Friday, June 08, 2007,4:12 PM
Church Signs Again - It's all About Me
So our local crummy church sign church finally got around to changing their sign (since I last posted about them). Here's the newest display (recreated of course) -

Unlike the last sign, this one at least makes sense, but it is no less problematic. I've heard this phrase before. Actually, its usually said as "the Bible is God's personal love letter to you," but I guess they must have run out of room on the sign. Because I am more familiar with this phrase, my first thought as I drove past the new sign was that this one was at least harmless. Then I started to think about it.

How in the world is the Bible God's personal letter to me? When did I become the center of the universe and God's revelation?! Okay, so I understand that the probable intent of the sign is to make people feel all warm and fuzzy that God cares about them personally. And as much as I cringe at religion based on that which makes one feel good emotionally, I too believe that God does care for each of us. But to twist that idea into an individualistic philosophy that pretty much throws out the entire historic and cultural context of scripture is messed up. People start to read the passages as if they were written to them personally and not the church as a whole. (I'm assuming they will only actually take the time to read the epistles so I'm not too worried that they will think that God's instructions to Hosea were a personal note intended for them...). The church then becomes focused on helping people continue feel like they are the center of God's attention (and God help that church if that person doesn't feel like they are getting the attention they deserve).

Sorry, but I can't do that. The Bible is NOT God's personal letter to me. The Gospel is not about ME. The church is not about ME. So __________ Baptist Church you once again win the crummy Church sign award. Congratulations!


posted by Julie at 4:12 PM ¤ Permalink ¤


  • At 6/09/2007 12:54:00 AM, Blogger paul

    yes, I agree.

    Of course we could read it another way...

    personal - it is the revelation of a tri-une communal God who chose to reveal themselves to people in history - the story of God's search for a people who will bear his name and image...

    letter - it is written down, it contains stories of how God interacts and reveals, it invites us..

    to you - it reveals to us that God loves us as individuals, seeks us as individials, but more than than that calls us to be part of his body, his people - an open universal invitation...

    maybe to us would have been better :)

    then again maybe it is just a individualistic rallying cry...

  • At 6/13/2007 01:54:00 PM, Blogger michael5000


    I'm on an intensive, multi-year Bible reading project. True, I'm not even quite out of Exodus yet, but I'd have to say that by the criteria of a personal letter, the Bible is definitely falling short so far.

    If it was a personal letter, for instance, I'd be thinking "dude, you've talked a LOT about YOUR big projects and who YOU got mad at at work, and I've heard an AWFUL lot about what your friends have been up to -- and I'm sure Abraham, Joseph, Moses, and all of them are great guys -- but you haven't asked a single question about what I'M up to! You haven't mentioned our many mutual friends! And you've been very oblique about your future plans, when we might hang out, etc.

    "Also, this is an awfully LONG for a personal letter."


    I've been thinking too hard about church signboards for most of my life; it's nice to find out that other people have the same habit/hobby/compulsion.

    : )

  • At 6/19/2007 12:03:00 AM, Anonymous Holy Guy

    Guess we owe him a letter in return?

    You can make more funny church sign messages to pics @

  • At 6/28/2007 06:24:00 PM, Anonymous Emergent NO

    I think there is absolutely nothing wrong with the sign. The Bible, God's absolute Truth, is His letter to us. If we receive it or not, is a personal choice. Jesus said: You are my friends if you do what I say. Not the relevant, subjective, objective, culturally accepted and adapted "truth" your college professor teaches. Come on! There is absolutely nothing wrong with the Baptist sign...

  • At 6/28/2007 07:17:00 PM, Blogger Julie

    Oh dear another one of these "college is the root of all evil" fanatics. Would you guys stop creating strawmen and displaying your utter lack of understanding of the entire conversation (which is obvious in your kneejerk reaction to my post based on your misunderstanding thereof). If you take the time to think through what I am saying, then perhaps I'll take the time to actually respond.