Sunday, November 25, 2007

Bumper Sticker Christian Hypocricy

One of my favorite cartoon strips illustrates a young man standing at the pearly gates trying to convince St. Peter that he is worthy to enter into Heaven. It is obvious, from Peter’s firm stance and folded arms, that he is not going to open the gate. The young man is pleading his case with Peter and pointing back at his parked car which has several bumper stickers plastered all over it with phrases like “honk if you love Jesus,” “not of this world,” Jesus Freak,” “Jesus saves,” and “God is my co-pilot.” Finally, St. Peter relents and says, “OK, so your CAR can come in.”

I like to read bumper stickers and window decals. In fact, I use them on my car. One of them that I created a few years ago in the midst of the "name it and claim it" fad, said, “Santa Clause is NOT the first person of the trinity.”

You can learn a lot about people by the stuff they put on their car windows and bumpers. Sometimes, though, the cumulative mixed messages are puzzling. Not long ago I saw two window decal depictions of that popular, bratty little cartoon character named “Calvin” on the same car. In one, he was urinating on something and on the other, he was kneeling in prayer at the foot of the cross. That is what you call a conundrum; it is a seeming contradiction. We don’t know how to reconcile those two conflicting attitudes.

Lots of people don't integrate their lives as a whole. They compartmentalize their attitudes and beliefs and make no attempt to connect their inconsistent actions. So, when it comes to God and his Word, they can easily slip into their religious compartment on Sundays and their secular compartment on the other days of the week and there is no apparent consistency between the two.

Christians should act like Christians. Our words and deeds should be consistent with what we profess. Sir Thomas Fuller wrote, “He does not believe who does not live according to his belief.”

“…get rid of all malicious behavior and deceit. Don’t just pretend to be good! Be done with hypocrisy…” 1Peter 2:1

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