Saturday, March 19, 2011

Christian Bumper Stickers Make People Want to Punch You

Hey Christians,

I want to have a short word with you...

Your bumper stickers suck. Don't take this personally, because I know those are the only bumper stickers they make for Christians. But I can tell you that, even as a Christian, these not-as-pithy-as-we-think statements usually make people want to punch us in the face, not come to Jesus or ask about our next church function. If you have a story of when someone actually asked you about "your boss, the Jewish carpenter", or admitted to you that upon looking at your bumper they realized that they had "no Jesus, no peace", then come and talk to me and I will apologize to you personally. However, I don't think that's going to happen.

A popular bumper sticker saying that irks me the most of all is "Christians aren't perfect, just forgiven." I can't really say why this of all the others bothers me so.
Possibly because it just sounds arrogant and rude, coming from no context of relationship.
Possibly because it sounds like we're answering an accusation before it has actually been voiced to us personally, and therefore sort of desperate and try-hard.
Most likely because I feel like it is supposed to somehow give us a lame excuse to swerve in and out of traffic, cut people off, and generally be obnoxious on the road, and when people get mad, you just point to the bumper sticker. "Sorry buddy, I'm still being sanctified. Jesus isn't finished with me yet!"
The worst part is when people quote it to you in real life. It's like, "Hey, why are you such a jerk?" "Well, Christians aren't perfect, just forgiven." End of story. No discussion allowed. Didn't you hear my pithy statement?

Sometimes I wish we would think a little harder about how we sound to people when we say these things; these canned, trained responses come from residing in the Christian bubble too long, not from gaining wisdom or any true soul-searching. Maybe the next time someone asks me why I'm such a jerk sometimes, I'll answer, "Because I'm a wretched sinner who is often judgmental and sometimes thinks I'm better than everyone else." (I hope I would quickly follow it up with "which I know is not true, I just act like it sometimes...", but at least it would be a true and thoughtful response!)

Or perhaps I should look to Scripture and try this one on for size, "Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own." (Phil 3:12) Sort of like, "I know I suck, but I'm trying."

How about, "I'm sorry. I AM a jerk. Will you forgive me?" I think that instead of wanting to punch us in the face, people would respond well to that sort of statement.

I don't know. What do you think, Jesus fish? =)