BY Tim - Apr 4, 2012
As I was walking to the shops the other day, I was struck by two thoughts. One, my suburb has an absolute shitload of churches. And two, some collective nouns are actually quite sensible.
The trigger for each was a billboard outside the local Presbyterian church, which I happened to be walking past at the time. You’ve probably seen the same billboards in your own suburb – the organisation that supplies them, Outreach Media, provides them to churches all over Australia, with their aim being to
Promote the Christian Gospel through various media channels and to assist churches and Christian groups to raise the profile of the Christian message.
And, apparently, the best way to achieve this is to put up crap like this:
What strikes me most about the above poster, which appeared several months ago, is not the lame attempt to link Jesus to a currently popular social phenomenon, but the lack of faith in their own product. There are no appeals to any of the central, defining tenets of Christianity; no grand, dignified message of salvation. Just a pathetic attempt at cleverness that essentially translates to “Jesus is swell”.
But what is the defining tenet of Christianity? Will this month’s billboard be more informative? Well, no:
Wow… Jesus really is swell.
But hang on… there’s a website! Perhaps it will shed some light on what Christianity is all about.
I know that I am not worthy to be accepted by you.
I don’t deserve your gift of eternal life.
I am guilty of rebelling against you and ignoring you.
I need forgiveness.
Thank you for sending your son to die for me that I may be forgiven.
Thank you that he rose from the dead to give new life.
And there you have it. What was at first a superficially innocuous attestation of Jesus’ street cred has now been revealed as something far less appealing. Yes, folks, the central message of Christianity is simply this:
Dear god… I really, really, really suck. Sorry about your son.
Christianity doesn’t ask you to share your life. It demands you give it away. Or else. And there’s only one thing to say to a demand like that.