Thursday, 9 June 2011

Arrested for Displaying Christian Bumper Stickers?

The light turned yellow just in front of him. He did the right thing by stopping at the crosswalk, even though he could have beaten the red light by speeding up through the intersection. He could have, but he didn’t.

Meanwhile, the tailgating woman in the car behind him was furious as she honked her horn and screamed in frustration. Why? Simply because she missed her chance to get through the intersection, not to mention that she also dropped her cell phone and make up kit in the process.

As she was still in mid-rant, she heard a tap on her window. Looking up, she found herself looking into the serious looking face of a police officer. The officer promptly ordered her out of the car and told her to keep her hands up and in plain view.

She was taken to the police station where she suffered the humiliation of being searched, fingerprinted, photographed, and finally placed in a holding cell.

After a couple of hours, another policeman approached her cell and, opening the door, escorted her back to the booking desk where the arresting officer was waiting with her personal effects.

He said, “I’m very sorry for this mistake. You see, I pulled up behind your car while you were blowing your horn, flipping off the guy in front of you and cussing a blue streak at him. I noticed the ‘What Would Jesus Do’ bumper sticker, the ‘Choose Life’ license plate frame, and the chrome plated fish emblem on the trunk, so naturally, I assumed that you had stolen the car.”

Aside from some minor editing on my part, so read the email I received recently. While at first I laughed and found it funny, I also found it equally sad when I thought it through some more. Why? I found it sad because it made me think of all the different ways that our actions and lifestyles do not line up with our faith professions. I'm sure the story is only fiction, but maybe there is more truth to it than meets the eye.

Now, I’m not opposed to Christian bumper stickers in and of themselves. If you want to plaster them all over your car, then who am I to say that you shouldn’t? However, if you have even the remotest issues with anger or an ethically questionable lifestyle, then perhaps it would be wise to avoid any Christian-themed bumper stickers. Having them might just cause more harm than good to the cause of Christ.

Besides, how does the world know that we are Christians? Does it recognize you and me as Christians by our bumper stickers? Sadly, and especially if our actions and lifestyles don’t line up with our faith professions, all that the world sees is hypocrisy! Is the world going to be impressed with a catchy-phrased and Christian-themed bumper sticker, or with a life that is filled with love, compassion, respect and gentleness? I suspect that if the world saw the latter in me, there would be no need for the former.

Most people aren’t stupid. As someone once said, “they don't care about how much we know, until they know how much we care.” If our actions and lifestyles don’t line up with our faith professions, maybe we should be arrested ..... for false advertising.

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