Have you seen the news that atheist’s groups are planning to run numerous advertisements between now and the first of the new year opposing Christianity? One of the ads has already been run and many more are to come. Each time there is an attack of some kind on the Bible or Christianity.
I can easily understand why believers in the Bible and God are evangelistic in trying to bring others to know God so that they might have greater fullness in this life and have life with God in heaven when this life is over. But I have to wonder what the motivation is for one trying to win others to atheism. It offers no hope for anyone. It gives no meaning to life. It doesn’t produce a better society or greater care for other people. It doesn’t challenge anyone to reach out with compassion for those who are hurting. Instead the atheist works to prove that humans are nothing more than evolved animals. If there is no God and the Bible is not true then morality is useless, selfishness and greed become virtues and compassion is a sign of weakness.
But how should a Christian react to attacks from such groups of people? Certainly it is right to dispute the things that are said. But if we drop down to the same level of the unbelievers becoming mean, loud and harsh we fall into the devils trap, making our faith look like pretense. We already have way too many people who are working to get on the different media by acting like jerks. When people scream at each other carrying signs with a Bible verse condemning someone or something they oppose it serves only to turn people away from Jesus Christ.
Look again at the gospel stories of Jesus. He did indeed condemn sin. But it is amazing which sinners He was hardest on. He showed compassion to tax collectors and sinners that were hated by the Jews. He reached out to the Samaritan woman who had been married five times and was now living with a man she hadn’t married. When the religious leaders brought a woman caught in adultery and threw her in front of Jesus wanting to see what he would do, He said, “Let the one who is without sin cast the first stone.” When they left him alone with the woman, He said, “Where are your accusers? Did no one condemn you?” When she said, “No one Lord.” He answered, “Neither do I condemn you. Go and sin no more.”
It wasn’t the immoral or even the unbelievers that He attacked. Instead it was the religious leaders who pretended to be righteous but were better at making rules for others to live by than in living by their own rules. Jesus called the scribes and Pharisees hypocrites who prayed in public and did good deeds in public in order to be seen by men.
The very best thing we can do when Christianity and the Bible are under attack is to continue to follow Jesus, treating even those who attack with kindness, consideration and love. The Bible is the sword of the Spirit. Swords don’t need protection from us. Swords are used to protect and to attack Satan’s followers. We must remember that our enemy isn’t flesh and blood, but the spiritual authorities of darkness. (Ephesians 6:10-13)
Think of Paul in the city of Athens with the philosophers who were so concerned with worshiping idols that they had an altar to the unknown god, who they worshiped without knowing. He started by saying he noticed that they were very religious and then took that altar to the unknown god as a beginning place in teaching them about God who made the worlds and all that is in them.
He told them the truth they needed to hear, but didn’t attack their character or even their motives. Our challenge is to remember we are trying to win the world to God and the best way of doing that is to demonstrate what God does in our lives.