Bumper stickers are pop-culture icons.
I sometimes save them and then put them on the wall in my garage. Anita will not allow them in the house but the garage wall is mine! I have gotten more than a few interesting bumper stickers from street vendors in Berkley. I have also found a few interesting ones in Seattle and Santa Cruz. But I saw one yesterday that takes the cake. It said: Keep Portland Weird.
If you live in Portland forgive me for laughing but that one does say a lot about the Pacific Northwest.
The other one that I saw recently, and this one did make me laugh out loud, is in the picture to the side.
This is the way some people see it I guess. I am afraid this is also how most of the world hears our Christian message. They think Jesus is mad because we are so mad, both at them and even at ourselves. I can see this one catching on with some Christians I’ve known. It certainly doesn’t express a missional form of Christianity to a dying world.
Comments are closed.
My Latest Book!
Use Promo code UNITY for 40% discount!
I actually prefer:
“Jesus is coming! Look busy.”
“You were created a unique individual … just like everybody else.”
A really funny one I saw recently was a take off on the advertising that new housing projects use that are right along congested commuter freeways which says, “If you lived here you’d be home right now.” The sticker was on a beat up old van and read, “If you lived in your car you’d be home right now.” I almost drove off the road I was laughing so hard.
I thought of a potential hyper-Calvinist bumper sticker: “God hates you and has a horrifying plan for your death.” Tongue in cheek, of course, but very true of some Calvinists.
Don’t laugh too hard about the hyper-Calvinist sticker. There was a tract some years ago that said: “Mourn, God May Hate You.” What a winsome way to impress people and announce God’s love to the world. This stuff is how certain rationalists really think about God, which is of course idolatrous in the end.
How do we go about talking about God’s righteous judgment of the wicked?
As Paul makes clear: “This is evidence of the righteous judgment of God, that you may be considered worthy of the kingdom of God, for which you are also suffering— since indeed God considers it just to repay with affliction those who afflict you, and to grant relief to you who are afflicted as well as to us, when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with his mighty angels in flaming fire, inflicting vengeance on those who do not know God and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. They will suffer the punishment of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might, when he comes on that day to be glorified in his saints, and to be marveled at among all who have believed, because our testimony to you was believed.”
In a sense, he’s mad, right? Does “winsome” mean we don’t talk about this? Does winsome mean we say this with a Osteen-esque smile? Is Jesus and God the Father angry with the wicked?
Now, I don’t believe God’s anger towards us is the central message, so please hear what I am saying, but it is very important message, because without it there is no “I passed onto you of first importance…” Was Christ’s death to turn away the wrath and anger of God? Was it merely to show he loved us? Are people still bad?
Although perverted, I think Jack Chick and Joel Osteen, both who bear God’s image, have something right while being totally wrong. The goal is sola scriptura and not sola cultura or something akin to that. Each, I believe, is simply a reaction to the other and neither have taken the Scriptures seriously enough.
P.S. I think the idea of putting this stuff on bumper stickers is stupid. My previous entry was more “bigger picture” than a bumper sticker, if that’s possible.
The gospel is about “good news.” The good news is an announcement that Jesus the Christ came into the world to save the world, not to condemn it. When anything like election and the design of the atonement gets into this message, as central to preaching good news, it often stops being good news. (You did not say this, I am saying it by observation only, not accusation!)
What I am saying to your comments are the following:
1. I agree judgment is real and people should be warned that refusing to trust Christ now has eternal consequences later.
2. I do not agree that our gospel is about judgment but rather about amazing, thrilling, mind-boggling, good news.
This means any notion of “God is ticked off” is not the gospel itself, but a misuse of the theme of judgment that removes it from the proper biblical context.
This is where Calvinists, and I am one, go wrong in their emphasis, saying things that their own confessions do not warrant and surely the Bible opposes strongly.
We must allow the mystery to stand, as people like Gerhardus Vos and Herman Ridderbos (to provide too very good modern examples) did. Too much doctrinal logic of the systematic sort gets us in real trouble. We can affirm what we affirm without affirming a corresponding logical deduction about Christ not loving the non-elect or not dying for the sins of the world.
Small bumper sticker world. Just saw one that said, “Keep Santa Cruz Weird.” No doubt it will happen!