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Monday, January 31, 2011

Looking For Perfection? Iook To Jesus

I should mention, right off, one or two things as we begin down this road.  First and foremost, the whole "Church Sign Bashing" will go much better if there are some comments shared by someone other than me.  The fantastic people of r/Christianity always have some insightful things to share in regards to most anything I've ever posted there, and so far, they've not disappointed me with their thoughts on this blog.  I'll try and keep some of their suggestions in mind.  But I'd also love to invite ANYONE to leave a comment below or, if you'd rather to verbally assault me more personally, send me an e-mail.

The second thing that I'd like to have you make note of is that not all of these signs are going to be the worst things ever placed on a Church Sign.  Some of the signs that I write about aren't going to be that bad.  Most of the signs are going to be ones that I see personally (unless you send me some pictures... pleeeeeze) close to where I live or wherever I happen to be travelling.  But all of them are going to have some issues with language and/or theology that imply bad practice or short-sightedness on the part of the respective congregations, and even on the part of the whole of American Christianity.

So, with that being said, I took this picture today as I was driving through Ft. Meade, FL (Actually... I stopped, and then took the picture).  I'd actually taken a few more earlier in the day, but as soon as I saw it, I thought, "This is definitely going to be the worst sign I see all day."  I mean, aside from a shortage of L's, it just stood out to me.

On the surface, the message doesn't seem so bad.  Jesus is perfect, and he's exactly the example of God's grace and love that we all need.  But I found myself almost immediately asking the question, "Who do I know that is looking for perfection?"  I mean, most of the people I know are looking just to get by.  Most of the people I know seem too exasperated from years of trying to impress their parents or their boss or even their friends, and they're just tired of thinking about that unattainable perfection.  And it's not all that helpful to think about some guy who apparently had it all together.  At least it's not all that helpful to me.

This makes me think of the Apostle Paul.  One of the things that I really admire about Paul is that he seemed to put himself in the struggles of the people to whom he was writing.  And in that way, the people to whom he wrote knew him, and knew him to be trustworthy (even if he had to defend himself initially).  So it's no surprise that in 1 Corinthians 11:1, Paul tells the people of Corinth to imitate him.  In fact, Paul doesn't say, "Imitate Christ," because the people of Corinth didn't know Jesus.  They did know Paul.

So, coming back to the fine people at Peaceful Believers' Baptist Church, there are loads of people in your town who are probably looking for peace, rather than perfection.  And with a name like that, you should be able to deliver, right?


  1. Great blog man! So, you asked for's mine. :)

    When I think of Paul, I have the same perception. He was a man with flaws and doubts like ours. Sometimes he's portrayed as the holiest dude who ever lived, next to Jesus. I find that to be one of the most harmful portrayals of him. Paul was human. He was real and not just a part of some larger mythos that looks to validate the Christian worldview.

    Aside from that rant, I know that Jesus isn't looking for the "perfect". He's looking for the "imperfect", so that He can sculpt that person into his image. The problem is that some Christians may look at the sculpture and not like what they see, so they try to trim the edges themselves. We need to knock that crap off.

  2. Incidentally, I just saw a commercial from the U.S. Department of Health and something something...
    It was making the case that you don't have to be perfect to be a perfect parent because, "Kids don't need perfection. They need you."

  3. Here's a pretty awful one. I'm not sure what it was supposed to mean but I know that this specific church frequently puts the names of that week's surmon on their sign.

    And there's alwas the classic "God doesn't believe in atheists, therefore, atheists do not exist." Well, atheists do exist so we must revalidate our original statement. You can see how the logic is self defeating, eh?

  4. Hey, thanks for posting. I'll definitely be tackling the Groping For God post soon.