' and everyone rises. But try that in an atheist meeting," said Marvin Straus, co-founder of an atheist group in Boulder, Colo. "A third of the people will rise. A third will tell you to go to hell. And a third will start arguing....That's why it's hard to say where we're going as a movement."

I would offer the church as a model for atheists who are looking for a positive, community building way to organize. Not the church as seen in popular movies, or even news sources. Not the church as seen on any TV programs or commercials. Not even the church as seen in many major cities today.

But the church as seen in scripture, and breaking through in small/mighty ways around the globe today. Each one giving as there was need. Being examples of love, and grace, and forgiveness in a selfish world. A supporting community that anticipates what lies ahead, while existing in an incomplete today.

Heck, you may even want to join a church, and help them move that direction. Many of us could use a reminder.

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