This is a Christian billboard near my home. It doesn’t really bother me. Of course it’s not pleasant to think that other people assume you are going to burn in hell for all eternity, but that mainly makes me sad for them. What kind of way is that to live, thinking that if you set a foot wrong and offend your deity, he’ll punish you forever?
I don’t have anything I want to repent. Sorry. I’m just not that bad a person. It’s rather pathetic when you consider the lack of interesting things I’ve done. Not that there are not things I’m sorry for, of course there are. They are primarily instances when I could have been kinder to someone. However, I don’t think anything I’ve done makes me “View or think of (an action or omission) with deep regret or remorse.”
As far as trusting Jesus goes, I don’t NOT trust him. I don’t think you can trust or not trust something that doesn’t exist. I trust Jesus as much as I trust Zeus or Kali or the Great God Om. I trust Jesus as much as I trust unicorns, elves and mermaids. If Jesus wishes me to trust him, he can show up in my office right now and we’ll talk. Things will go better if he brings cookies. Waiting…. Nope, I got nothing.
I assume that I am the target audience of the billboard’s sentiments since I am an unbeliever. I think the people who put it up did not do much market research among my group. There are messages that would make me think more kindly of Christians. This is not one of them.
I would humbly advise the Christians that threats are not the way to go. I guess they don’t understand that telling us we’ll go to hell is the same as if we told them they’ll burn in the fiery pits of Mordor. Christian: But…Mordor doesn’t exist! It’s fictional. Me: Exactly.
There’s probably nothing Christians could put on a billboard that would turn me into a believer. But messages about the good that some Christian groups do would at least remind me that Christians are not all ranting lunatics like the Tea Partiers or child rapists like so many Catholic priests and other religious leaders such as Warren Jeffs. Emphasize the charity work that you do, Christians. Tell me about the starving children you feed, the homeless you’ve housed, the anti-bullying programs you’ve started, the uninsured who you’ve provided medical care for–all things that will make me admire you and be grateful for the work you’re doing.
If you don’t want to shine a light on your good works, then what about cherry-picking some Bible verses? Use the ones that everyone can get behind, like “Hatred stirs up dissension, but love covers over all wrongs.” [Proverbs 10:12], ““But I say to you who hear, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you,” [Luke 6:27] or “And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.” [1 Corinthians 13:13]
(Word of advice: I’d avoid the more blood-thirsty verses like “And he smote the men of Bethshemesh, because they had looked into the ark of the LORD, even he smote of the people fifty thousand and threescore and ten men; and the people lamented, because the LORD had smitten many of the people with a great slaughter.” [1 Samuel 6:19] or “Now therefore kill every male among the little ones, and kill every woman that hath known man by lying with him. But all the women children, that have not known a man by lying with him, keep alive for yourselves.” [31 Numbers 17:18] Just trying to help!)