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Atheists ‘Going Public’ Has Some Christians Hot Under the Collar

BANNOCKBURN, Ill., July 19, 2011 — From eye-catching billboards that proclaim, “I can be good without God,” to a critically acclaimed movie at the Sundance Film Festival, atheists are going public with their beliefs like never before. This has some Christians hot under the collar, but the leader of one of America’s leading evangelistic ministries is urging believers to keep their cool.

Public opinion polling shows that the number of Americans who are unaffiliated with any religion is growing rapidly. Alpha USA president Gerard Long, called one of the “stars of the church-saving circuit” by The Washington Post, is encouraging Christians to direct their time and resources toward giving people opportunities to hear and experience the teachings of Jesus Christ.

“One of the main purposes of the church is to serve and love people outside of its membership,” Long notes. “We’ve got to focus on the work God called us to, loving people and giving them a safe environment to hear and investigate the teachings of Jesus. Jesus himself was always asking people questions, and Alpha encourages people to wrestle with the big questions of life such as, ‘What happens when I die?’”

Alpha will also be going public this fall with a national ad campaign in more than 500 cities. Using everything from bumper stickers and yard signs to billboards and buses, the ads will ask people to consider: “If you could ask God one question, what would you ask?”

More than 30,000 individuals are expected to respond to Alpha’s national “Invitation” to consider the teachings of Jesus, including many atheists and agnostics.

Cejaye Bjarnason grew up not believing in God, but in her 20s had a change of heart as a result of Alpha. She recalls, “I thought church people lived in a make-believe world, and they were going to have a rude awakening when the end of their days came.”

But one day, Bjarnason reluctantly agreed to go to church with a friend. There, she learned about the Alpha course, a 10-week exploration of the teachings of Jesus that answers questions about God, the meaning of life and more: “Everyone was friendly and welcoming. The course made me open my ears, and I asked Jesus into my life. Now, I pray every day. I have let go of my anger … I feel like the Grinch at the end of my favorite Christmas movie. My heart is growing bigger every day.”

Since 1997, Alpha USA has seen more than three million people take the Alpha course. The number of U.S. churches using Alpha has more than doubled in the last two years alone, with more than 4,700 churches representing all major denominations now running the course.

To learn more about this year’s national Invitation, visit or call 1-800-DO-ALPHA (362-5742). For interviews with Alpha USA president Gerard Long, contact Janine Longoria at or 224-588-8526.

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One Comment

  1. As a pure Christian, and I made that up to explain the fact that I no longer attend any church or attend to organized religion. And the reason why is the church I attended for over twenty-five years was actually holding my faith back. When I decided to leave the church I went and talked to my associate pastor, who was a friend of mine. He knew me better than anyone and was a good man who had alot of street knowledge from being in gangs and the whole nine yards, like myself. I lived on the street for twelve years before I got it together before I found myself lying dead in the gutter one day.

    But he and I had had lots of deep talks about God, Jesus, and our mission as Christian’s. He understood what I was talking about when I was about to leave the church in that it had become a business now, and not God’s people out helping people who needed help. See, people don’t need that same kind of help as they once did. Sure their souls still need attending to, but how society has changed people look to government for all their help now. Environmentalism is their god, liberalism is their god. They don’t have time for that “‘ol time religion”. People don’t want to hear all that old Bible reading that they find to confusing to understand in a time when people are speaking to each other in sound bits over their cell phone, even poor Blacks have cell phones and talk in sound bits, and quick images on their i touch pod e phone whatjamacallit thingy they walk around with it stuck to their head. Electronic devices have become people’s god nowadays. The church needs to update their message to attrack these young people. And it’s the young people who need to be attracted along with the adults.

