Tuesday, March 29, 2011

(Church) Signs Of The Times

Well, to be honest, this has been a long time coming. My friend Mari, God bless her ever-loving freckled Irish heart, who listened to me rant for hours last night, finally gave me the push to put this down. So here goes.

We've all been slightly offended, amused, befuddled, bewildered, enraged, etc...at a church sign. So I thought I'd share some of my least favorites and tell why these are so detrimental to the tender heart and purity of the gospel. Now for times sake, these pictures are not the ones I took, but are all signs I have seen personally, somewhere, not necessarily on the particular church represented. And also this is not a diatribe against those churches, nor a judgment on their hearts or their theology or whatever.

Sooooo....for Mari, the daydreamer, who runs 'til she flies, and my buddy Adam whose first blog post is up for your perusal, and for the rest of you who may or may not stumble across this page and have ever blown a head gasket at one of these signs.....

Saw this one yesterday. It got me going pretty good. Geez. Where to begin. This, like so many other church signs smacks of smugness, using levity to express the most horrific of realities, that those that do not know Jesus will be forever separated from His love. Would they be so cavalier about that if it were their child mired in spiritual blindness? Argh.

This was on the back of the same sign yesterday.

This one isn't especially egregious, it's just the triteness of comparing church with a mega-retail department store. Debasing the sacrifice that payed the price for our eternal souls, comparing the brutal crucifixion of Jesus that canceled our debts to marked-down prices. Oh my.

Some of the church sign standards are the bad puns. Now, it may seem nit-picking to berate anyone for these, it's just that I find the gospel an intellectually compelling and psychologically stimulating truth. And these are just stupid. Not to mention trite. Oh dear. Punday morning...

This one just pisses me off, pardon my French.

The debate over which version of the Bible is correct, and the many councils and committees and congregational splits that have happened to this end, are the dirty laundry of the church and a very public bill-board may not be the best place to air them. Also, Jesus never spoke in Thees and thous, King James did. And to be perfectly honest, though I understand the dilemma of bad translation, the Holy Spirit will lead into all truth, we just need to introduce them to Him, not invite them to join a book club.

A club that serves free coffee and oh yes, subsequently and of equal importance, eternal life.....

The very last thing the Good News is, is antagonistic. It is a submissive posture, it turns the other cheek. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall see God. So this is not ok...

To attack someones religion or lack there of is just bad evangelism. When the Apostle Paul came to Athens and found multiple idols he did not start by tearing them down. He looked at the people with compassion and found the common ground from which to share the truth. Atheists, or Agnostics or Pantheists or whoever, are all searching for truth. They all are asking the same deep, heartfelt questions. "Why am I here?" "Where am I going?" "Why is there such suffering in the world?" "Is there any hope?" We can answer those questions with the Gospel, but not after we have disparaged that which they have put their faith in with pre-pubescent pot shots.

Really!?!! There is so much wrong here. See examples 1-7. Geez! First and foremost SHUT UP!! Not Punny! Your obnoxious smug tone makes me want to punch furry woodland creatures. Ahhhh! And why is it a warning? Is it a bad thing? I mean, is it not sufficient enough and much more eloquent to just say "For God so loved the world, that He gave his only begotten Son. That whoever believes in Him will not perish, but have everlasting life"???

....to be continued.

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