Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Church Sign and Bumper Sticker Theology

It’s become a fun little game in our family whenever we’re driving anywhere to look for and notice church signs and/or bumper stickers....the more abominable the better to add to our growing collection of wretchedness. Some leave us scratching our heads wondering what, exactly, is meant, some leave us sad and/or disgusted by the triteness or abominable theology, and a few leave us saying, “Okay, that was pithy,” or, “Yeah, that was pretty good.”  In an effort to limp my blog along another day and share the joy, I’ve compiled a few of our most recent finds to share. If I comment, my comments are in purple italics. Some probably need no comment as they could stand alone in their wretchedness. My opinion, for what it’s worth: I think when we try to be too cutesy with our church sign/bumper sticker/T-shirt theology, it makes us seem silly and dumbs down the majesty and beauty and seriousness and importance of our message. Y'all know, I hope, that I love to laugh and I'm not against funny things. But Christians ought not to be silly about the faith. It doesn’t really make us more culture-sensitive, it just makes us silly. Like I said, my opinion.....So, having said that, enjoy. Or not.....
“Cold church is like cold butter...It doesn’t spread well.” 
What does this mean? No AC during the church meeting this summer? (That was snark, if you missed it). Yeah, yeah, I guess I understand what’s meant, but sounds goofy and makes you wonder who they're lecturing.
“America is free. So is salvation.” 
Urg. On a lot of levels. Just, urg.
“Jesus died for Myspace in Heaven.”
Yes, ‘myspace’ was one word. Blurg. In an effort to be trendy, it’s just dumb. Does anyone even use Myspace anymore? I don’t know, but the sign is dumb, dumb, dumb. Myspace, Facebook, social networks basically feed our inner narcissist, and yes, I see the hypocrisy of that comment seeing as I’ve been as guilty as anyone else about my overuse of Facebook and I recognize the temptation to get too hung up on caring too much what other people think of me that it feeds. So let’s just baptize that insidious self-centeredness with this silly sentiment on a church sign. Worshipping Jesus isn’t all about me! We are too prone to that kind of thinking. Getting off the soapbox now.....
“Laughter is music for the soul.” 
Kind of apathetic about this one. Not bad, I guess, just not sure what it means, exactly.
“Come inside. We’re prayer conditioned.” 
Doh!!!! I can’t even read this one without hearing it in a cheesy, mocking tone in my head. In fact, we have a friend from our Florida days who I just picture saying this in that cheesy, mocking voice. He was really good at it. Think Brian Regan if you’ve ever seen his stand-up comedy routine. I hear it in his voice, snarkily, in my head.
“Be ye fishers of men. U catch them, He will clean them.”
Urg. Face palm. And yes, it was ‘U’, not ‘you.’ Even my inner grammar nerd was tweaked, thanks a lot.
“Beth Moore, ‘Free’ simulcast.” 
“God reigns, the Son shines.”
We actually had to miss our turn off the highway just so we could turn around in the parking lot to see this one. Worth it? Punny, punny, punny....
“People are lonely because they build walls not bridges.”
Barf. Psycho babble AND guilt right there. If I had been feeling lonely but had NOT been building walls, not so sure I’d feel welcomed there, I’m sayin’. 
“The Ten Commandments are not ten suggestions.”
“Lost? Free directions in the Bible.”
Then there was the one my husband saw and told me about and we actually called in to a radio show, but now we think he remembered it wrongly. He originally told me it was, "You need sin screen for the Sonshine," which made no sense, but which I didn't question because we've seen so many horrible ones and that's the one we called in. Later he remembered it as, "You need Sonscreen for sin burn," equally wretched but makes more sense in a goofy church sign kind of way. I asked him which it really was, and he honestly doesn't remember, maybe he saw both. Maybe. Nothing much surprises me anymore where evanjellyfishism is concerned.

These next ones aren’t church signs, but they fit here somehow, too:
Saw this sign on a roadside Fireworks Tent before July 4th: “Church Fund Raiser,” and my husband and I started laughing so hard, and I don’t even know why it was so funny. It just seems like an odd thing for a church to sell for a fundraiser. 
And I saw this today, (In case you can't see it well, it says, "It's the God in me."):

Not exactly sure what it means, but it’s got a New Agey, Oprahific kinda feel that made my eyes cross and I just had to take a picture. Shudder.
And now I’ll end with the few church signs we’ve seen recently that weren’t abominable or wretched or puke-cutesy:
Any sign that simply listed the service times, we liked a lot. Simple, informative, good stuff.
“We love because He first loved us.”
Nice. Biblical, even. (1 John 4:19)
“Jesus is King of Kings.”
“Hebrews 13:15-16.”  
Of course, then I had to look it up to see what it says: ‘ Therefore by Him let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name. But do not forget to do good and to share, for with such sacrifices God is well pleased.” 
“No man ever spoke like this man. John 7:46.” 
I liked this one best of all the church signs we’ve seen recently.
And there you have it. Happy Tuesday, y’all.

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