You Give God a Bad Name

Sorry for the Bon Jovi rip-off but I couldn’t resist.

Last night I was watching the season finale of Kathy Griffin’s My Life on the D List.  Now I know I know, she is a banned name in Christian households.  Her Emmy acceptance speech where she proclaimed that her win had nothing to do with Jesus that “Jesus can s**k it” made her a target for everyone who ever stepped foot in a church. But I have to tell you, I have been a long time fan of Kathy’s celebrity gossip brand of comedy (you can hate me for it, but she is funny when she wants to be).

So, on the season finale, Kathy gets a star on the Walk of Fame – not in Hollywood but in Palm Springs.  And when she arrives for the ceremony, they show a protester who showed up.  His sign said Jesus Saves.  And then the man opened his mouth and said: “The only thing you’ll get from God Kathy, is a ticket straight to hell.”

Really?  Really THAT is how you think that God would want to be represented?  THAT is how you think you can get through to people?  This is not evangalism, this is terrorism…intimidation…and a misrepresentation of the God I know.   The loving, kind, Father of my prayers…the strong hand when I have lost my way…and the open arms when I come back to him.

Today I came upon the blog of a friend from high school that I had never read.  We met almost 20 years ago and his life is significantly different than mine in many ways.  Ironically, he was a Christian who has left the church, and I shunned the church when I was younger but have come back as an adult.  He has written a couple of posts about the use of religious expressions on license plates and how much it bothers him.  Seeing things like BLESHIM or INHIZIZ (In His Eyes), makes him see red.   To him they are empty platitudes that don’t really mean anything and bombard him when he is driving in the safety of his car.  He has to see them and can’t escape them.

Personally, I would rather see these messages than the guy with the Jesus Saves poster.   They may be empty platitudes (can you think of any place where you feel less in God’s presence than in traffic?).  They may be annoyingly hard to read (INHIZIZ????really?).  But, at least they are speaking of my devotion to my God and not trying to put words in God’s mouth.  And that is what really bothers me about the Jesus Saves Poster Man.  He has lost the message.  He has forgotten that we are all sinners.  And he is trying to speak for my God by speaking out against others.

In a world where the message of God gets lost in the day to day busyness we all fall into, where the simple humanity of kindness is lost, where we get so involved working for God that we forget who He really is, remember to hold your tongue until God has put the right words there.  Somehow, I don’t think the Jesus Saves guy did that.  He was too busy getting to be the center of attention.

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