bumper stickers *revised*
The “Got Milk?” ad people are ingenious! I did a Google search on the campaign and the people that they’ve gotten to endorse the message is out of control! Even Batman is in the loop. They now have a website where you can order hats, bibs, posters and of course…bumper stickers.
Just like you, I see all kinds of bumper stickers. Most of them are political. Some are hilarious and every now and then you’ll get one that is just down-right inappropriate. I cracked up a couple days ago by a sticker I saw on an old busted / rusted pick-up truck. The driver was probably in his late 70s and he had four dogs in the back of the truck checking out traffic. The sticker read: “MY BORDER COLLIE IS SMARTER THAN YOUR HONOR STUDENT”. I could not contain the laughter! People in Colorado are crazy about their dogs. Geez!
In all honesty, I abhor religious bumper stickers! I’ve never seen one I like. Even the displayed “ichthus” just rubs me the wrong way. I don’t have the energy to explain to you why this kind of thing wears me out, but recently I had to run an errand a couple miles from the house. I pulled up behind a vehicle that had this particular bumper-sticker proudly displayed on it’s back window: “GOT JESUS?” *sigh* It’s all too common in the town where I now live, where I came from…just about everywhere.
Now, I will defend the right of that driver to display whatever they choose on their car, but I have a problem with the entire notion! I had to stuff down all kinds of preconceived thoughts and judgements. Was this a weak and ineffective (in my estimation) attempt to evangelize the masses and send a message? Why? Why send this message this way? Why not LIVE the message, BE the message (Acts 1:8)? I do not remember reading anything in scripture about Jesus OR his disciples carrying around a sign that said “Please receive ME, accept ME, take ME! GOT ME?” He did “say” these kinds of things…sorta, but it was always with personal delivery, backed up by flesh, blood and Spirit. I can not imagine anyone reading that bumper sticker and then having an internal discussion that leads to their ultimate decision to receive Jesus! More disturbing I think, it just fuels lost people to dig in just an 1/8th of an inch deeper in the scoff and mockery of something that can not be explained without tangible love. Maybe the goofy thing works (it just seems too shallow, too thin, too rigid, too religious…too frikk’n easy), but I have doubts about that.
The guys at NOOMA did a video call “Bullhorn” that takes issue with the same concern. If you’re hung in religious performance and you don’t have “eyes to see”, it’s hard to imagine the ineffectiveness of your “well meaning” but sterile zealotry. It is the normal and bored expression of dead religion…period! There is nothing “alive” in it. Much like Flick with his tongue iced to a flagpole, we get “stuck, stuck, STUCK!” by our traditions, religious notions and possible bad medicine from the pulpits we grew up around. I know that there were times that I’ve been guilty of promoting this dead religious fluff! Please forgive me!
Ok, some of you know me well enough to know that I NOW creep-out at this kind of stuff, but that is not my real point. The bottom line here is that I think that the goofy bumper sticker is actually poising the wrong question! I think the better question or the real question is this: “DOES JESUS GOT YOU?” Yeah, my old High School English teacher just threw up in her mouth a little bit and maybe that is why I’m not in the advertising business, but it still is a good question that requires reflective inventory. Too many people “got” Jesus, but I’m not too sure that Jesus or the Holy Spirit has all of us. Maybe “some” of us, but “all” of us? Does HE “have” my heart, my life, my family, my marriage, my finances, my hopes, my future, my dreams, my appetites, my fears, my body, my circumstances, my relationships, my kids, my work, my service, my worship, my friendships, me? Does He “got” those things from us? It’s the better question. One that requires me to actually process with integrity and relentless honesty what the real stuff is in my life. That’s the advertisement that I think HE approves of and endorses! And PLEASE…don’t “Honk if you love Jesus!” A smile, a hug, a touch works a lot better. Really it does!