    But raising two kids who grew up with all the electronics, video games, computer games, and the internet to do their homework from, I know how these kids think about religion and Jesus, and God. There’s nothing special about them enough to warrent they’re looking into it to find out what is there. And yes, Christians still witness to people about what happens to their soul, but I can tell you right now that when the economy goes down people start looking to how to fix their money situation before they will go out and try to take care of other people’s situations. It’s just that way. It’s awfully hard to tell a person about the filling of the Holy Spirit when your stomach is empty and you’re out of work. It’s just that way and I believe God understands. That is one of the other reasons why I left the church and that was because my faith had out grown the church. They were actually holding me back by being told that I was lost every time I walked in the doors. And I was committed to. I went Wed. night for prayer meetings, and twice on Sunday. And any other time the doors were open. My wife was on the women’s softball team, and so was my daughter. Both my wife and my daughter were active in their Sunday school classes and all that. Then one day we started hearing rumors about problems in the pastors office and that there were some men who wanted the pastor to start preaching some other message other than Jesus. There was alot of infighting that started with some of the high ups in the church, the rich people were trying to gain more control over how the church was run and the pastor wouldn’t relent. The church imploded and fell apart. I’ve never seen anything like it before in my life. Our church actually fell apart and nearly everyone left. People were leaving in droves for other churches and some of them had attended that church for over thirty years. My daughter took it real bad because she didn’t understand what and why things were going to pot. I had left the church long before that and just had to stand by and watch this group of loving people tear each other apart with bikkering and all that.

    But the message was still there, that Jesus saves your soul so that when you die you won’t go to some place where God is not. You don’t want that to happen. And when you add atheists to this problem people are having with Christian faith in America all I can say is it is time for that to happen. God’s will is being done as we speak, and part of the prophecy of the End Times is a great falling away from God. So here it is.

  2. I understand the memo that you sent me, CDN about the decay of our society and the enslavement of the Black people by the Democrats. But the second and most important part of the liberal attack on American society, and White guilt they put on all White people was their coinsiding attack on White Christian’s. Being a Christian to a liberal was the epitomy of hipocracy. Liberals believed that White conservative’s grip on American society and culture was their main thrust to bring this nation to it’s knees. They believed that if they could cause White Christian’s to give up their beliefs that God gave White people the right to control everything about this nation, they could be the one’s molding the minds of the citizenery. That’s why one of the first things that liberals did as soon as they gained control over our culture and the government was to outlaw prayer in public schools. Then they outlawed all outward symbols of Christianity like, the Manger Scene of the Christ child and Mary and Josheph in the animal stall during Christmas. Then it was the word “Christmas” that got the axe. Liberals used the courts and the ACLU to do all their dirty work, that is liberal Democrats who were Communists under cover of the Democrat banner.

    Like Obama who is a Marxist, he hides behind the Democrat Party’s banner to hide the fact that he is a member of the “First Party” which is a combining of the Socialist Party USA with the Communist Party USA formed just before Obama ran for the Senate. He is the point of the spear to outlawing all ourward symbolism of anything Christian and allowing everything Muslim. It is his intention to rid America of our right according to the Constitution to display our faith in any way we see fit. But that was the first thing liberals did back in the 60’s was to rid America of it’s religion of Christianity. Nowadays people are afraid of telling anyone they are Christian because of the media’s attacks on any White person who professes to being a Christian. White guilt of being racists, bigots, and homophobes, and Christians are the foundation of liberalism in America and their intent of eliminating any sign of being anything other than neutral in their thoughts about religion.

    You get a mixed group of people in a room and then ask them for a show of hands who is Christian and who is not, and everyone who is Christian become Paul in an instant. They know that it is death to be seen as a Christian these days. Hell, you might even loose your job the next day if you admit to being a person of faith. Unless you’re a Muslim or even a Wicken. That goes over much better these days to be Wicken than a Christian. But it’s like I said this is the End of Times and the great falling away, is under way. No one wants to loose their job just because they are church going, Bible believing, person of faith in God and Jesus. That’s just the way it is. It’ sucks but that’s what is happening.

