I know this seems to be trending towards being habitual, but I promise that these long posts will not be the norm. I'm currently really focused on this issue of conversations about God and realize that the big ideas I'm trying to examine won't work well in a multi-post format.
There is a reactionary element to our Christianity that, in my opinion, hurts more than it helps the cause of Christ. Let me clearly state right off the bat that I recognize that I will be vilified by many as I hold up a mirror (the Scriptures) to our collective faces and ask that we confront the truth about our reflection, but I love the Body of Christ enough to be willing to endure the pain of potential rejection and marginalization if it will motivate and inform an authentic and vulnerable assessment of the facts. Now I’m confident that when we oppose and confront people who appear to minimize our faith, we are doing so with sincerity and a firm belief that we are defending the cause of Christ, but I make so bold as to declare that we are sincerely wrong! We are not wrong because we respond to an attack on our faith, but often because of the manner in which we do it and the apparent hypocrisy that is displayed in so doing. Our disagreement is often aggressively confrontational, harsh, arrogant, and belittling in contrast to the mandate of Scriptures.
Take the recent meeting of the Atheists of Florida which I attended in Lakeland. Many have asked me why I would want to attend such an event and my swift and certain response has been, “what’s a better place to find people that don’t believe in God, for whom Jesus died?” Last time I checked, very few if any Atheists are coming to church and so I figured it would be a great idea for me to take church to them (I am the Temple of the Holy Spirit, according to the Scriptures). Besides, I really liked the idea of trying to get a sense of what it feels like to be a minority in a place where a different ‘language’ is spoken and a different worldview is expressed. After all, each time we ask people who are not like us to attend church with us, we’re asking them to do the same thing. In Acts 17, Paul’s ability to impact the Agnostics and Atheists of Athens was strengthened by his willingness to meet them in their space (the marketplace) as opposed to waiting for them to come to the synagogue (the believer's first space).
I’ve written quite candidly and exhaustively about my perception of how the Lakeland meeting went, here so I won’t be redundant and rehash the same issues. But I should tell you that as a follow-up to that meeting I received this note from Rob Curry, the President of Atheists of Florida:
Thank you for traveling out to Lakeland on Monday. I was glad to meet you in person, however briefly, and sorry that there was not more time to chat.
Did you know the My Fox Orlando reporter for channel 35 featured you as “the voice of reason” in her televised report that evening?
Wishing you a Happy Thanksgiving!
Now before you indignantly begin to accuse me of bragging, or before you begin to make all those tired arguments about how you’d rather please God instead of men, let me assure you that, first, the only reason I’m willing to share this note is to make a broader point, and second, I don’t believe that pleasing God and men are mutually exclusive of each other. Here’s my broader point: Remember that Paul’s conversation with the unbelievers of Athens in Acts 17 was seasoned with grace and love and the end result was people turning to Christ. Well, here’s what Colossians 4:5-6 has to say about that:
Be wise in the way you act with people who are not believers, making the most of every opportunity. When you talk, you should always be kind and pleasant so you will be able to answer everyone in the way you should.
I’m very big on the idea of starting points for conversations about God being found in the daily and seemingly mundane routine of life happening all around us, and in a previous post I pointed out this fact using everyday events that directly or indirectly affect our lives. These conversations, in order to be effective, must be civil and motivated by a genuine caring and love for people. People will not listen to what you have to say if they sense that you don’t like them, or if they feel that they are being talked down to. So what’s reactionary? And can you please get to the point? I hear you ask. Well, following the billboard that instigated the Lakeland meeting, Christians, in direct reaction to the billboard, decided to put up one of their own just down the street that reads: “Believe in God, you’re never alone.”
Now my question is, why? Clearly this was not a previously planned, well-thought-out advertising campaign. If anything, it was a direct reaction to the Atheists’ billboard. So I ask again, why? What does it accomplish? Do we really think it will suddenly cause non-believers to go, “Oh look, finally the Christians are speaking up, let’s ignore the Atheists’ billboard and go to church!”? I know, I know, I’m being facetious, but I’m firmly convinced that a billboard opposing the Atheists’ billboard is not going to attract people to Christ. Instead of reacting, we should be finding more constructive ways to introduce Christ to our community, while loving and serving the people of that community, which incidentally, includes the Atheists against whom we seem to be battling.
