In recent times, an evangelical church in Sydney was surprised to learn that it could not
use the phrase ‘Jesus is Alive’ in its advertising, as the term was considered offensive.
They were requested by Lendlease, the company that owns the supermarket where the
digital ads were to be shown, to change it to ‘the Risen Christ.’ After some adverse
publicity, Lendlease apologised unreservedly, and protested muchly its policy of
‘inclusiveness’. The pastor of the church noted that the same company was happy to
have advertising for lingerie which was semi pornographic in nature, and from which
he sought to shield his children.
Our situation in Australia is not completely comparable to ancient times, or indeed
other nations and locales in our own day, where governments routinely jail and even
execute Christians for their faith. It is nevertheless a point of note that Christians are
today called to stand with faith, courage and conviction. And what is our conviction?
It is the message of the ad, the same one on our own sign at MPC, that Jesus is alive,
and that all that the Scriptures say about him is true. It is for this reason that believers
can ‘take up their cross’ and follow Jesus (Matthew 16:24). The aim in so doing is not
to look with anger and hatred upon a hostile world. It is instead to reach out in love,
compassion and service, as our Lord would have us do.