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Meditation 1359
Church Signs Revisited
for the nth time.

by: John Tyrrell

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Perhaps this will be the last time I look at church signs. Or maybe there with be an n+1th time. There is nothing like a church sign getting my dander up to inspire me to write. Today, I will discuss three messages I saw on church signs in the past week. Only the third really irritates me though.

A nearby Presbyterian church has a sign which displays a rotating series of messages. Whoever is responsible for periodically changing the texts shows a sense of humour. He or she is trying for the light touch in attracting new customers and perhaps I should not be critical. But, I can be at times.

The other day, I was driving by and the sign went through two changes.

First of all:


I'll give them full marks for humour on this.

But what if we take the message literally - what is it saying? Essentially, like any business which points out it has had the same management for years, the sign is suggesting this church must be a pretty good operation and worthy of giving it our custom.

But if time is a factor, isn't an older religion which still has followers today even better. There are any number of other religions which can claim to have been around for longer than Christianity. Hinduism, Zoroastrianism, Yazadanism, Judaism, Jainism, Confucianism and Buddhism are all good examples. Even Mandaeism which is based on the teachings of John the Baptist has a few years on Christianity. And if you include animism which predates all organized religions in the list, then it has the best credentials of all.

So, under the same management for 2000 years is not exactly a ringing endorsement of Christianity.

I have one other objection to this message. It is on a Presbyterian Church. Presbyterianism arose out the the Reformation which was an outright rejection of the management of Christianity over the previous millennium and a half. One thing Presbyterians cannot claim is to be under the same management for 2000 years. As a replacement to the previous top-down management by a pope, Presbyterians introduced a bottom-up management system about 500 years ago.

Whatever the humour value of the message, it simply does not reflect the truth about the church which posted the message. It is not honest to the history of the Presbyterianism.

The second message which appeared on the same sign was:


I'll give this marks for humour too. And I will not criticize the theological soundness other than suggesting that there is not to my knowledge a single Christian denomination in which the path to salvation is truly "FREE." Conditions always apply.

But both messages raised a chuckle. The following one did not. It raised only disgust..., disgust with the church involved..., disgust with whoever in the church thought this was a reasonable message to post publicly..., and disgust with the attitude expressed which is widely shared in contemporary fundamentalist "conservative Christianity."

Faith includes noticing the mess and discomfort & letting it be until some light returns

If you thought it was possible to do even less about a problem than copy/paste "thoughts and prayers" on Facebook, here it is. Do absolutely nothing about a problem. Just let it be. Do S.F.A. God (or Jesus) is going to solve the problem whenever he shows up. Because that's what Christian faith is all about, isn't it?

What this sign says is:

Screw the poor. Screw the disabled. Screw the unfortunate. Screw victims of violence. Screw the environment. Screw climate change. Let rusting infrastructure collapse around us. And elect politicians with those oh so totally conservative Christian values. Because looking only after ourselves and ignoring the problems around us is precisely what Jesus taught. And Jesus will solve all those problems himself once he's raptured us true believers into heaven

Simply, that sign* summarizes the cesspit of today's conservative Christianity.

It stinks all the way to high heaven. It is totally revolting. It disgusts me.


* And the irony of the first part of this church's motto (fine print under "neighbourhood church" in conjunction with the sign's message does not escape me. It says "building our community."

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