This reactionary faith seems to be a fundamental flaw in the way we express much of our Christianity. Let’s examine another volatile issue that often seems to spark a reactionary response. It seems that the large majority of Christians are only vocally pro-life during an election year. I mean, you’ve never seen more bumper stickers, posters, advertisements, and debates over the issue of abortion when elections are imminent. But mystifyingly, once the elections are over silence reigns. It would be wonderful if the statistics showed that every single year Christians led the list of people who adopt babies, or provide constant care for single mothers and whatever else is necessary to help women make the decision to keep their babies rather than abort them. My friend, Steven Hickey, is one of the few people I know that makes this a forefront issue every day of his life. He has been vilified, targeted for death, had his property vandalized, and had just about everything you can imagine done to him in response to his stand on abortion. Steven is not a reactionary. He puts his money where his mouth is when it comes to the issue of abortion. Whatever else you might say about Steven, you certainly can’t accuse him of not truly caring about the plight of the unborn.
So what exactly is my objective here, you may ask? Am I some self-appointed watchdog or ‘Christianity-cop’? Absolutely not. I’m simply a concerned Christian who really wants the Church to reflect the image of Christ to the people that need Him the most. I’m simply against a clearly unsuccessful approach to sharing Christ with our communities. I don’t think Christians are perfect and I don’t think we have all the answers (I think Jesus is perfect and that He has all the answers), and so I’m convinced that a more humble approach with a willingness to invest the time it takes to learn about people who don’t believe the way we do or share our worldview, will take us much further than a reactionary faith. I believe this is borne out by the Scriptures multiple times over.
When the time was coming near for Jesus to depart, He was determined to go to Jerusalem. He sent some men ahead of Him, who went into a town in Samaria to make everything ready for Him. But the people there would not welcome Him, because He was set on going to Jerusalem. When James and John, followers of Jesus, saw this, they said, “Lord, do you want us to call fire down from heaven and destroy those people?” But Jesus turned and scolded them. Then they went to another town. (Luke 9: 51-56)
I’m not interested in a theological debate on the context of these verses, I’m simply interested in highlighting the reaction of James and John and Jesus’ subsequent response. There’s no question in my mind whatsoever as to the sincerity of these “reactionary” disciples. Zealous in their knowledge and belief of Jesus’ goodness, they couldn’t fathom anyone not receiving Him and were willing to write off a whole town because of their rejection of Messiah. But Jesus wasn’t in such a hurry to condemn a town to “fire from heaven.” Instead, He was willing to scold His disciples for their insensitivity to God’s broader purpose and love for all people. But my favorite verse of those six short verses is verse 56. Verse 56 contains the theology of love. It contains the theology of interacting with people who are not like us, and it contains the theology of understanding that we will make mistakes and God will love us in spite of ourselves. It simply states: “Then they went to another town.” It didn’t say Jesus “benched” James and John from ministry for the next few “crusades” because of their reactionary faith. Having scolded them, and imparted the lesson of truth that He wanted them to learn, they moved right on and went about the vital business of loving and reaching people for the cause of Christ.
It’s my singular hope and prayer that we will be the same as we examine our reflection in the mirror of His word. If the “scolding” shoe fits, let’s wear it and move on so we can be about our Father’s business. Charles Swindoll, in his book Simple Faith says, “Then how far do we take this love-your-neighbor stuff? Do we love atheists? Yes! Scoffers? Yes! Criminals? Yes! Love, remember, sees the soul and focuses on the heart.” I know quite a few Christ-followers that are living examples of this. Here’s a short list of a few of my friends that fit the bill, Patrick Voo, Alex McManus, Erwin McManus, and Eric Sweiven . Just my two cents.
Monday, November 30, 2009
I know this seems to be trending towards being habitual, but I promise that these long posts will not be the norm. I'm currently really focused on this issue of conversations about God and realize that the big ideas I'm trying to examine won't work well in a multi-post format.
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
This is probably the longest post I've ever written. It would lose much of it's substance if I posted it in 2 or 3 parts. I encourage you to take the time and read it because it really does make for a fascinating read. Please join the conversation by leaving a comment when you're done reading.
Is God mad at non-Christians, or do Christians often simply misrepresent His heart and passion for the irreligious and the hurting?
A few days ago I received an e-mail invitation from my new friend Rob Curry, to attend a Q&A session hosted by the Atheists of Florida (you heard me!). So yesterday I made the seventy-odd mile trek down to Lakeland, FL. I’d never been to Lakeland (only driven past it on my way to Tampa) and I must confess that the lake around which the public library is located is absolutely breathtaking…but I digress.
