Sunday, March 14, 2010

Are you really, really good with God?

Well, are you? Are you really, really good with God? This is the question that is being asked on billboards all across the City. I can't seem to go anywhere without seeing these signs, and after a while, it gets a bit tiresome. Particularly the "really, really" part, but I guess I need to give these folks some slack. But exactly who are these people that are participating in this promotion? And how would you know anyway whether you were really, really good with God? What would be the telltale signs? Does it have anything to do with living a morally upright life? Or is just a feeling you have?

Well, it turns out that this campaign is being sponsored by evangelical Christians, some of whom are on Staten Island, and it is, at least in part, a reaction against a campaign that I somehow missed that was launched by a group of atheists that asked the question: "A million New Yorkers Are Good Without God. Are you?" Now, these evangelicals are hoping to outdo the atheists, with their slick billboards and attractive website and their emphatic, repetitive use of the adverb "really."

So how do you know if you're really, really good with God? Well, of course, God or the Almighty, not named on the billboards, does have a name when you go to the website and that name is Jesus Christ. And being good with Him has nothing to do with how you behave on earth and there is no "elect" whose status as saved ones can be discerned through visible indicators. Nope, for fundamentalists, there is no mystery. As long as you accept Christ as your personal savior, you are not only okay, you are, in fact, really, really good with God.

I can't really quarrel with all that, I guess, though I wish there were a little more emphasis on doing good works; we'd all be slightly better off if there were. What I want to quarrel with is the need for promotion. Wouldn't you think that a major religion could get along just fine without being advertised like a 4 wheel drive SUV or a mink coat? And wouldn't you think that such advertising would be regarded as a kind of a sacrilege, especially when the product you are pushing includes fine print (in this case about Jesus) that you discover only upon visiting the website? Why not put the whole message out there? Is there something they're afraid of? Must they lure jaded New Yorkers with a covert message? If you must advertise, don't hide anything; put the full message on the billboards and let the people respond who are genuinely curious.

1 comment:

  1. there is NO accept Christ as your personal savior in the Bible......on election and predestination ......God is sovereign period.
    These people are NOT Christian because they do not follow Christs teachings