Friday, February 14, 2003
After posting the link to the Relevant article on "Church Signs" - a friend sent a list of "God One-Liners." Some of them were better than others, but I've highlighted a few below and my beef with the whole idea:
5. In the sentence of life, the devil may be a comma--but never let him be the period.
** unfairly puts down commas, a part of speech that I happen to use quite frequently 8^)
6. Don't put a question mark where God puts a period.
** seriously, this undermines so much of our faith, doesn't it? the feeling/teaching that I'm not supposed to question things - harmful "doctrine" here
7. Are you wrinkled with burden? Come to the church for a face-lift.
** you'd never know this one by looking at the faces of the folks going in and out
10. We don't change God's message -- His message changes us.
** again, you'd never know this by watching the people coming in and out
12. When God ordains, He sustains.
** for the unchurched, this is meaningless
14. Plan ahead -- It wasn't raining when Noah built the ark.
** better in front of a boat dealership, you think?
15. Most people want to serve God, but only in an advisory position.
** this is one where you can see it's truth by the people going in and out... I've got to get off that kick, huh?
20. Compassion is difficult to give away because it keeps coming back.
** I think I know what this means
21. He who angers you controls you.
** the only one with a fairly decent "message," because its not churchy
22. Worry is the darkroom in which negatives can develop.
** good puns are good, but this isn't a good pun 8^)
23. Give Satan an inch & he'll be a ruler.
** this one either
24. Be ye fishers of men -- you catch them & He'll clean them.
** for the unchurched, this has a whole different meaning, complete with tackle boxes & filet knives
25. God doesn't call the qualified, He qualifies the called.
** this one's true, but meaningless to the unchurched - and not very meaningful to the churched if they're not paying attention
26. Read the Bible -- It will scare the hell out of you.
** cliche', often untrue, given the rampant sin/junk going through the "christian" church - again, you wouldn't know it by looking
Sorry for being a party pooper. I noticed every church sign between my home and work this morning, and every one of them had something like this list. I'm all for a good sign, but it's almost like Chicken Soup for the Driving Soul - is it really having a meaningful impact, a life-transforming hit on our lives? Too often, we think we're better off for having heard a good message or "gotten the joke" of a good sign, without dwelling on the fact that we haven't been changed at all.
I had a talk with Pastor once about preaching on Immaturity. The problem is that when everyone hears the message, they'll say "Amen, Pastor - ouch - we're immature - help us, Lord" - and somehow we'll being to feel more mature for having heard and agreed. But the seed is quickly stolen by the birds (Matthew 13), and we're deceived again into thinking we've gotten something. In reality, we missed it again.