I had no expectations of the meeting other than to hear Rob explain what the Atheists are all about, and what, if any, is their agenda. There were no more than fifty people in attendance (and that’s a generous estimate), and I certainly didn’t realize that so many other Christians would show up. A number of them walked in just before the meeting began, and strategically seated themselves together in a group… which happened to be right beside me. One of the men leaned over to me and in a rich, somewhat ‘threatening’ baritone intoned, “Are you a believer or a non-believer?” Realizing where I was, and not wanting to take anything for granted, I replied, “A believer in what?” “A believer in Jesus,” he responded. I responded in the affirmative, whereupon his friend, seated directly beside me, patted me jovially on the arm and said, “Don’t worry, you’re not alone.” As the meeting began, I discovered to my complete and utter surprise, that Atheists are more like Christians than we would care to admit.
It would be fair to say that there were different “denominations” of Atheists represented and they were all over the place in their beliefs and their expression of those beliefs. Let me say for the record that I really like Rob Curry, the President of Atheists of Florida. Sans his non-belief in the existence of God, he would be quintessentially what the Bible calls us to be as Christ-followers. He was gracious, friendly, funny, and accommodating. The panel of ‘experts’ (my word), that had been assembled to answer the myriad questions burning in the hearts of the people in attendance, ran the gamut of characters.
There was the very forgettable intellectual scientist with his tired old arguments about how science provides real answers while religion speaks from the emotions through a process of deductive rationalization. There was the freethinker who wasn’t entirely sure what she believed or why, but knew that she was on a progressive journey to discovering more knowledge. Then there was the emotionally wounded and defensive ex-Jew (though she clarified that she was still culturally Jewish) who had “tried so hard to believe in God” for much of her life but had finally settled the issue that there was no God, and incidentally, no soul or spirit either.
There was the belligerent, arrogant, and slightly insulting academic who clearly prided himself in his ability to unapologetically debate and debunk the “myths” of religion. He would be the equivalent of your hard-nosed Christian who aggressively pickets abortion clinics in an effort to make a statement about his worldview while using language that is clearly offensive to everyone that doesn’t believe the way he does. I was amused by the fact that he had kept count of how many thousand times his daughter had recited the Pledge of Allegiance declaring America to be “one nation under God…” and how infuriating that fact was to him since neither he nor his daughter believed that. I was even more amused by the fact that, as a conscientious objector to all things God, he had made a stamp declaring God to be a myth, which, according to his story, he stamped on all his money (I imagine he must have a lot of spare time or very little money). In addition to his stamp, on the phrase “In God We Trust” he would draw a red circle around the word “God” and put a diagonal line through it so that it read as “In no God We Trust.”
Then there was the social activist who volunteers his skill and time as a pilot to transport sick kids to the Shriner’s Hospital at University of South Florida amongst other such laudable acts of kindness. He, not surprisingly, is quite up-to-date on the plight of nations like Rwanda, Senegal, and other impoverished places around the globe. Finally there was the soft-spoken Englishman who is a member of just about any science group you can think of, has clearly thought through his belief system (or non-belief system as the case may be) and settled in his heart that there is no evidence of the existence of a God. He communicates this succinctly and without any sense of superiority or aggression.
And then there were the Christians. If there was ever a time when I wanted to hang my head in shame, it was last night among my Christ-following ‘brethren.’ The air of superiority was palpable and as soon as they were given the opportunity to turn in questions on 3 X 5 cards or talk from the mic, they pounced, hungry for blood. One person wanted to know the Atheists’ position on war, abortion, capital punishment…what!? Are you serious? Even among Christians, you’ll find a variety of expressions on these issues. Did we really expect that Atheists would have a Biblical worldview on these issues? It quickly became apparent that the Christians had come to let the Atheists know how wrong they were in their beliefs and how right we were.
Then Alice (fictitious name) took the mic, began to speak and removed any doubt as to her agenda. She began by declaring that she saw God in the majesty of the Grand Canyon and the Rocky Mountains and wanted to know what the Atheists saw. When, in response, someone asked her who she saw in the tragedy of Rwanda and the plight of poverty in the slums of Mexico, she had no comeback. Then she probed and prodded them for their answer to the Biblical understanding of the spirit, soul and body. They were bewildered that she would constantly interrupt their attempts at explaining that they didn’t share her biblical worldview. When she finally sat down, she would rudely and loudly interrupt the proceedings from her seat, at every idea, phrase, or expression that she disagreed with. She was belligerent, antagonistic, and dare I say, repulsive. There was nothing about her actions that spoke of love or caring for anyone who believed differently than she did. To observe her, they were the enemy and she was God’s General, fighting His cause in defense of all the things these horrible Atheists were doing to defame His name.
