Christians and atheists are typically at odds, at least when it comes to theology. So when a church posted a sign that praised "kind atheists" over "hateful Christians," it's no surprise the message gained a great deal of attention. While some were offended, many more were supportive of the sentiment the church was attempting to spread.
The United Methodist Church is reporting that Rev. Tom Tate of Rose City Park United Methodist Church in Portland, Oregon, chose to make the bold statement about the state of Christian character and the need for believers to be nice and loving to those around them. The church sign, which reads, "God Prefers Kind Atheists Over Hateful Christians," has been spreading wildly via social media, prompting hundreds of calls to the church from across the nation and the globe.
While the message may be a tough pill to swallow for some Christians who believe that non-belief is a tragic societal occurrence -- even more tragic than Christians behaving badly -- Kay Pettygrove, an administrator at the church, says that positivity has been the predominate sentiment. Pettygrove claims that there has been 30 positive comments for each negative one and says that the church is "flabbergasted" over the response.
"I got an email from a young Mormon man saying, 'Thank you so much. It made me rethink how I treat people,'" she explains. "Many atheists have said, 'If there were more churches like yours, we would probably reconsider.'"
Rev. Tate, whose church has 385 members, claims that the sign shows "radical hospitality" to those who feel alienated from faith systems.
"It has touched a reservoir for people in a way that is very surprising for me," Tate proclaimed.
What do you think about the sign's message. Do you agree? Take our poll, below:
(H/T: UM Portal)