  3. And after forty plus years of White Christian’s having to keep their mouths shut about their faith has quieted down anything you would think American’s would want the world to know about America, and that is that we are still a Christian nation. Really ? Ask any good jihadist Islamist what is the reason why they hate America and they will tell you exactly what the reason is, and that is American’s decadence and societal decay in the area of their faith. If Christian’s were kicking butt and taking names every time a liberal sticks their perverted head up and try to put some soft porn on TV, in written material like smut books, and horrible sex and rape and murder in video games, and the Muslims wouldn’t be thinking about blowing this country up because they would fear the Christian’s would come after them and not be afraid of telling America who their enemy really is.

    You won’t hear any of that telling who America’s real enemy is, hell you won’t even hear Christian’s saying anything about atheists in this country should be arrested for offending the nations religious views and beliefs, throw their butts in jail and I’l bet prayer would still be in public schools! Not only that prayer groups in schools would be everywhere. What liberals did by outlawing prayer in public schools was say American’s don’t have the right, which we do, to show their belief in God and Jesus in public. Well when you do that you are saying that the belief in God and Jesus is not what the majority of what American’s believe anymore. Well, that’s a lie! But we can’t prove it anymore because it’s to late to claim our right according to the Constitution by throwing atheists in jail because they offend the public sense of religious beliefs. See, it’s the public sense, the thing that a majority of the “public” believes you can’t throw it out of school without getting yourself in real trouble. ‘

    But back in the 60’s when Hippies said they didn’t need to go to church because God is everywhere and they can worship Him anywhere they please. And how could church goers prove that God only existed inside their buildings? They couldn’t. So they had to let that go. And more and more White Christian’s couldn’t prove what they were saying was true. Then liberals got up in their faces and demanded that Christian’s prove God exists, or that Jesus saves. And we couldn’t prove it because it’s an act of faith. Faith being the belief in things unseen, and in the case of God it is in faith that we Christian’s believe He exists. We look around and tell the liberals that the proof of God’s existance is everything they see around them. He created all of it, that’s the proof!!

    1. I haven’t read all of your comments Will, but this one quite literally jumped out at me:
      ‘Ask any good jihadist Islamist what is the reason why they hate America and they will tell you exactly what the reason is, and that is American’s decadence and societal decay in the area of their faith.”

      I would submit to you that your response to your own question is absolutely WRONG. Go to any fundamentalist Muslim website and read what is preached. Without saying so they DESPISE our FREEDOM and our commitment to BRING FREEDOM TO OTHERS as a way of life. They cannnot exist in their world without a blind acceptance of specfic intepretations of suras of the Q’ran. Fuindamentalist Islam is what we are talkig about here and TOLERANCE…tolerance of the beliefs of others outsde their fold is alien to their thinking. Individual free thinking leads to a recognition of inherent or inalienable “natural” rights of man to exist and live as he so chooses. An acknowledgement that an individual has a personal sovereignity to choose how he wants tyo live. That is what the so-called jihadists find intolerable. Our foreign policy and worldwide influence and history are all simply convenient whipping boys for that TRUTH. That is why sharia law is key to them. A Rule of Law borne of INTOLERANCE of ANY OTHER belief structure. That is why the only acceptable behavior towards non-believers is Death or Subjugation. There are, for the jihadists, no gray areas.

      Your response that the reason they hate America…”is American’s decadence and societal decay in the area of their faith” indicates a complete lack 0of understanding about fundamentalsit Islam and it’s long, dark history. You may wish to indulge yourself in some of Robert Spencer’s writings online. His accurate beliefs are not mere conjecture. They are all documentable.

      Further along you state this:
      “But raising two kids who grew up with all the electronics, video games, computer games, and the internet to do their homework from, I know how these kids think about religion and Jesus, and God. There’s nothing special about them enough to warrent they’re looking into it to find out what is there.”

