Darwin Fish and Happy Holidays!

Posted: February 18, 2011 in america, atheism, culture, evangelism, gospel, secularism

A couple days ago, Russell Moore had an insightful post on his blog concerning Christians’ attitudes and responses toward anti-Christian bumper stickers that say things like, “Born Ok the First Time” and “If You Don’t Like Abortion, Don’t Have One.”  And then there’s the infamous “Darwin fish,” pictured to the right (which, if you’re honest, is actually quite clever).

Moore writes,

These bumper stickers have spawned an entire industry in American evangelicalism, countering these arguments, with “right back at you” ridicule.

But then Moore reminds us that Jesus didn’t seem to retaliate against the ridicule that was so often levied against him.  Yes, he called his opponents out, sometimes pretty harshly.  But, as Moore writes, “Jesus never seemed to be personally offended.”  Can we say the same thing about ourselves?

He continues,

It is hard to argue with political scientist Alan Wolfe’s contention that the “culture wars” as we know them are mostly an illusion. The heated rhetoric of evangelicals in the political and media spheres, Wolfe asserts, is often directly related to the ineffectual nature of Christian distinctiveness in our own living rooms and pews.

Those words carry quite a punch.  But I think they can serve to refocus us on the things that really matter.  We too easily get distracted with “combatting” relatively insignificant, silly things (Merry Christmas vs. Happy Holidays) while neglecting to emphasize the things that truly speak to the world.

Love (John 13:34-35), unity (Philippians 1:27-28), blamelessness (Philippians 2:14-15), gentleness (2 Timothy 2:24-26), honorableness (1 Peter 2:12), suffering (1 Peter 2:19-21), and respectfulness (1 Peter 3:16) are the means through which the Gospel will be commended to an unbelieving world – not clever comebacks or aggravated arguing.

So let’s stop being irritated with unbelievers. Let’s pray to see those Darwin fish and witchcraft bumper stickers in our church parking lots as our neighbors seek to ferret out just why we don’t seem to believe in the survival of the fittest or the sovereignty of the ego. There are some things more important than whether we’re proven right, things like truth and hope and grace and, above all else, love.

Amen.

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