Bumper Sticker Christianity

Quoting Holy Scripture is a pastime of many in the multitude of heterodox churches. That’s not intended to be demeaning, it is a fact. Often times the quotation is a single verse or two. It usually came from their pastor’s Sunday sermon or from a Bible study and it just “clicked” with them.

We can all fall victim to this action, we get a favorite scripture passage and think EVERYONE needs to agree that this is earth-shaking information. It usually isn’t. To me, it might be but not necessarily to my brother. The slogan that I heard seems moving and powerful but in truth, it’s not.

One thing I was taught in evangelical exegesis was “Scripture interprets Scripture” which sounds good on the surface but in reality it’s falsely applied. Scripture is truly interpreted within the Life and Liturgy of the Church. It is through the whole life of the Church that Holy Scripture is interpreted and applied.

Saint Peter instructed us that: “And so we have the prophetic word confirmed, which you do well to heed as a light that shines in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts; knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation, for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.” II Peter 1:19-21 NKJV

I may read a passage, I may think it applies specifically to me or to my circumstances, really I’m just trying to make it justify my actions. It does not matter what we read and want to hang up on the wall, tens-of-thousands of religious people that call themselves “Christian” have done that and started churches by doing it.

I was raised in Tulsa, Oklahoma and have witnessed this first hand. From Oral Roberts’ “seed faith giving” to Ken Hagin’s “prosper and be in health” or whatever.

In recent history I find that many people that I know live in a kind of Bumper Sticker Christianity and Monday is a particularly annoying day on Facebook. The catch-phrase from the preacher’s sermon on Sunday or one single verse that was preached on suddenly became a monumental truth that they may have learned. They rush out to Facebook so they can impart this wisdom to us unwashed heathens that weren’t in their church to hear it. If we don’t jump right in with an “amen” or if we ask a question or even add to what they say, we will find that they delete our comment and turn off comments from us. What’s the cause of that? Arrogance? A sense of control? “After all, it’s MY page.”

Discussion is how we learn from each other. It’s two-way communication. Preaching is one way communication. There’s no comment block at the bottom of a sermon. Party lines like Facebook are where we interact at small levels. Twitter is where we can only use 140 characters. When we stop interacting the medium we are using causes a loss of interest.

Some of the people that I hold in highest regard do not say anything on Facebook. They have accounts and occasionally they post events or podcasts but they don’t comment. Why? It’s a waste of time. They post their blog articles, their vlog or podcast but they leave the commenting to others.

Sometimes I question the reason some folks post anything. They don’t respect questions, they like the comments that agree with them but truly they don’t want to interact on the subjects that they have posted. They only like their bumper sticker Christianity and feeling good.

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