The Atheists’ Rally

We were amazed a couple of weeks ago when billboards started showing up with messages celebrating godlessness. My initial reaction questioned why anyone would celebrate godlessness. After all, what do they have to celebrate? Being lost? Alone and without hope? Anger? Agitation?

They actually did get together in what organizers called “the largest gathering of the secular movement in world history.” Twenty thousand met for the “Reason Rally.” Richard Dawkins, according to several reports, called on the crowd to”ridicule and show contempt” for religious people and their beliefs.

How should we respond?

First, definitely do not respond with ridicule and contempt. Those attitudes may fit some religions (or those without any), but they do not fit those who follow Jesus. Actually, Jesus showed us exactly how to respond. “But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven” (Matthew 5:44-45). “Do not resist one who is evil. But if anyone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also” (Matthew 5:39).

Second, don’t give up on friends who do not ( yet) believe. God does exist, and the Holy Spirit convicts people of sin and rebellion. Remember, a man named Saul was well established in the ridicule and contempt camp! He turned out well.

While this kind of talk bothers us, remember we all were dead in trespasses and sins and followed the prince of the power of the air (Ephesians 2:1-2). That same spirit is “now at work in the sons of disobedience” (Ephesians 2:2). Those of us who were far off, separated from God, and without God and without hope in the world have been brought near by the blood of Christ (Ephesians 2:11-22, this is a magnificent passage that proclaims the power of God).

How ironic or amazing that this godless event occurred just two weeks before Good Friday and Resurrection Sunday–a foretaste of the victory that is Christ’s!

At the conclusion of Paul’s magnificent exposition of the resurrection–both Christ’s and ours–he exhorted us to keep on: “Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain” (1 Corinthians 15:58).

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8 Comments


  1. Ed Matthew
    Mar 28, 2012

    Thank you for the heads up!

    Purpose defines context. It has been amazing in the last 25 years of my Christian Walk to see how often fellow Christians sided with those who would and do minimize and marginalize the “Called” work of another. This has been observed both in the paid and unpaid areas of “Calling.”

    We have but to look at the history of the work of Spurgeon and Moody to see that we are loosing the fight bringing the message to the next generation. Seems our actions speak louder than our words. The actions scream to our children, “I’m stuck and I hate it, but do what I say anyway!” Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Goodness, Kindness… don’t seem to match up with unemployment, foreclosure and charity hospital lines. Seems Isaiah’s message applies as much to our generation as ever, “everyone has turned to his own way.” Can’t pay the rent? Too bad! No food and the “church” says they can’t help anymore? Too bad! You have a soft heart? You need to let a professional handle collecting rent, judgement of possession, don’t let business conflict with “religion”! “Don’t get personal, it’s just ‘Business’.” “There is no place for Christianity in a Business association.” And so we are divided, separated and targeted by the world and cautioned not to give God the Glory for success. Thank you sports figures who are standing as icons for His intended Purpose in our lives! Thank you “Man in the Mirror.”

    Yes we are outnumbered but not outgunned, if only we used our ammunition for His Purpose, us, Together Body/Bride!

    Thank you Dr. Bailey and Staff for showing by your actions in so many ways, our Hope!


  2. Brian Hall
    Mar 28, 2012

    Thanks Waylon. I have a close friend that is an atheist and wound up sitting with another Tuesday evening. That’s good advice and good encouragement.


  3. MrOzAtheist
    Mar 28, 2012

    Richard Dawkins is NOT the president of American Atheists. With such a blatant error at the begging of the essay, why would anyone take the rest of it seriously?


    • Waylon
      Mar 28, 2012

      Thanks for the correction. David Silverman, of course, is president of American Atheists and was one of the speakers as was the British biologist and author Richard Dawkins.


  4. Brett Holloway
    Mar 29, 2012

    The man who says there is no God, is a man entrenched in the ways of the world. To say that there is no God, is to say that man is God.


  5. Steve Sicotte
    Mar 29, 2012

    As a former atheist, suicidal alcoholic, & ACLU member, I can attest to the power of Christ and His ability to change lives and bring hope to the hopeless. As long as Dawkins and his folks draw breath, there is still a chance they will see the light. But if not it won’t be God’s fault.


    • Waylon
      Mar 29, 2012

      Thanks for the encouraging word. Apart from Christ, we are all without hope.

  6. […] I wrote about the gathering of atheists in Washington, D.C. in March. At that time I said something which offended many atheists–I called them lost. I […]

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I am the senior pastor of First Baptist Church, Covington, Louisiana, a position that I have held since 1989.

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