You could hear the audible gasps when I dared to suggest that I was not against their billboard nor was I there to antagonize or harangue them, but simply wanted to find out what common ground we shared so that we could join hands and serve our community. Did I mention that the gasps were not from the Atheists but from the Christians? I imagine I was immediately ostracized to blasphemer’s hell since not one of my Christ-following brethren said a word to me after my decidedly blasphemous performance. But it didn’t stop with Alice. “Brother” Jed (fictitious name) took the mic and explained in his calmly superior voice why Christians were angry about the billboard. I wanted to raise my hand and explain that I was not angry, but the focused and purposeful expression on Jed’s face didn’t make for healthy conversation. “The billboard is offensive to God!” Jed explained. Interesting observation in a gathering that doesn’t even acknowledge the existence of God, I thought.
Jed certainly doesn’t speak on my behalf, and I doubt that he speaks on God’s either. How does Jed presume to know that God is offended by the billboard? Aren’t there billboards advertising hard-core porn stores showing half-naked women, lining our highways? What about the Hooters billboards? Or the billboards advertising one church as being better than all the rest? Would these be any less offensive to God if indeed He was mad at billboards? As an aside, I personally think it would be a brilliant billboard for a church if you traded out the web address. Or isn’t the focus and mission of the Church to reach those who don’t believe in God? Isn’t it true that a sign like that, put up by a church, would definitely invite curiosity from people who were seeking answers? After all, last time I checked, there’s definitely more than one person that doesn’t believe in God, and the Church should be the perfect place to find answers and explore the idea of the existence of God.
Following Jed was a gentleman who appeared to be the primary spokesperson of the group. We’ll call him Dr. Greg (fictitious name). Dr. Greg, was much less antagonistic and superior, but began his presentation by telling the Atheists that when he looks at them, he sees God, to which the arrogant intellectual replied, “When I look at you, I see the evolution of reptiles.”
My point? I’m certain that these fine, upstanding, Christian people meant well, but they obviously had no idea how to go about what they appeared to be trying to accomplish, which I suspect was to get the Atheists to see how wrong they are about their beliefs, recant their godless ways, and take down their billboard. They had no relationship with these people, didn’t appear to care at all about them as individuals, and totally disrupted their meeting and its purpose. Yet they hoped to accomplish the humanly impossible task of convincing them that Christianity was the better option for them?! In my mind’s eye, I began to imagine the shoe on the other foot. I imagined a situation where these fine folks held an open mic Q&A session one Sunday morning in their lovely, quaint church. I imagined a group of Atheists walking in and huddling together in a group waiting for their opportunity to engage in the proceedings and make the Christians see how wrong they were about what they believe. I imagined them hogging the mic for much of the proceedings, and eventually simply ignoring the mic and shouting their disdain and disagreement from the audience at every turn. I can only imagine what the Christians’ reaction would be.
There was absolutely no sense whatsoever that these Christians loved people that believed differently from them, nor indeed did they care to hear what they had to say. They were there for one purpose and one purpose only: to let the Atheists know how wrong they were, and establish their frustration at the Atheists’ efforts to undermine their own evangelistic goals by planting a billboard slap-bang in the middle of their ‘territory.’
So, what do I think was accomplished? Well, I think the atheists breathed a collective sigh of relief that they were Atheists and not Christians (who would want to believe in a God who looked and sounded as angry as these folks?). I think Fox News and ABC News (who recorded the entire proceedings) were thrilled at the footage they got of angry and vitriolic diatribes from Christians who profess to represent a loving God. Aside from this, I sincerely don’t think the cause of Christ was advanced one iota. How do I deduce that, you ask? Well, for one thing, I was there and witnessed the response of the Atheists, but more significantly because Colossians 4: 5-6 says, “Be wise in the way you act with people who are not believers, making the most of every opportunity. When you talk, you should always be kind and pleasant so you will be able to answer everyone in the way you should.” Was this accomplished? You be the judge.