      You do NOT RIGHTLY KNOW what you say you do in the first sentence and prove that by the next sentence comment. Confront the man in the mirror and introspectively ask why you think that there is nothing ‘special” about your own two children. Do not get offended at my directness, because it is your own belief system that provokes a serious re-appraisal. If you had not posted that personal revelatrion I would not have commented upon it…with carefully constructed, but friendly comment. How you accept that is your option. It is that which you should consider

      WE are all products of our environment. Part of that environment is all the communication forms of media you notre, but overriding all that SHOULD BE, from birth onward, the integrity and depth of familial influence in rearing children. From your own comments you owe yourself a measure of self-appraisal and honesty which you haven’t engaged in. If the family unit is a close, respectful and sharing one in all things at all times for children then they’ll have an inherent basis to make INTELLIGENT CHOICES when confronted with ALL the influences of the outside world. As they apprroach their most influential teenage years, despite our best efforts some will go astray due to peer pressures and be forced to live life’s harsh experiences by trial and error as their schooling medium. Those youngsters are the ones who have been schooled to any blind acceptance belief, whether religious, social or political in nature. Such young people have been quite literally prepared to become somebody else’s robotic humanoid. Why? Because they have not been schooled to be INDIVIDUAL THINKERS with PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY FOR ALL BEHAVIOR as their core standard. With the best intentions they’ve been schooled to accept the dominant belief of the family OR (as you appear to indicate) have not been schooled to be discerning, rational individual thinkers.

      There is an old saying that I’ll paraphrase that says that if you don’t believe in something, you’ll fall for anything. I will submit THAT is the main reason Obama got elected and the main reason this country is under such dire threat to it’s continued existence. We have a responsibility to our children to NOT brainwash them to any single belief system, but rather to give them THE GIFT OF the intellectual tools and guidance to make well-informed rational decisions based upon FACT for themselves. Guiding that must be, not a rigid religious belief of dogma of any sort, but a moral and ethical code of belief in how one treats his fellow man. Life is always a learning experience.

      We have met the enemy and he is us!

  4. Hi Will! Thanks for the comments. I’m going to have to go back and re-read everything, because I’m sure I’ve missed something. I just wanted to let you know I’m in a very similar place as you are.

    I was going to church before I was born. In fact, my mom went into labor with me at church on a Sunday night!

    Unfortunately, due to legalism, I grew up believing that I could never be good enough for God. Though I accepted Christ at the age of 9, I doubted my salvation, did not truly understand the grace of God, and finally just gave up. This started many years of running as far away from God as I could go. Thankfully, He never left me.

    It took a major, life-shattering tragedy for me to fall on my face before God. My life has never been the same!

    Though I had not gone to church in years, when I married my husband, we started going to a local church. After almost a year of attending, I ended up on staff. I LOVED it!

    Unfortunately, things changed. Key leadership positions changed. Some very rock solid people left. And slowly but surely the new age/emergent aspects started creeping in. It became more about the business of church- the numbers, rather than the people.

    Needless to say, we no longer attend the church, and have heard some positive changes that have happened, and then some very negative things that have happened. Unfortunately, the negative way overshadows the positive. It’s not the church we first started attending.

    Having 5 children, I want like to get them involved in a church. They LOVE VBS, we play children’s worship CDs in the car and at the house, watch all kinds of Christian movies, cartoons, etc. and of course we teach them.

    I thought we had found a new church… but my husband is still very apprehensive about getting back into a church setting. We like the simple Truth- just give me Jesus! Unfortunately, that’s hard to find.

    When you wrote about prophecy being fulfilled my heart raced. We are very strong prophecy watchers, and it’s always great to find like minded people. It’s so amazing to see the Bible LITERALLY coming alive before our very eyes! Yet, so very sad that so many do not see it! I just do not understand that!

    I may end up coming back and commenting more after I have a chance to re-read all of yours. I just wanted to say I can very much relate!

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