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February 01, 2007

Comments

While I agree that a bumper sticker or church sign cannot adequately convey all the nuances of theology, I don't believe that invalidates the use of such media. Do we say that Psalm 23 should not be used at funerals, because it doesn't adequately portray the fiery wrath awaiting for those who have not accepted Christ? Obviously, anything short of the full revelation of God is going to be somewhat incomplete. This church is justified in placing this sign, because it portrays a needed message. Nobody needs to hear that God hates bin Laden; most people probably assume that. What they do need to hear is that bin Laden is not the real enemy; he is a prisoner of war. While there are governmental structures that have the responsibility for bringing him to justice, the church's responsibility is to rescue him from Satan's clutches.

Speaking of bumper stickers, do you remember the one from the eighties; "ONE NUCLEAR BOMB COULD RUIN YOUR WHOLE DAY!" Well here is my version; "THE WRATH OF GOD COULD RUIN YOUR WHOLE DAY BUT, THE FREE GIFT OF GOD IS ETERNAL LIFE IN CHRIST JESUS!" Yes, I know it too wordy for a bumber sticker! Oh well so much for bumper sticker Chistianity!

I think bumper stickers and sound bites are not conducive to understanding truth. They only succeed in getting your attention.

For example, how about a set of bumper stickers, one says "God hates all sinners" on the other "Jesus loves you". It gets your attention, it might make you think, but might also make you confused.

There is a lot more that needs to be explained to get any kind of understanding.

It concerns me that more and more people may be content with sound bites and fail to take the time and do the hard work of looking for the information that is necessary for understanding.

Bumpers stickers mess up your car; and I would never have one; however, I must confess; I do enjoy the:

“My real treasure is in Heaven” sticker

Not only does it make me smile each time I see it; I think it sums up quite nicely.

I would venture that the primary flaw in "bumper sticker Christianity" reflects the weakness found in so much of the Church today. Any quote from the Bible needs to be studied in context. We should always remember that Satan has a very indepth and astute knowledge of scripture and since he exploited that knowledge to twist it's meaning to try to tempt and weaken Jesus it is vain for us to think that he and his minions do not try to do the same to the others. Many such bumper stickers - i.e. one sayng "God loves Osama" - don't indicate that the person is a Christian - but are more a political point of view (also, even a muslim can say he believes his treasure is in "heaven"; but, his "heaven" is not the Heaven of the Christian). Regretfully, such stickers are all to often indicative of politics and are an oblique slurr to Chriatianity.

The problem with most bumper stickers is they try to address a complex issue using less than ten words, and in doing so serve no purpose other than to announce one's allegiance. Even bumper stickers I might agree with (e.g., "Abortion stops a beating heart") might be true, but the opposition certainly has a response to that. Could it get them thinking? Perhaps, but I doubt many really change many minds.

The one that got under my skin the most (recently) was on a car in our church's parking lot: "The last time folks listened to a Bush, they ended up wandering in the desert for 40 years." Clever? Yes. Not very theologically or spiritually mature, though. Now, if you don't like Bush, this is really the wrong Biblical example to use -- who was it that was speaking through the burning bush? (God) So now the bumper-sticker author either has to say that God messed up (by giving faulty directions, I suppose) (that is, it was God's fault they wandered), or they must admit that listening to bushes (or Bushes) isn't such a bad idea.

>>”and in doing so serve no purpose other than to announce one's allegiance.”

Although I don’t use bumper stickers; and agree about the complexity of issues not lending themselves well to the bumper sticker medium, announcing one’s allegiance to the saving of lives of the unborn is not a bad thing.

Ladies and gentlemen of the forum, this is bordering on ‘gotcha’ tactics that serve absolutely no purpose. One can hardly fit a point by point pro-life argument on a poster or sign either but we have protesters at abortion clinics and in front of the Supreme Court standing up for the unborn. What if; just what if; a woman saw a significant bumper sticker on the way to kill her child that caused her to think twice? Yes; as we sit here and philosophize as to the importance of getting our message out in full scope; abortions are being performed. Perhaps they should create bumper stickers that just show pictures of aborted babies with a caption that says, “Look!”

I submit if this were the case; if conclusive messages, perfectly delivered, completely thought through were necessary in all circumstances we should prohibit many Christians from even spreading the Gospel for fear of clumsiness.

>>”"Abortion stops a beating heart" might be true, but…”
There are no buts; and it’s not ‘might’--it is true.
I’m finished with this topic.

>>”and in doing so serve no purpose other than to announce one's allegiance.”

Although I don’t use bumper stickers; and agree about the complexity of issues not lending themselves well to the bumper sticker medium, announcing one’s allegiance to the saving of lives of the unborn is not a bad thing.

Ladies and gentlemen of the forum, this is bordering on ‘gotcha’ tactics that serve absolutely no purpose. One can hardly fit a point by point pro-life argument on a poster or sign either but we have protesters at abortion clinics and in front of the Supreme Court standing up for the unborn. What if; just what if; a woman saw a significant bumper sticker on the way to kill her child that caused her to think twice? Yes; as we sit here and philosophize as to the importance of getting our message out in full scope; abortions are being performed. Perhaps they should create bumper stickers that just show pictures of aborted babies with a caption that says, “Look!”

I submit if this were the case; if conclusive messages, perfectly delivered, completely thought through were necessary in all circumstances we should prohibit many Christians from even spreading the Gospel for fear of clumsiness.

>>”"Abortion stops a beating heart" might be true, but…”
There are no buts; and it’s not ‘might’--it is true.
I’m finished with this topic.

