Bumpersticker Theology

Maybe this’ll be a new series.

Say this at Wal-Mart today in Charleston, WV

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What doe the driver want us to know? First, the driver believes in mocking environmental stewardship… takes Genesis 2-3 as science…

Mocks others, suggesting that they are easily bound for hell…

And doesn’t get the sarcasm of the last bumpersticker.

Thoughts?

Post By Joel Watts (10,115 Posts)

Joel L. Watts holds a Masters of Arts from United Theological Seminary with a focus in literary and rhetorical criticism of the New Testament. He is currently a Ph.D. student at the University of the Free State, analyzing Paul’s model of atonement in Galatians. He is the author of Mimetic Criticism of the Gospel of Mark: Introduction and Commentary (Wipf and Stock, 2013), a co-editor and contributor to From Fear to Faith: Stories of Hitting Spiritual Walls (Energion, 2013), and Praying in God's Theater, Meditations on the Book of Revelation (Wipf and Stock, 2014).

Website: → Unsettled Christianity

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20 thoughts on “Bumpersticker Theology

  1. In other words, that he’s a typical “Wild, Wonderful” West Virginian (and proud enough of it that when he inexpertly duct taped over his license plate he didn’t cover up the state slogan – or was that inexpert Photoshopping?). But I’m glad there are at least a few smart people up there.

  2. Ridiculing everyone who thinks or believes something different from you is equally bad from either side of the street in my opinion. It seems to me that it does little good other than making the originator feel unjustifibly proud.

    • Except this is not about ridiculing, but about pointing out the offensiveness, and outright stupidity, of such things as this. When you can put the summation of your belief on a bumper sticker that pulls from an elementary school slogan, you are ridiculing your own self.

      If we just let things like this go by, we issue out passive acceptance of it. I do not intend to allow people to see this as the Christian message.

  3. In other words you seem to be saying that by pointing out that someone is stupid and that is offensive to you may change what they believe and how they think. Good luck with that. Maybe what you are doing is more for your benefit than theirs.

    • No, that’s not what I’m saying at all. What I am saying is that these theology is a cancer on the Church, and the more so the American Church. To then publicly give a response is a good bit better than ignoring it and pretending we have no problem — that everyone can be left to their own devices.

      Fundamentalism is a rot in Christianity that must be given something more than an arrogant “oh, I’m sure there are good people everywhere.” There are good people everywhere, but it the bad people concern me. When we see too many leaving the church, siting what basically comes down to this type of theology, as if it is representative of the entirety of CHristianity, well, I cannot continue to let that happen.

      And, because of that — because of these active stands, there is at least one more person going to church today and a few more less likely to be militant atheists. Of this, I have proof.

      But of passive stances against this type of theology, we have the growing consent that American Christians are exactly this.

  4. If you wanted to raise awareness about Christ, you could consider some action other than a bumper-sticker. The psychological effects of the concept of hell cannot be underestimated. The threat of hell makes for many dishonest confessions and many lie about their personal faith. Maybe some people are happy that others will be eternally immolated, maybe some relish that fact; but God is not willing that any should perish. It’s perfectly reasonable to call out and make fun of people who are glib about eternal torture and separation from God. It is unreasonable to tolerate evil.

  5. Joel,
    I didn’t intend to recommend that you should be passive. Your post is not likely to move anyone to “correct” thinking because your readers will either agree with you or get mad and be further entrenched in their ways. I believe you could find better ways to advance the faith if you put your mind to it and I believe many of your activities are exactly that (better ways).

  6. JK,
    Most of those you refer to do not really believe in eternal damnation or they wouldn’t behave as they do. I think the more serious problem are those who believe that once they are saved they are guaranteed salvation no matter how they behave. Most of them live in a world devoid of reason and they like it that way by all appearances. It’s like most of the world’s people who would prefer to live with a benevolent dictator who will take care of all the difficult problems so that they can survive without much thought. It’s hard to turn a battleship around once it is up to speed.

  7. Is the first bumper sticker really “mocking environmental stewardship”? I think it could be taken the opposite way: God recycles, so shouldn’t we?

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