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
It was former British Prime Minister, Tony Blair, who declared that he could only act according to the dictates of his conscience and then leave it up to history to judge the efficacy of his life. Recently the news has been inundated with stories of Obama’s ineptitude in dealing with foreign leaders. In fact, the media has perseverated on this so much, that the real purpose of his current trip has been eclipsed by that redundant story. Rather than see his observance of protocol as irenic, Obama is accused of showing excessive deference to both the Saudi King and the Japanese Emperor. Here are some of the disparaging and truculent comments that various blog and media outlets have posted:
- "Someone should have kicked his scrawny ass while he was bent over.”
- “Do we expect anything less from an Islamist?”
- “Shame on Obama. He needs to be removed from office as quickly as possible.”
- “An American president should stand erect and polite, and shake hands like a man. No American should ever show ANY deference to ANY Monarch. All Monarchs, including Elizabeth, don’t have 1% of the legitimacy of an American president. They don’t even come close.”
- “No American should ever bow to any Royal of any family. And it would never be considered disrespect, because they already know Americans do not recognize Royalty.”
- “I wonder if this was planned… no American should ever bow to anyone, much less the President, and much less to a Saudi.”
- “I think someone called ‘BOY’, and he’s bending over to say; ‘SUH?’….”
If these were a true reflection of American sentiments we’d be in deep trouble. Fortunately these are just the inane ramblings of brainless Neanderthals. Or are they? I mean, the racial undertone is bad enough, but to arrogantly assume that America should not follow the protocol of nations that we deal with, smacks of the colonialism that destroyed much of Africa. The notion that we don’t recognize royalty is not only misguided and foolish, but portends the kind of soporific tendency that precedes a rude awakening (9/11 happened in large part because we believed we were impervious to any kind of external attack on our own soil).
As is to be expected, Conservative voices weighed in on what has come to be known as the “Japan bow.” William Kristol declared “I don’t know why President Obama thought that was appropriate. Maybe he thought it would play well in Japan. But it’s not appropriate for an American president to bow to a foreign one.” He further opined that “the gesture bespoke a United States that has become weak and overly-deferential under Obama” Bill Bennett also weighed in on the issue, declaring, “It’s ugly. I don’t want to see it. We don’t defer to emperors. We don’t defer to kings or emperors.” So, what do we really want? According to ‘popular opinion’ Bush was a “bull in a china shop.” Obama is “too deferential.” It’s so easy to Monday-morning-quarterback from the comfort of our own homes, when we don’t have family members dying to preserve our freedom. When we don’t have to give up anything, or make any monumental decisions that alter the course of human history. It’s true that to rule the most powerful nation in the free-world demands a person with a steely carapace, and that fact lends credence to the saying, “Uneasy lies the head that wears the crown.”
Amazingly, amidst all the judgment and criticism leveled at Obama, he’s apparently accomplishing the purpose for which he’s in Japan. Quoting a senior administration official, Politico.com reported, “I don’t think anybody who was in Japan – who saw his speech and the reaction to it, certainly those who witnessed his bilateral meetings there – would say anything other than that he enhanced both the position and the status of the US, relative to Japan.” I seem to recall that it was actually an American president (Theodore Roosevelt), quoting a West African proverb, who once declared, “Speak softly and carry a big stick.” That’s my two cents.
Saturday, November 7, 2009
I recently posted a blog titled "Don't Believe In God?" in which I quoted the president of the Atheists of Florida, Rob Curry. As you know, I’m big on this idea of starting points for conversations about God and I’m a firm believer that everybody has a right to express their opinion without the antagonistic vitriol that tends to spew from those who differ in opinion.
At the risk of drawing the ire of many ‘good Christian folk,’ I have to admit that Rob Curry became somewhat of a hero to me when he responded to my post with graciousness and class. There was no underlying sense of frustration or bitterness whatsoever in his response (I’m just thinking of the ‘Christian’ response to their billboard). In fact, Rob made it clear that the Atheist's of Florida's intent for the billboard was never to dissuade anyone from pursuing whatever faith journey they are on, but simply to find other people who live life from their prism.
This is remarkable, and I’m persuaded that it’s a policy that the Church might consider adopting instead of an ‘us and them’ mentality. If we just spread the love of Christ through building authentic, loving relationships with people, who knows what may grow out of those seeds we plant. All too often we view the message of Christianity as if it were a product we’re trying to pawn off on people who don’t really want it anyway. In reality, the message of Christianity is summed up in the story of the man who found a treasure in a field, sold all he had and purchased the field; It’s a message of love and self-sacrifice; A message of caring more about the “treasures” that are found in the people all around us than in what you've acquired. If you haven’t already done so, click on the hyperlink above and read the entire post and comment. In case you don’t have the time to do so though, I’m appending Rob’s response so that you can see just how gracious he was.