After reading the above posts, I would agree that it is very difficult to capture the truth in a one-liner (unless you're Solomon). Even if it's pithy, is it accurate, clear, and unambiguous? And context is essential.

Most people don't have a good understanding of the context of bumper sticker statements. A perfect case in point is the "Bush" quip given above. The author doesn't seem to understand that it's because the Israelites DIDN'T listen to the God BEHIND the bush that they had to live in the wilderness. But I don't think most people are going to think about it that deeply, and so they'll buy into an historical lie.

I do have a window sticker for AllAboutGOD.com, an apologetics and answers website run by a fellow Christian brother. This blog got me thinking about the advantage of this kind of sticker over the typical bumper sticker. Just like a bumper sticker, it indicates my allegiance to God and may get some people thinking about God, but the true message is in what is NOT stated. By not making some pithy statement, it implicitly invites the viewer to check out the website, in which there is a lot of evidence for Christianity given in context, including the gospel message. The sticker doesn't suffer from lack of context because the website being advertised has plenty of context for its messages.

How about one for the Church: "Jesus Called: He Wants His Name Back"

"God hates bin Laden. He hates all sinners."

Are you serious? Then why'd he die for sinners? Sure he hates some people that is scriptural (Rom 9, Psalms 11), but to say He hates all sinners? How about John 3:16, How about Romans 5:8, ad nauseum? I think you are WAY off here.

To think God literally hates ALL sinners? No way...God wouldn't have dies for all who would believe if he hated them.

God is love.

Actually, God hates sin. God loves sinners. I think we should clarify that.

If God can forgive Bush he can definitely forgive Osama.

One bad word in the following "article" but definitely worth reading, should be an eye opener for some people on this board, judging by the various comments I've read in the last year or so.

========
Never "Under the Boot"...

Americans are completely brainwashed. It's that simple. So adamant they live in a free country and have unparalleled civil liberties, living in a dream world. In my travels, I have been to countries less free than America. But I have also experienced some, in Europe, far more free than the America. Not a little more free, but FAR more free

03/02/07 "ICHBlog" -- - -I sincerely believe the TV, is purposely being used to erode the morality of the American people. The pollution happens slowly, undetectable.....

http://www.ichblog.eu/content/view/316/2/

Did I mention the writer "was in the military, and was stationed in Europe for 12 consecutive years."

Should lend credibility to some of you.

chris

Does this also nullify a ministry like xxxchurch.com, who hand out "Jesus loves Porn Stars" t-shirts at Adult expo's? and share the Gospel.

"Jesus loves Porn Stars"

This is not a statment that I would want to have promoted in my life.

Modesty in Apparel: “Certainly such as fear the Lord should go in no apparel but first, such as they are willing to die in; secondly, to appear before the Ancient of Days in; thirdly, to stand before the judgment seat in.” -T. Brooks

To the unnamed poster: you are correct, and I should have proof-read better - abortion (in almost all cases) actually does stop a beating heart (done early enough it doesn't, but that's in the minority of cases). I thought my post had granted the point that it can get people thinking, so I agree that some statements are worthwhile. It still seems that most bumper stickers attempt to provide a sound-bite argument for one side of a (usually) complex issue, and that seems to convey that one has a somewhat flippant attitude toward it.

Chip C -- I like your example, since it doesn't just leave the reader with the feeling like they have suffered a "hit-and-run" argument. It gives them a taste, a little "bait", and then provides a way for them to get more if their interest is aroused.

Re: "To think God literally hates ALL sinners? No way...God wouldn't have dies for all who would believe if he hated them. God is love" and "Actually, God hates sin. God loves sinners. I think we should clarify that."

Sorry to rain on the love-parade, but God does, in fact, hate sinners. Read Psalm 11 (esp. v.5) and Psalm 5 (esp. v.6). God's love (demonstrated through the sacrifice of Christ) is only significant in light of His righteous anger and hatred of sin. Sin cannot be separated from sinner -- we aren't helpless victims of some evil force called "sin". We do it, we commit the moral crimes, and we are accountable for them.

I agree Paul.

A relevant question is: Does God hate you?

A follow up is: Does God love you?

This is what trips people up.

I agree with Paul too.

The Bible does define love, the defenition can be found in John's epistles.

Kevin asked: "A relevant question is: Does God hate you?"

Yes. Does that scare the poopy out of me? You bet (though not as much as it should, I'm afraid). When I disregard God's law, I am thumbing my nose at the Creator of the universe. How could a holy God not be angered at that?

"A follow up is: Does God love you?"

Yes. That is why He sent his Son to take on the horrible punishment that I deserve. If there is no hatred for me because of the things I do, then His act of love means nothing.

"This is what trips people up."

I think you are correct, but it only trips people up because they have a mistaken understanding of the notion of God's love, and that there is a "bad news" side to the gospel.

After giving iot some more thought the phrase

"Jesus died for Osama" or "Jesus died for Porn stars"

may be a more accurate sticker.

I disagree to a point. What we are told to do is spread the gospel, in whatever way we can. A friend of mine was converted and all it took was someone to say "Jesus loves you". Those few simple words gnawed away at him for weeks, which of course was the holy spirit convicting him. I have a sticker on my car that says the same thing. Sure you can't sum up christianity in 3 words but all it needs to do is get people thinking about it. That's why I will always see any type of positive witness for God no matter even if it's a simple bumper sticker to be more beneficial than having no message at all.

Visualize Whirled Peas.

Visualize Whirled Peas.

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