Thursday, September 13, 2007

They'll Know We Are Christians By. . .

When I was a teen, a popular Christian folk song said this:

We are one in the Spirit, we are one in the Lord.
We are one in the Spirit, we are one in the Lord.
And we pray that all unity will one day be restored,
And they'll know we are Christians by our love,
By our Love,
And they'll know we are Christians by our love.

I also remember a minister (whom I respect greatly) saying that his goal was to "love the Jesus into sinners rather than scaring the hell out of them."

Judging by these church signs, I think some of the brothers and sisters missed that memo.


Joanne said...

I like the one I saw on a church board earlier today "My door is open for ANYONE to enter......come on in" God

Evie said...

That's certainly a more appropriate message. Why aren't all Christians on the same page of the hymnal here?

Erik said...

You gave me me and my colleague five very entertaining minutes, Evie! Do you think they really MEAN what they paint on their signs, or that they use it as eye-catchers to make people laugh? You say it right: "the same page of the hymnal". I once was, years ago, present at a funeral in a very orthodox protestant community. In their eyes we were simply heathen. In the last sermon at the grave the Reverend knew that among the thirty to forty people there was also a couple of heathen and he encouraged us indirectly by repeatedly talking obout the "saving buoy" that we only had to grasp to get saved. They were certainly on another page than we were!

Evie said...

In the USA, many conservative Christians intend statements like these literally. They are deeply offended when people laugh at their damning pronouncements, as they really are trying to scare people into believing in God.

If you ever have the opportunity to view some of the talk shows and televised church services hosted by evangelical and fundamentalist Christians, take a few looks.

Evie said...

Looking at the signs again, a couple of them probably are intended to be humorous yet serious. They may be trying to use humor to get across a serious point. Unfortunately, there is nothing funny about the idea that AIDS is a cure for sodomy, or that AIDS, war and a catastrophic tsunami are signs of God's judgment on the world.

Jenn said...

wow - as bad as some of those are, the last one is completley inappropriate. that to me is complelely hypocritical. you cannot make such statements and also claim to be a christian

Barbara said...

Well, they are certainly not going to be changing anyone's point of view with those signs ... just pushing them farther away.

Roopster said...

You too can make your own church sign:



Roopster said...

Link Above

HeIsSailing said...

Erik sez:
"Do you think they really MEAN what they paint on their signs, or that they use it as eye-catchers to make people laugh?"

Back when I used to attend church, there was a lot of 'hell based' humor, believe it or not. I remember a popular greeting card that we could pass along to those whom we were witnessing to. On the front it said, "What do you miss out on by becoming a christian?" The inside flap, in big, bold, flaming red characters was the word "HELL".

Believe it or not, some Christians found this uproariously funny.

I took the photo from Skyline Baptist Church just the other night. I have also seen similar ones from the Church of God, "If you think its hot here imagine hell" and "Read the Bible it will scare the hell out of you".

My favorite is "Independent Old Timey Hell-Fire Brimstone King James Preaching". They are surely proud of that old time religion, Halelujah!

"You are going to hell sinner ha ha ha" is fake.

Evie said...

Thanks for pointing out the fake one. Still, it's pretty pathetic that out of a dozen signs, only one is a fake.

Dave said...

Signs should be used to attract people by stressing the positive values or helping people to think about an issue. Not only do messages that judge and condemn push people away from entering they also become hinderences for people coming to faith.

Stephen said...

I shutter at the insensitivity of my brothers and sisters in Christ. Driven by end time theology, they some churches see it as their divine mission to scare people into the Kingdom of God. It was within the past fifty years or so that our own church sign boards would have contained these kinds of messages. Shock value was a value.

I am very uncomfortable with hell-bent theology. Jesus focused primarily on relationship, love, restoration and establishing the Kingdom of God. I hope that's the message I am living out in my own life!