NOTE: This is a revised reprint of an old Stier Straight I wrote awhile ago. After my much responded to blog on Bad Christian movies I thought that I would shift the “rage” (okay it’s not rage but more a more-than-mild annoyance) toward the Christian bumper sticker industry. Enjoy this post in the spirit in which it was written…mildly annoyed quasi rage and just a touch of compassionate conservativism combined with a liberal dose of sarcasm…or whatever.
What is it with the body of Christ and bumper stickers? I mean how many people do you think will be in heaven because they read some words on the back of a car and were “driven” to become Christians. And who is it that sits around and thinks up these sayings? They are like holy Hallmark cards, the perfect mixture of corny and Christian. Don’t get me wrong. I’m sure the intent of taking the time to buy a Christian bumper sticker and actually place it on the glimmering bumper of your traveling Pontiac pulpit is noble but come on. The deeply spiritual declarations that some Christians plaster on their cars for all the world to see and read may not be as pithy or effective as they think. Deep thoughts like…
“God is my copilot.”
“Warning! In case of rapture driver will disappear!”
“Angels are watching over me.”
or my personal favorite love-to-hate bumper sticker…
“Christians aren’t perfect, just forgiven!”
If God is your copilot why not try letting go of the steering wheel and taking a little nap? Shouldn’t he be driving anyway? I mean he’s had his license a lot longer than you and I’m sure his driving record is impeccable.
And should more than one angel have to watch over you? Are you that bad of a driver that you need a whole team of angels? If your driving is so bad that you need more than one angel to watch over you it may be time to buy some bus tokens or hitch a ride to work.
But the one trite sound byte I dislike the most is this: “Christians aren’t perfect, just forgiven!” It’s like a license to drive badly. So what if you ram the car next to you? You’re not perfect right? I can hear the conversation now:
“Son, do you know how fast you were going?”
“You were going forty miles an hour over the speed limit.”
“Didn’t you read my bumper sticker when you pulled me over? We Christians aren’t perfect, just forgiven.”
“Well, God may forgive you son, but the judge is gonna make you pay.”
If you are a bad driver you should probably break out the razor blade and scrape off all of your Bible Bumper Stickers and Christian fish symbols and Christian fish symbols eating Darwin fish symbols (by the way isn’t there a better way to engage that dialogue…like maybe actual dialogue for instance?). If you speed a lot or wreck a lot or talk on the cell phone while eating a cheeseburger a lot it’s probably time to remove all Christian quotes from your car’s bumper. I have been in nine wrecks since I got my driver’s license so there are nada bumper stickers on my car.
But if you are really determined to have a bumper sticker and you are a really bad driver you could replace those Christian bumper stickers with ones that will help the Christian cause by default. Bumper stickers like:
“How’s my driving? Call 1-800-Mormon Church”
“Don’t flip me off. I’m Hindu. I got reincarnated as a bad driver!”
“Honk if you love Allah.”
If you are a bad Christian driver and sporting one of these bumper babies then maybe drivers behind you will think, “Well, if that’s how ________s drive then I’m becoming a Christian!
Just kidding. Please don’t do that. If you thought I was serious then I want to introduce you to my friend named Sar. He’s a funny dude. By the way his last name is “casm”. I’m sure you two have never met. And if you are a Mormon, Hindu, Atheist or Muslim reading this right now please don’t be offended. As a matter of fact I have a thought…Smile, God loves you! How do I know? I read it on a bumper sticker!
When you think about it Christians shouldn’t need bumper stickers of any kind to declare our Christianity to others. We shouldn’t have to have buttons or bumper stickers for those around us to get the message. Our lives should be so bathed in the love of Jesus Christ and power of the Holy Spirit that those we encounter should sense something supernatural.
Paul put it this way to the Corinthians, “You yourselves are our letter, written on our hearts, known and read by everybody. You show that you are a letter from Christ, the result of our ministry, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone, but on tablets of human hearts.”
What is Paul saying? Let me give you a modern paraphrase, “You yourselves are our bumper sticker, written on our hearts, known and read by everybody. You are a bumper sticker from God, the result of our ministry, printed not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not stuck on an actual car bumper, but on the bumper of the human heart!”
Every word you speak, everything you do is a bumper sticker. Your actions, intonations, attitudes, responses, non verbal and verbal communication all shout something to people around us. Those who read our micro messages are either drawn closer to Christ or driven farther from him.
Be careful how you drive.
I’d like to blog more about this but I better stop. I’m driving and don’t want to get in another wreck. Honk if you love Jesus!