One of my least favorites inventions of the last 30 years has to be the church sign. How many of us have seen bad theology, confusing messages or just plain "huh?"
While driving the back roads from my home in Rhode Island to Worcester yeaterday, I passed this sign in Voluntown, CT.
You've got to be kidding me. I pulled over and snapped a photo on my handy dandy fancy dancy now declared heathen mobile communication device.
As Keith Anderson recently pointed out (see below), we live in a mobile phone world. You may not like it, but it's reality. Twitter is reality, Facebook is a part of the fabric of human communication. Your blog can now be read by people around the world.
I have 17 reasons why this sign bothers me, but I'll spare you the adolescent rant, and give you two.
1. The tone of this sign is one of chastisement. It basically says, you modern people are all wrong. We have the truth, you know nothing. If you do it our way, then you'll be right and good and holy. The message is one of judgement, and hardly motivation for doing what they ask, namely reading the Bible. The only people who will see this sign and respond favorably to it are those who already share the world view of the author. Therefore, what's the point of the sign?
2. The sign suggests that the church, and in an increasingly "non-church" is not only out of touch with contemporary culture, but hostile toward it. I imagine the average american driving by and seeing that sign, and thinking at best, "huh" and at worst, "sheesh, those christians really are as stupid as I thought." Like it or not, most people outside the churched culture do not see a distinction between a baptist, a presbyterian or a lutheran.
Is Facebook the god it is made out to be? Of course not. Is the Bible worth diving into? Absolutely. Do we have to make this an either or choice? Ah, no, we can put scripture on our facebook pages.
When the Church does something stupid, the whole body suffers. That could be a variation on St. Paul's teachings that when one part suffers we all suffer. Well, when one part is stupid, we all look stupid.
Is this an adolescent rant? OK, I guess it is, my apologies.
P.S. After posting this, I realized a third major problem with this sign. It reads as if this is a quote from God. Well, I should have been more humble in my apprach. I didn't realize that Voluntown Baptist had such a clear connection, so as to know the mind of God. (Sorry again, more dripping sarcasm)