It’s been almost impossible to avoid running into the intriguing billboards and marketing for the #ExploreGod campaign in Austin. Some information has indicated that it is the largest billboard campaign ever to be run in the Austin area, which is a very impressive feat. Over 30 different billboards promoting an exploration of faith around the Austin area.
With all the attention, I’ve been receiving a lot of questions from many Catholics about this campaign. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions.
*The Diocese of Austin and Bishop Joe have not released an official statement about this, and it is likely that there will not be one.
Not explicitly. There are some very interesting and well thought out videos and materials that they created, but they follow the school of many non-denominational Christians and ignore the role and authority of the magisterium and Sacred Tradition. That said, they do promote some of the basic pillars of Christianity that we have in common with all Christians.
The do have a post that plainly explains the difference in between Protestant Christians and Catholic Christians. In their effors to be ecunemical, they do not denounce either perspective, but the conclusion’s focus on a pluralistic approach would lead us to believe that they support a non-denominational focus to the faith.
Opinion about this campaign
Overall, this is nothing new, it’s just a much better funded and organized campaign than the average non-denominational Christian study. It has a higher visibility rate even than any secular billboard campaign ever seen in the Austin area, so this will naturally be surrounded by plenty of buzz and discussion from even the most non-practicing Christians.
The size of this campaign has encouraged many usually separated churches to come together for this unified evangelical mission, and that gives me great hope. I often talk about the amazing things that are happening the Diocese of Austin, but this shows us that the spirit is moving strong in the hearts of the Non-Catholic Christians of Central Texas too. Christianity has been split for far too long, and we pray that the protestants choose to one day stop their protest against the Catholic Church. Movements like these remind us that our hearts all deeply desire for the Church to be one.
Evangelization at this level of visibility and boldness is also to be commended. Some diocese have participated in the Catholics Come Home campaigns, but this has been executed to an even greater level. I admire the level of high quality content they have produced in their efforts, and Catholics could learn from their approach to use more in our catechesis.
The vagueness of the bold captions can be used to our benefit. This has come coincidentally at the same time we are preparing to wrap up the year of faith, and it provides us with many great segways of conversations with people at all levels of faith. I’m interested to see what will come of this, and I pray that may somehow help hearts lose their hardness to Him.