Within the past couple of years, there have been three books written by prominent atheists attempting to prove that God is a myth. All three books were national bestsellers, despite the fact that only two percent of the U.S. population classify themselves as atheists. At the other end of the spectrum, “born-again” Christians comprise forty-two percent of the population and purchase well over a billion dollars worth of Christian books each year. This leaves roughly fifty-six percent of the population who believe in God, but apparently don’t really want to be bothered by Him. If you can sell millions of books targeting 2% of the population, and tens of millions targeting 42% of the population, just think how many books you could sell if you targeted the 56% of the population who seemingly believe in God but apparently don’t want to be bothered by Him!
I think the book could be titled something like, Avoiding God: (Because, really, who has time for the King of the Universe?). If I were writing the book, here are some of the suggestions I might make.
The first thing I would do is minimize the amount of time spent in silence or solitude. To accomplish this, I would always keep a radio turned on in my car, a TV or computer turned on in my house, and an i-pod or cell phone stuck to my ear at all other times. Noise and distraction are the best ways to prevent God’s “pesky” guidance and demands from getting through to me and potentially messing up my day.
I would make sure that I rarely, if ever, prayed, always keeping the prayers either formal & lifeless or shallow & trite. This would keep God from getting “too close”, relegating him to the role of casual acquaintance or “bit player” in my life.
I would make the Bible the centerpiece of my………bookshelf, ever-praising it as a wonderful storehouse of moral & ethical teaching (without ever actually reading it and contemplating its true meaning). And I would definitely steer clear of helping the poor because it might provoke feelings of compassion & a sense of purpose to well up inside of me, causing me to see the Creator in the faces of the people I’m helping.
Of course there are many more “helpful hints” that I could provide, but I think you get the idea. Anyway, in spite of a potential market of 56% of the U.S. population, I don’t really think that such a book would sell many copies at all. I mean, why read a book about avoiding God when we already seem to do it so well on our own?
Post by: Eron Elswick, Leadership Team
“Worship – Grow – Serve”