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It was an opportunity I am glad I did not miss, two men howling laughing at a bumper sticker that said, “Child of God on Board.”

Their conversation was juvenile but spoke to me.

Dude 1:  If I slam into this car will hell fire fall?

Dude 2: That would be awesome!

Dude 1: I need to get one of these, protect my paint job! Stupid Jesus freaks.  

And I get it, I think my kids are heaven sent too.  Also, for a long time, I drove a twelve passenger van.  It was covered in hippie flowers and Jesus flare.  I do love Jesus.

But from our bumpers to our social media status something is happening to Christianity and it is entirely sad.

It’s an us against them mentality, a brotherhood of sorts, like a fraternity… instead of an eternity.

[Tweet “It’s an us against them mentality, a brotherhood of sorts, like a #fraternity… instead of an eternity.”]

My adult-babies are quick to lament everything they and their friends despise about Christian culture. Believe me, I completed the steps. We homeschooled, and worshiped, memorized scripture – in Latin no less.  Still, they have sprouted their wings. 

My Jesus cannot be their Jesus.  They will make Him their own. I don’t grieve or stress about their wanderings.  They know who is He is.  He will not leave them, nothing can separate them from His love.  But yes, I wish that they were over the soul searching and resting comfortably in His arms.

I’d be lying if I said I was full in my faith at their age, I am 45 and only now coming to understand the gravity of the sacrifice, the fullness of the mercy.

I don’t believe I would have wanted my children to follow in my footstep if it just meant mimicking my “Christian” behaviors.  I could put a bumper sticker on their car that says “In case of rapture this car will be unoccupied,” but just because it is on your butt… doesn’t mean it’s true.  One time at Walmart, I saw a 300-pound grandma in sweats that had “sex-kitten” scrolled across her 56-inch bum  – I digress.

[Tweet “Just because its on your #butt doesn’t mean its true. “]

Frankly, in my search for truth, I see the unification of believers occupying… not mysteriously floating away on clouds.  But I remember the very first time I heard of rapture theology.  I was eleven and we watched a video in our church basement about all those left behind.  One of the women left behind killed herself and met face to face with Satan.

I slept with my parents for a month, and I promised to believe in a terrifying God.

Certainly, I have a point….
 

What is the point? 

What is the effectiveness of Jesus bumper flare, t-shirts, caps, hats, and bracelets?  I recall when I thought it might “save” others.  They’d want what I have; a cool t-shirt. But more, they were supposed to want what I had that couldn’t be bought.

The masses would know my beliefs by my love.

Now, since my love is not worn on my sleeve I instead attach insignia to my person or my Chevy… still, no one has ever come to me and ask, “I see you love Jesus by the bumper sticker on your car. Would you tell me of this Savior?”

Truth be told, once a homeless guy in a parking lot ask me for some money and he did say, “I knew you would give me some money because your bumper says you love Jesus.”

My bumper says I love Jesus. 

Heaven and earth.

This is not evangelism.  This is a prideful display of a club.  A club where our kids meet on Wednesdays and profess change and exchange “What would Jesus Do?” bracelets.  Come Thursday morning they are sexting and making fun of fat kids.

Who are we?

What has become of the deep rooted beliefs of early believers that would DIE for this message?

With our bare butts on our bumpers, t-shirts, and Facebooks when is there room for Him to just be the God of all?  Truly we are misrepresenting the quiet carpenter who humbly walked among the wicked, healed the sick and suffering and laid down His life for mine.

The reverence for the death on the cross now comes is chrome or gold plate… because you want your Jesus fish to match your custom wheels.  And all the talking heads say “Amen.”

The most offensive trait among the brethren is the hypocrisy.  And yes, I mean me.  Road rage doesn’t dispense because I have on a “Jesus Saves” t-shirt.  His yoke is easy and His burden is light, but I am late to pick up my daughter from ballet and the moron in front of me can’t seem to bust past 15 mph.

So I freely admit my folly.  He who dwells in me isn’t always best represented by me.  However, I would rather explain my sheer joy than have to clarify the stark difference between my bad attitude and the profession of faith scrolled on my Buick crossover. 

The question posed: Why do we feel it necessary to advertise that which we cannot fully promote as perfected?

As we send seething texts to sons who forgot to pick up daughters from play practice and whip through traffic full of rage and thoughts of what’s for dinner and when the last time I washed the sheets… do we even recall the choice?  The deliberate decision to put a religious symbol on our vehicle so that every eye can see we are set apart, a select sect of believers in a Messiah.

A club of elite, the saved, who are saved but… still running late, frazzled, stressed and afraid.

I embrace the righteousness I am gifted by the Christ who died for me.  However, what I know in my heart and what I work out with fear and trembling, cannot always be seen by the naked eye – especially if that naked eye saw me flip someone off in the carpool line.

[Tweet “A club of elite, the saved, who are saved but… still running late, frazzled, stressed and afraid.”]

Alas, I do love Jesus.  All are welcome. He is good.  At my best, I hope to be His hands and feet… at my worst, I hope to blend in with the masses.

Just a little something to think about…

May your floors be sticky and your calling ordained.  Love, Jami

James 1:5 (NKJV) “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him.” 

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