Don’t preach on the beach!

I READ with interest the request by Lyme Regis resident Carl Salter to the town council to allow an alternative to the Christian message of United Beach Missions (LymeOnline, November 26).

I have increasingly thought it odd that this sort of thing still goes on in this country – renowned as it is  for its ‘balance’.

I remember walking past the UBM folks in red shirts a couple of years ago, arm-in-arm with my Methodist mother-in-law, and asked if she was comfortable with it. Her reaction was that “it wasn’t doing any harm”.

I asked her to consider how she would feel if they were promoting, say, Hinduism, Islam or Buddhism… and suddenly she could see she would have a problem.

I pointed out that to an atheist or agnostic, that is how odd it feels to walk past a tourist beach and hear young children being told about UBM’s Christian beliefs, as facts.

That said, Carl Salter doesn’t need to propose dressing up and trying to counter this point of view; the evidence is all around us, especially in the fossils and rocks of Lyme Regis.

The solution is simply not to preach on the beach at all! It isn’t a suitable forum for such things, and children certainly, in my honest opinion, shouldn’t be asked to deny science!

For balance, don’t preach on the beach (there’s your headline!)

James Burtoft,
Lyme Regis

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1 Comment

  1. King Solomon,
    acknowledged in the book of Ecclesiastes 3:1, that, ”For everything there is a season, and a time for every purpose under heaven”.
    People, in general, believe that beaches are designed for the purpose of relaxation and maybe fun and games from time to time.
    I’m sure that the majority of the United Beach Missions organization appreciate
    that but they presumably believe that preaching ”The Good News” about Jesus
    shouldn’t be limited for example, to town centers where most people go to for the purpose their daily sustenance.
    I believe that when it comes to doing God’s will, one is obliged to do so in a way that shows respect, consideration, and humility for the people they talk to about Jesus and the purpose of Christianity.
    Therefore, approaching the general public on a beach while they are most likely to be relaxing and wanting to escape from the many troubles in their lives,
    is probably not the best time to preach.
    Not to say that, Christianity is comparable to human society in terms of the many burdens that it places upon us.
    On the contrary, the central message of Christianity holds out freedom and relief from our troubles in the near but distant future for all who exercise faith in the promise from its founder.
    Nevertheless, the general public tend not to respond to that while relaxing on the beach and so I hope that the members of United Beach Missions organization
    will show humility and consideration and find a better time and place to share what is essentially a message of hope that all people need in an increasingly troubled and uncertain world.

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