I have previously shared my thoughts about church signs—you know, the ones where you can change the letters and put up (ideally) clever or inspirational messages.
Generally speaking, I’m not a big fan of them because I tend to think they have more influence in a negative sense than a positive one. In other words, people driving by are more likely to be turned off by a hokey saying on a church sign than they are encouraged by a thoughtful one.
Sometimes, though, a church sign goes beyond being hokey or lame and actually promotes bad theology. I saw an example of that this week. A church sign in my neck of the woods is currently displaying the following message:
RELIGION: A MIRAGE
JESUS: A REALITY
This is yet another manifestation of a common theme that you hear these days, where people are desperately trying to divorce Jesus from the church, or separate being religious (which is supposedly a bad thing) from being spiritual (which is supposed to be the ideal). There was even a YouTube video on this topic that went viral a while back (see this article which has the video embedded along with an excellent response).
Here’s the key point though: the whole Religion vs. Jesus thing is a false dichotomy because you don’t have to (and in fact, can’t) choose between them. Jesus himself was very religious (and spiritual!). Furthermore, the church was purchased with his blood (Acts 20.28), so it has great, great value to him.
End of rant.