This Year’s Atheism Campaign for Christmas
I just read the New York Times article “Atheists Promote Holiday Message: Join Us,” page A 20, Nov. 10, 2010. I appreciate their stand because it is better to be hot or cold than an atheist or agnostic just disguised as a believer. There is also the problem that many believers are atheists in practice. That having been said, the blood-thirsty portions of the Scriptures that they want to publish, has to make believers understand that we reject bibliolatry, that is, the Bible is not an idol for us. Martin Luther of old said, “The Bible is the cradle in which the Christ child was lain; don’t mix up the cradle with the Christ child.” We believe, we trust in the concrete, living Christ, historical but also present with us, because of the resurrection. His image, which is that of the living God, is the only one before us, because we too are made in the image of God.
I tend to agree with Robert Alter, who just spoke on NPR’s Forum with Michael Krasny: there are many gods in the Bible. It is in Isaiah and Deuteronomy that God becomes one as defined by monotheism and no longer henotheism (one God out of many). Sometimes a god can be a monster in the sky, a god of wrath and judgment. Of course, murderous people will run into that kind of a god, because they are on a collision course with the goodness structured into the creation. When we break the law we are broken by it. That is to face reality.
But those who have come to know the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, know that the heart of God is full of forgiveness, love, and compassion. And the Kingdom that Christ proclaimed cannot be usurped by politicians who want to identify America with it. No, America like all the nations of the world is under the Kingdom of Christ and all nations will one day have to give an account for the way they have turned this world into a hell without God. Look at all the bloodshed of our wars. The death toll continues to mount, soldiers come home to a maimed and brain-damaged future, and all the assets that could lift up the poor out of poverty and make this world safe for children and all living things, are used for mutual mass destruction. Jesus Christ proclaims peace on earth as the Prince of Peace.
“This season celebrate reason” is one of the slogans that the atheists will advertise. I don’t think that the reason championed by atheists can match this vision and promise of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, although the governments of this world would do well to become more law-abiding and rational. Meanwhile the Gospel of Jesus Christ lays a cross on our shoulders as the way to the promised peace. How can atheist’s call their message a gospel? The good news remains the coming of God to be with us in the flesh, whose nativity we will celebrate once again this Christmas.