A good friend of mine runs a restaurant at a local hotel, and keeps his beady eye on TripAdvisor for the latest feedback. I wouldn’t have thought keeping close tabs on that web-site to be a good use of his time, except that my wife pretty much refuses to go anywhere ranked lower than #3 in its area. And she reads the reviews.
So when someone recently posted on TripAdvisor their objections to the Christian music being played in my friend’s restaurant, it was quickly noted. The guest was offended (particularly when they heard a member of staff singing along), and went further, deeming it inappropriate that Christian views should find any expression in a place of business, even if only in song.
This reminded me of the most consistently maddening, and utterly human, aspect of the secularist’s agenda: the idea that a God-free worldview is and must be humanity’s default setting. That religious views should only be expressed in the company of those who already hold those views. It’s also why secularism vs. religious freedom of expression is more of a battle than a discussion. Christians want to share the truth about God because it’s, well…the truth, and people need to know it. Secularists don’t want anyone hearing about God because religion is nonsense. Not a cuddly nonsense like Santa, but a great big cancerous tumour of a nonsense. So modern secularists – quite sensibly I think – don’t generally try to win debates, they try to win power. After all, power is where the…um…power is.
And when Christians try to debate our “rights” in the public arena by saying that we should all be able to say what we believe, the secularist responds by saying that that’s right…unless what we believe is intrinsically harmful. Trouble is, even entering that debate looks like an admission that what we as Christians are saying might not be true, but we’d like to say it anyway.
The most intelligent debates I’ve had with atheists have been short ones. They’ve lasted as long as it’s taken one of us to spot the ever-decreasing circles of our arguments, to concisely restate our assumptions and then leave the conversation as friends.
Bottom line is, if it’s not true that we’re all sinners in desperate need of being reconciled to the God of the universe, then going on about it just damages people. And if that’s the case, then the secularists are right to want to keep Christian (and neo-Nazi, and racist, and sexist…etc., etc.) views out of the public arena.
On the other hand if it’s true like gravity is true, then everyone needs to know what God says. Like now.
We’re not going to win many debates with atheists about our “rights” to talk about it, and playing Christian music in a restaurant would not be a hill worthy dying on, but talk about it we must. So long as we care about our fellow human beings and in as much as we love our Saviour, we must.
After all, if we’re not going to talk about being reconciled with the creator of the universe, what ARE we going to talk about?