Do you recall the last battle for the London buses about 3 or 4 years ago. An atheist group produced an ad that stated “THERE’S PROBABLY NO GOD. NOW STOP WORRYING AND ENJOY YOUR LIFE”.
A response was quickly created in similar fashion by the Christian party and it stated “THERE DEFINITELY IS A GOD. SO JOIN THE CHRISTIAN PARTY AND ENJOY YOUR LIFE”
The battle for the minds and hearts of Londoners has again sparked controversy. This time a group pushing for gay marriage released an ad stating: “SOME PEOPLE ARE GAY. GET OVER IT!”. And a Christian sponsored response in similar style was quickly produced stating: “NOT GAY! EX-GAY, POST-GAY AND PROUD. GET OVER IT!”. However this time the Christian ad was not allowed on London buses! The implication that homosexuality was a thing to be cured or that could be cured was deemed to be to offensive a message. The Mayor of London under pressure and nearing the mayoral election decided on censoring the ad.
There are 2 particular points this saga highlights.
- “Get over it” speaks of a growing aggressive intolerance against Christianity and even hints of religious dogma. The once shy intimidated gay voice has matured into a confident defiant attitude.
- The banning of the “Christian” response tells us the pendulum has swung in favor of the secularist. Christians not only have lost their privileged right to the platform, they have even lost the right to equally share the platform, and in this case, the right to even have a platform.
The Glass is half full
I’m sure there will be and has already been an outcry of injustice and unfairness with regards to the London bus ads by Christian organizations. Protesting against this would be a natural response. But this can be seen in a positive light. Just as the early believers probably found the experience of being oppressed to be a negative one, God used it to further the spread of the gospel and strengthen His people. In a similar fashion what many may view as a negative may yet have greater positives. Below are four reasons I’d say this cup is half full instead of half empty.
1. This is a wake-up call that tells us “the times are a-changing”.
For those who have believed this was a “Christian” nation, this incident along with a string of other recent cases (such as Mr. and Mrs. Johns not being allowed to foster children based on their religious convictions) should highlight that this is not a “Christian nation” (Whatever that means anyway). The days of comfortable religion are slowly on the exit and we are slowly being ushered into a more hostile environment. Better to be awake to grim reality than be asleep in false fantasy.
2. This serves as a reminder that our citizenship is rooted in another Kingdom.
When the rights of one citizen to have their voice heard is upheld and the rights of another are denied it speaks of a second-class citizen. Perhaps this incident serves as a reminder to believers that the quality of first-class citizenship can only be found in the Kingdom and not under worldly governments. It should serve to remind us that God has called his nation out of nations. Governments of this world will in one way or another work towards ensuring Kingdom citizens are second-class especially as they speak of another King (Mathew 2).
3. It highlights why our message is ineffective when we lean on reason over the Kings decree.
Many of the debates concerning the moral decline of the nation argued by believers often lean on reasoned discussion. For example, concerning homosexuality some would argue on the basis that ‘it spreads disease’, others ‘It’s unfruitful’, whilst others would say ‘it is simply unnatural’. All these points may be valid but they often miss a key ingredient, one every Citizen of God’s Kingdom should not ignore. The basis for what makes a thing right or wrong, is not necessarily the repercussions, it is acceptable or unacceptable based on what the King says. For to long secular humanists and other anti Christs have been allowed to think they are fighting against ‘out dated opinions’, or that they are simply fighting against religious institutions. But we cannot blame them, when we ourselves are ashamed to start and end our discourse by declaring ‘thus sayeth the Lord’. And for all the effort to dilute, reason, customise and tailor God’s law to accommodate others, we have still been largely rejected. Rejection is not the problem, the problem is that we have not given enough opportunity for the lost to realise who they are rejecting.
4. The Platform will no longer be shared. Now we must be creative.
Rather than sulking because we have been unfairly thrown off the platform we ought to set our eyes on how to move forward. We must discover new ways to speak to “power” and to the people. This forces us to be creative. We’ve become accustomed to working within the system, we forget the greatest of the old testament prophets moved out of the city altogether to preach his message and yet managed to turn the entire cities eyes his direction as he declares the word of the King.
The prophetic platform cannot be denied because the potency of the King's decree demands an audience. We must now enter the business of platform creation. This calls for a new resolve, a confidence in our King, an understanding of our citizenship, and an end to sulking as we reminisce on the good old days. On their platform, you will be censored and rejected (John 15:8).
This is the harsh truth, GET OVER IT!