Monday, October 27, 2008

Probably

Well team. I need your advice. What are we to make of the posters our athiest chums have decided to invest in, on the sides of buses no less in a sort of anti-Alpha way, saying:

There is probably no God. Now stop worrying and enjoy your life.

I think it is kind of them, to keep the discussion going.

I think it is generous of them to use 'probably.'

I think it is strange that they imagine a belief in God leads to worrying and not enjoying life.

But what do I know? Help.

12 comments:

Ali said...

I love this.

The 'probably' says it all, and is most likely the very thing that leads people to worrying and not enjoying life!

I think you've been handed a golden oppportunity on a plate there

dmk said...

The great thing is that with all the money they've raised, these ads will be going on buses everywhere.

Jesus says 'don't worry', Ecclesiastes says 'enjoy life', I think we should sue them for plagiarism. And not reading their bibles: naughty atheists.

fotofill said...

As an ex-christian, reformed and "civilly de-frocked" I find it no surprised that the Christian church would critise this. A positive message to the masses as apposed to the hate-filled condemnation that has come from the Church as a whole.

People would probably say "It's okay I will thinking like that anyway..."

fotofill said...

Oh I am a Humanist by the way not Atheist.

Clairet said...

Fotofill, I'm not sure the Christian Church is criticising. As a for-instance, I think it was the Methodist spokesperson who went public in welcoming the posters as the opening for debate.

Bring it on, I say - if the message from "the Church as a whole" is "hate-filled condemnation", we've obviously got crossed wires somewhere.

fotofill said...

Oh a few things before I respond. 1. I spent ten years attending church three of them in Theological College 2. Please do not bring the argument "Seperate the person from the sin" It is patronising and offensive 3. The people who I am going to quote are the ones who regularly asked about their Christian perspective on matters. I believe they are a true reflection of the church as a whole.

In describing the Gay Pride march that took place in London in 2007 they say,

“Some 15,000 homosexuals and hangers-on paraded perversion through the streets of a rainy London on Saturday 30th July. Just two dozen Christians stood in dignified witness and preached the Gospel of repentance and salvation in the Lord Jesus Christ to those declaring their sin as Sodom.”

They use words like “perversion” and “Hangers-on” not exactly loving and caring use of language. Christians on the other hand were “dignified” while the other are “declaring their sin as Sodom.”

“Perversion is a concept describing those types of human behaviour that are perceived to be a serious deviation from what is considered to be orthodox or normal.”

Christians are calling people are gay “not normal.” It’s simple as that. Christian voice has the willingness to stand against what they see as the erosion of society.

I cannot stress enough that over that my experiences and others whom I have had conversation have been damaged by this belief. I had to go through years of repair and self-motivation to undo that which I had thought I was. I cannot separate who I am unlike some people’s way of thinking. I am not out every night sleeping around. Far from it. I am proud of who I am and will never stop fighting for the injustices I see around me.

St said...

Thanks Fill and Clairet, but before we get too entrenched in who said what and when lets just agree that Mustard Seed Shavings is, hopefully, a place of safety for those who feel they have been previously condemned and also a place where any sincerely held views can be posted and kicked around. I think I understand the hurts that sometimes come to the fore here but would love this to be a place where they are explored with that oh-so-negelcted fruit of gentleness.

Carry on.

Caroline Too said...

fotofill's comment brought back memories....

about 10 years ago, I took a decision with which most good christian folk seemed to disagree. I was judged and found wanting. I tried to keep on at the church I attended, but gradually I got frozen out... I finally gave up and left when I felt that in these Christians' judgement and sterile distance I could also feel God's judgement... and my hurt (and anger) started to burn not only at my judges but also at god.

I did have some friends who loved me as a person and saw me as something more than the decision that I had taken. In the year or so that I spent not attending church, these friends hung on to me.

Somehow, I clung onto my faith... I suspect that I left my church before the judgement of other christians became fatal to my belief in God.

inch by inch, my friends and then christians at two churches started to thaw the coldness (it wasn't hate in my case) that had settled round my heart.

Why do I tell this story? Perhaps because of it I recognise some of fotofill's story. Like fotofill, I get very angry when pietistic christians talk about "separating sin from the person"; it just ain't like that when you're on the receiving end of judgement!

I guess, however, that my story has had a different ending. I'm not sure that I want to fight injustices in the way I can imagine fotofill does. Rather I struggle to create a generosity around building up. Of course I don't succeed and, frustratingly, I find myself making mistakes not dissimilar to my old judges at times. You see, I can be judgemental too (perhaps on different issues) but I can be harsh and sometimes I spot what I'm doing (... I didn't mean to but it just came out...)

fortunately, I have a God who's in the grace business. And that has made all the difference and is perhaps why I find, increasingly, that I am able to stop worrying and start to enjoy myself.

thanks for hanging round for a long story, I'll get my coat now.

fotofill said...

Absolutely Steve and Caroline I couldn’t agree with you more. I am very aware of Steve’s opinions and thoughts on the matter. I am also aware that there are many Christians whom I still who have regular contact who accepted me for whom and what I am. They are loving, caring and forgiving people. They should be thanked and praise for the patience.

Christian Voice is exactly that. They are a voice. Unfortunately they speak for what I believe are the majority of Christians. The more liberal of their counterparts are seen as watered-down and “not real Christians” I find it sad that an organisation like CV is asked first, or they get their oar in at the first opportunity.

It’s time for the Church to heal the broken hearted. To comfort those who mourn or who are sick.

God’s grace will always extend beyond my non-belief, my desire to fight injustice, my sadness and the turning of people away from the Gospel.

Sam said...

I think the "stop worrying and get on with enjoying your life" is going to appeal to freshers at university who've just arrived in the metropolis for the drinking-binge of their lives.

However for those beginning to have their bubbles burst by the realities of life, it will be an exceedingly hollow comfort.

Mike Peatman said...

I loved the uncertainty of 'probably' and the fact that a Christian think-tank Theos donated towards the cost as they welcomed the discussion.

Get people talking I say.

clairet said...

(Sorry for the tardy response - half term can do that to a person.)

I just wanted to apologise to Fill if I caused grief. Totally unintentional.

Claire