Not cool, Zeus.
The 13 mile drive from work to home every day is a 38 minute trip either way; whether I a) join the Mad Max battle on the Interstate or b) tailgate the grannies and mini-vans driving down the rural two-lane backroads which are annoyingly equipped with stop signs every couple of miles. For the last couple of months, I have made the backroads scenic route my new default. It’s more relaxing and the scenery is bit better. And sometimes more entertaining.
A landmark I have begun to love to hate each day as I drive by is this small brick church with its marquee sign easily readable from the road. The messages on the sign are consistently weird. For Mother’s Day, it said: “Dear Mom, you did the best you could.” That sounds more like it should be the title of a Lifetime movie starring Cybill Shepherd.
The annoying thing about their obscure messages is that they often seem to alienate passers-by that aren’t already believers. Prime example, last week their sign said: “Choose the Bread of Life or you’re toast!”
I try to imagine myself not believing in God or Jesus or eternal life. I try to imagine myself never having stepped inside of a church. I try to imagine not understanding that God loves me and has a plan for my life.
Why would I want to even consider going to that church? I question whether a non-believer would even understand the Bread of Life reference anyway. The message on the sign is a “cute” inside joke from the church to the church. And the people outside the church aren’t laughing.
I’ve always been leery of Christianized memorabilia that is intended to convert. Like the WWJD craze of 1998. And Christian movies in general (the horrible acting itself is enough to run off a good portion of possible converts). And if only words can express how badly I loathe Christian e-mail forwards that tell me if I’m really not ashamed of Jesus then I will pass the e-mail along to all of my contacts.
The problem is that it all just comes across as irrelevant. When I see a man wearing a brown t-shirt tucked into his jeans that says “Real Men Love Jesus”, I have to wonder which recent research shows that the actual reason men aren’t converting to Christianity is because they think Christian men aren’t manly enough.
I want to be associated with a God who loves people, who is inviting and inclusive. The marketing executives from holy huddles sometimes miss the point: All that holy smoke must be getting in the way of seeing a church through the eyes of an outsider.
And one more thing… Now that you’ve read my take on church signs, why not read my perspective on being a dad? That’s right- parenting from a dad’s point of view. I have been documenting my thoughts as a dad since the week we found out my wife was pregnant. I formally invite you now to read my “dad blog” by clicking on the link below: