I want to establish some cred on the front end so let me start with a quote from the magician scholar Penn Jillette,
“I’ve always said that I don’t respect people who don’t proselytize. I don’t respect that at all. If you believe that there’s a heaven and a hell, and people could be going to hell or not getting eternal life, and you think that it’s not really worth telling them this because it would make it socially awkward—and atheists who think people shouldn’t proselytize and who say just leave me along and keep your religion to yourself—how much do you have to hate somebody to not proselytize? How much do you have to hate somebody to believe everlasting life is possible and not tell them that?
“I mean, if I believed, beyond the shadow of a doubt, that a truck was coming at you, and you didn’t believe that truck was bearing down on you, there is a certain point where I tackle you. And this is more important than that.”
This atheist has a lot of wisdom. Now it’s time for me to proselytize. Call me a Bible thump-er if you want, I just agree with Penn, and I love you.
The city of Carbondale is between The Rock and a hard place. Let me explain. In the heart of our city, there is a ticking time bomb. Not an actual bomb of coarse, but it is potentially explosive. It is the phrase “Deo Volente.” The Latin phrase waives in the wind on every SIU flag and is plastered all over campus and all over our city. This little Latin phrase means “God Willing.” The founders of this great institution knew, if their endeavor would move forward it would have to be according to the will of the Triune Christian God. This was not unlike the foundings of almost every college in our country. From Princeton to Harvard, and Yale they were all built by the minds, hands, and money of Christians. In fact, at one time, SIU graduated and sent out droves of Baptist pastors! Princeton was not the only school pumping out Clergymen!
So why does the phrase “God’s Willing” put Carbondale between The Rock and a hard place? It’s a matter of consistency. In one sense, if the Left in Carbondale wants to keep up with the Joneses, it’s time to start protesting such a wildly offensive phrase! I mean, some atheists attend SIU! How could our city stand for such blatant bigotry? Is a little tolerance too much to ask for? It’s time to riot!
Now that I have given you this information let me ask you a question. Does the phrase “Deo Volente” disrupt you? If so, by what authority or standard are you offended? Is it your ideals? Is it public opinion? This would be an appropriate time to stop reading and come up with some answers. Everyone has a god, maybe your answers finally tell you who yours is. Maybe you will finally admit it’s you! But please and I am begging here, don’t be neutral about this! Riot in the streets over such bigotry or start getting some better answers.
As a Christian, I would like to call attention to the phrase for another reason. What does “God willing” mean? Where can I go to find out God’s will? There are answers. Christianity is the only religion in the world that tells us that God is willing to save sinners. Global religion has a unified voice when it comes to the way people get to God; “You can do it! It’s up to you! Find your way!” In other words, global religion tells us “it’s all up to you!” The message of the masses is “Do what you will!” Deo Volente communicates to us something different entirely. God has a will. His will is what matters. The Bible tells us that it is God’s will to save sinners. That is why he sent Jesus. The gospel is Jesus substitutionary life, death, and resurrection, on behalf of sinners to the glory of God. That is God’s will. And the Bible says wildly offensive things like “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” and “There is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.” That is God’s will.
Instead of staying in the hard place, I pray you will be thrown into The Rock (Jesus) and be saved. Deo Volente. Or… You can pick up some stones and let the riot begin.