You can be skeptical and friendly at the same time.
Follow Patheos Atheist:
David Hayward dissects a seemingly innocuous church sign and hits a home run (click on image to enlarge):
That ain’t no home run. That’s a grand slam.
Oh man, I love it. Is there anything less sincere than a bible declaration of love? This guy got it perfectly. Anyone who’s stepped inside an unfamiliar church knows it’s true.
stealing this, thx
So sad but so true.
This is too cynical for my taste. Every word’s interpretation is the most negative of all the possibilities, and some are a real stretch. They are all assumed from generalizations about the category called “Christians,” without actually getting to know the individuals who might be responsible for such a sign.
In other words, it’s exactly the same kind of prejudice that atheists face from some Christians. Must we base our own behavior on the worst of others?
All I know is that the one church that I had personal experience with had the following evangelical strategy.
They would tailor their sermons to the “un-churched” to try to draw people in with inclusive and moderate messages. But once you got to know them, they were VERY exclusionist with their beliefs (only people who believed just like they do go to heaven. All others burn burn burn…).
Its hard to generalize from one church to all churches, but the one church I had experience with did fit the characterization by Naked Pastor.
Looks like the sign achieved its alleged objective of scaring a non-traditional post-modern type.
^^I can see your point, Richard, but unfortunately all sectarian religion, particularly of the Abrahamic variety, at the very least have a tradition of dualism. So even with the more “accepting” and “liberal” denominations, this interpretation of the church sign holds at least a modicum of weight.
The one thing he forgot: “God loves you, and we love you too”–whether you want our “love” or not.
I find it mean and entirely deserved…which is mean of me…but they deserve it. They deserve it for thinking that John 3:16 is actually a good thing where it is barbaric and disgusting to think that a crime in mythology apparently carried in the blood can be cleansed by human sacrifice. A sacrifice that wasn’t a sacrifice if he got better, wasn’t necessary in the first place, wasn’t asked for and doesn’t bloody well apply to me or anyone else.
That hateful little passage should be shoved in Christian’s faces as a bad thing and not the good thing they claim it to be. If there was a god and he did love the world they no sacrifice would be required, certainly not a painful and humiliating one like crucifixion. That’s just sick.
Looks like the Jesus followers have negative approval ratings and they’re dropping!
Sorry about that, chief.
From this I take that I should work on humility and serving without expectation, not to mention carrying an air of superiority.
It’s good, and I think actually a lot of pastors would say the same things about those signs. A recent movement in churches is to encourage them to view themselves the way outsiders would in order to see how unappealing they are (thanks to Rick Warren, of all people), and I could easily see an analysis like this done at a church.
It was done at a church. The person who drew the cartoon is an active pastor in New Brunswick, Canada, with a taste for art, cartooning, and doubt.
The first and third lines of this sign could be controversial, depending on what that particular church is like. But I find the comments on the ‘God Loves You’ part a bit strange. I do agree with the ‘God’ comment, to a certain extent, because how can anyone claim to know every last detail about God when he is supposed to be mysterious and have qualities/powers beyond our imagination?
But I don’t understand the reasoning behind the ‘even you’ part. Yes, even you! Isn’t the point of Christianity that God loves everyone even though they aren’t perfect, so Jesus died so that anyone who wants to go to heaven can, even though they don’t deserve it?
And, ‘the kind of love that could also send you to hell’ part … well, it would only send you to hell if you didn’t want the love (i.e. rejected God’s offer of Jesus), and in that case, you wouldn’t care (well, you would care once you got there, I suppose).
Thanks Erp for the NP link.
Follow Patheos on