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Billboard Asks “Are You Good Without God?”

In 2009, a new billboard in downtown Chicago got everyone's attention, stirring some controversy. In big letters it asked: "Are you good without God? Millions are." It was put up by an organization called the Chicago Coalition of Reason. According to an article about the billboard in the Chicago Tribune, the Coalition's coordinator said "the billboard aims to hearten humanists, atheists, and agnostics who might feel isolated or misunderstood in their quest for alternatives to religious worldviews."

The billboard's question does beg for answer: Can a person who rejects God's very existence, let alone his authority, do good? Well, of course! They can be honest and kind, pay their taxes, give money to the poor. But from a Christian point of view, that misses the point.

It makes me think of the Tin Man in The Wizard of Oz. Remember him? The Tin Man's quest was to find a heart. When he finally came face-to-face with the Wizard, the Wizard warned the Tin Man that hearts can be broken. The Tin Man replies, "But I still want one." And do you remember what the Wizard said next? "Back where I come from," he said, "there are men who do nothing all day but good deeds. They are called … good-deed-doers. And their hearts are no bigger than yours, but they have one thing you haven't got."

God would say something similar to the "good without God" billboard people. He would say, "When Christians do good deeds properly, their hearts are no bigger than yours, But they have one thing you haven't got." That one thing is found in Ephesians 2:10: "For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do."

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