Bumpersticker Theology
March 20th, 2011 by Sonja

The bright blue sedan sped merrily down that major artery; providing oxygen on an otherwise dreary journey into the city. Small and fuel-efficent, there were a number of profiles the driver might fit into. But it was the array of festive bumper stickers that made the car merry. They were happy; cheeky. Then there was the central sticker, located under the brake light: “I pray that God isn’t too picky.”

Hmmmm …

That one made me think of the firestorm that has recently engulfed the social media world (blogs, twitter, facebook) concerning a certain book by a certain young cheeky pastor (Rockstar) and his (potential) views on Hell and who might go there.

I never planned to write about this one. I don’t care about it. Mostly, I’m no theologian. The finer points that these people are arguing make my head spin and in a world where much more interesting things are happening (like democracies emerging in the Middle East) and tragedies must be observed (Japan), my poor brain has very little space left over for jots and tittles. But then, along sped this merry little automobile and I began to think.

Why is it that the Gospel, the so-called Good News, has become this? Yay! When you die, you don’t go to your room. If you are very, very lucky or something … you get to go to God’s room.

Now. I know that a bunch of people are going to come on here in comments to correct my description of the Gospel. Yep. You are all probably correct. I’m not talking about that. I’m writing about what our popular culture HEARS from the church. Because it doesn’t matter what we think we’re saying. What matters is what people hear. If what people hear sounds like the teachers/adults in a Charlie Brown television special, why then it doesn’t really matter what Rockstar writes (good, bad or ugly) or what his detractors say about him … because the only people listening are the choir.

The church is now arguing over how many camels will fit on the head of a pin … really?

4 Responses  
  • K.W. Leslie writes:
    March 20th, 201111:36 pmat

    Yeah, but after the stress of all the more interesting things that are happening (revolutions, tsunamis, and the typical but very real drama we deal with in our churches day in, day out) it’s nice to be able to blow off a little steam in debate over camels and pins.

    My beef is with those people who get involved in the pro-hell side of the argument, yet have done jack squat to pull anyone away from hell. They need to shut the hell up.

  • Peggy Senger Parsons writes:
    March 21st, 20112:14 pmat

    So I weighed in on that cheeky pastors new book over on SPG. You might (or might not) want to check it out.

  • Janet Woodlock writes:
    March 21st, 20113:09 pmat

    “By your fruit you shall know them”… well, some are showing themselves to be unChristlike Pharisees aren’t they? Well, at least we know.

    Really good article here by an actual theologian… there’s not nearly as much in the bible about hell that some people would like us to believe:


  • Mike writes:
    March 23rd, 20111:41 pmat

    Thank GOD I left that conversation!

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