Thursday, February 08, 2007

It's true. But is it the whole truth?

I read about this JESUS LOVES OSAMA billboard on The Journey, Rodney Olsen's blog.
I did post a comment which I would like to share with my blog readers as well, because I think we are discussing an important point here. The cross of Christ is a sign of love, but it also proclaims God's judgement. We need to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth! And that is my problem with this thought-provoking billboard campaign in Australia (and my problem with many "thought-provoking" or "funny" bumper stickers and church signs!)

God so loved the world... John 3:16, but secretly we all have a black list with people that we want to exclude! That's a point well-made here. But I don't think that it's wise to communicate Christ's love like this, with a big billboard message that simplifies the truth. We all should think about the effects our messages have on people. Christ loves Osama - even if that's impossible for me to understand! - but He hates his evil crimes and He will not let him get away with it! Focusing on Christ's love without proclaiming God's demand that we should turn away from sin, repent and start living holy lives is a one-sided message and 50% of the truth (which is in fact the same as telling a lie). GOD HATES SIN is also a true statement, but it needs to be communicated in the context that GOD LOVES SINNERS.

I think that the people behind this JESUS LOVES OSAMA campaign didn't think enough about the pain and suffering that terrorists have caused worldwide. That's why I don't like this campaign at all - even though I want to believe in all good intentions that by God's grace might still have some good effects on people too. Anyway, I think that it's unwise to communicate the Gospel like this, because it gives a wrong impression to the world. That's my take on this, please feel free to let me have yours too.


Art said...

Hi Paul. I agree with your point to some degree but I think the reason these signs were made is that many people concentrate wholly on the other 50% percent of the truth (God as judge). This is a half-truth as well and leads people to put themselves in God's place (judging) but without the love.

I think the signs are good in that they challenge ideas and, if nothing else, have started many conversations.

Panda said...

Yes, you are right. We need to be balanced here and tell both sides of the truth. I think it's also hard in this case because it's easy for me to say that Jesus loves Osama - I didn't suffer any personal loss due to the 9/11 attacks. I can imagine that people really hate this man and his fellow terrorists, but hate is self-defeating and bitterness will only steal your joy and peace. And yes, we must love our enemies - even if that goes against our natural inclinations.