"Rob Curry here. I'd like to take a moment to clarify one point with some inside information:We did not take any religious community issues into account in choosing where to place a billboard ad. The reason we choose Lakeland is because that is where our most recent new chapter opened a little earlier this year. This is likely to happen in other towns and cities where new chapters of Atheists of Florida are formed
I actually heard about the incident you describe for the very first time right AFTER paying for the board to go up. My reaction? No, I didn't jump up and down with glee to think of a division in this particular religious community, if that's what you're imagining. I merely shrugged my shoulders and went on to other things. It's not like this kind of event is so unusual, and as I see it, the people involved are all adults who will find their way through an unfortunate situation as best they can.
Here's the main point:We did NOT put up the billboard to change anyone's faith or beliefs. We put it up to find other atheists. (With greater than anticipated success, I might add.)Please do not automatically assume the entire world shares your own evangelical outlook. Some of us are content to live and let live. If you want to know more, please ask us. As you may guess, we're not exactly hesitant to say what we honestly think
By the way, I appreciate your mature support for freedom of speech and against the knee-jerk impulse towards censorship. You may rest assured that Atheists of Florida likewise supports the freedom of all Floridians, religious and nonreligious alike, to express their views."
Wednesday, November 4, 2009
Seems like we’ve been here before right? Well, technically we haven’t since, the last time we talked about this it had to do with an advertising bus campaign in the UK. So, maybe it’s the same story in a different location. Any way, I was struck by this for a number of reasons. Sometime last year there was much written about the “revival” sweeping Lakeland, FL, and people were arriving in droves from around the world (thanks to the publicity on GodTV), to participate in what God was doing, that is until it was revealed that the revivalist was leaving his wife and had been having the proverbial affair with his secretary. I imagine it must have left a sour taste in the collective mouths of the Lakeland community. I imagine the Lakeland Christian community might have felt that they’d been left with egg on their faces. I imagine the Atheist community thought Lakeland must be ripe for the picking, and would be open to a different message, having met with such disappointment from the Christian “revival” message. And why not? After all it is a free country and we’re all free to spread the message that we believe will positively impact people’s lives. So the Atheists of Florida got together and sponsored a billboard in Lakeland. It reads, “Don’t believe in God? You are not alone.”
Rob Curry, president of Atheists of Florida, stated “The main goal (of the billboard campaign) is to increase awareness of the secular group.” He further opined, “We want other people in the secular community who are non-religious to become aware of us.” Not surprisingly the Christian reaction was predictable to say the least: "“You shouldn’t raise your children that way… not to believe in God,” said Carolyn Brown. “I think it should be removed now.”" So will it surprise you to hear that, while I agree that it’s better not to raise your children "That way," I don’t think the billboard should be removed? I mean, I know how effective billboard advertising can be. I even used it when we were launching The Well, and ran a very successful campaign that created a real buzz in the community. If it’s good for Christians, then it must be good for anyone who believes differently from us, right? I can see I’m going to have to work harder to convince you. Well, the larger picture here is not about a billboard but about the effectiveness of our Christian witness. Do we honestly believe for one moment that a billboard can change people’s belief in the existence of a loving God, if we as the Church continued to live the way we should? I don’t think so. It’s hard to convince the people of Rwanda that God isn’t real, after they've experienced the love of God through the Global Church, following the genocide of the nineteen-nineties that impoverished their nation.
Lakeland wasn’t the first Florida city to host this billboard campaign. In Fort Lauderdale the billboard read, “Being a good person doesn’t require God. Don’t believe in God? You are not alone.” As always though, God has the last laugh. In the UK campaign the slogan ended up preaching the message of the Scriptures as it declared “Now stop worrying and enjoy your life,” a clear and direct exhortation from Luke 12: 25 and Philippians 4: 6. In the Florida campaign, Daniel Florien, writing about the Fort Lauderdale billboard declared, “On the first one we accidentally capitalized God.” Apparently that same 'accident' continues to perpetuate itself on all their subsequent billboards. Their unspoken dilemma: If they don’t "capitalize God" then even Christians would agree that we didn't believe in a 'god' (small 'g') since we believe in The God with a capital G. If they do capitalize God, they are unwittingly acknowledging the existence of the Supreme Christian God while running a campaign trying to disavow His existence. Hmmm, I wonder if… nah, God couldn’t have anything to do with that could He?