Saturday, February 9, 2008

"I Died for you"-Jesus

I was on the road home one day this week from a convention a few hours away. I usually pay very little attention to the road, and virtually ignore anything off to the side of the road. So it could have been no more than a strange coincidence that I happened to glance up and to the side in time to see a billboard go flying by that said: "I died for you. -Jesus".

My first thought was positive; nice of Him to remind us every once in a while. But it made me think about some billboards that were popular a few years ago. There was one that said, "You think it's hot down there? -God", and one that said something like, "That 'love thy neighbor' thing...I meant that. -God", and "Let's meet at My house Sunday before the game. -God", and "What part of 'thou shalt not' didn't you understand? -God".

All cheeky and memorable; I recall chuckling every time I saw one. Dad loved them.

But then I saw this one, and as I drove on I thought about it a bit, and I think that maybe they're not quite as funny as I thought they were.

First, what kind of God uses billboards to commuicate with His children? The only time that I recall Him ever using anything remotely similar was when he wrote, with his finger, on the wall in the Babylonian king's court. Biblically, He's always used more impactful methods of communicating. Like talking donkeys and burning bushes; and dreams and visions, and visitations by angels.

Imagine Him placing a massive billboard right outside the door of that big pyramid, that said: "Let My people go! -God". Or, Saul, on the road to Damascus, stopping to grab a drink of water, and seeing a sign that said: "Saul; why are you persecuting Me? (and by the way, your new name's Paul). -God". They just don't have the same impact, do they? In fact, for all the humor you might find in them, they're devoid of any real meaning. They're no more than a talking point.

But then, perhaps that's just they're not really "God" talking; it's we humans putting words into God's mouth. That's what it must be, because it just doesn't seem quite right that God would say something like, "You think it's hot down there?". Or to constantly remind us of the fact that he died for us? It just doesn't seem to be the way he works.

He's not that way. He's a loving father, one who'd gladly give His life to save ours, but not one to continously remind us of that fact, as if it's something to lord over us humans. What He did, He did out of love. And that billboard just seems to cheapen that a bit.

No; He's always been the kind to pull His children close when they feel aimless or like a failure, and to speak softly to them in love; NOT to throw up signs alluding to the depths of His love (and silently riduculing all those who have NOT placed their life in hands).

I only hope those signs aren't all you're depending on for consistent communication with God.


Anonymous said...

What if thats how God talks to me. He kant jus tell me face to face.
So i depend on those Billboards to tell me what he want me to do.

Shane Eccles said...

Wow PJ you are taking this Rev. Paul Green Jr. stuff seriously! That is like two or three posts in a row as if you were interperting tongues.

Mrs. Willman said...

God used two billboards for the children of Israel when they left Egypt, they were small but impactful. They were two stones God wrote with His finger for Moses to give to the Children of Israel. It was the Ten Commandements. God can use anything we wants to talk to His children. He uses man for one, just as Moses and the Prophets to the Apostles and disciples to Pastors.
I think the billboard could have a positive impact but it should not be the only thing to motivate one to think about God. Reading the bible or hearing the preaching I think are more impactful than just a wood sign. God is very creative, but simple and complex at the same time. So, God is God and He can use whatever He needs to talk to someone.
John W.

PJ said...

A few things...

First: I don't liken the ten commandments to a billboard. The ten commandments were a memorialization of "rules" that God established for His people. They weren't some "cheeky" message that he wanted to send to them.

Second: Do you honestly think these billboards were created under divine inspiration? That is, do you REALLY think this is God talking to us? Or is it some group using God as a selling tool? Or maybe even some people putting words in God's mouth?

He CAN use whatever He needs-I agree. But do you REALLY think he's using that billboard to talk to us?

PJ said...

And Shane, my son:

Yes, I AM taking the ministry seriously!

...send your offerings to...

K! Joking!

Sorry if I offended with two "God" posts in a row!


I try to put some really "edifying" food out for you, and what do you do?

Complain, complain...

Tsk, Tsk...

Anonymous said...

I, for one, have enjoyed your bits of "edifying" food. And, I agree with you that these billboards are probably more of an advertising medium, then any actual word from God. Although, you're right, God could if he wanted to...But doubt it…
It is evident to me though, that donkey's are still speaking... I mean, Rev. PJ?? LOL

Just kidding... But, I couldn't resist!

Love your blog!

Mrs. Willman said...

Well, some people think the bible is not divinely inspired. I do think people do use billboards to sell God and Christainity. Look what people are doing to sell Christanity now. Music, tv, movies, books. All sorts of things. Being Christian is hip for some. But I still think God, if He wanted, use a billboard. But I like the fact He uses much more, example, the rainbow to show His promise that he won't destroy the earth with a flood.

Mrs. Willman said...

Something to think about, what's the difference between a blog and a billboard? Are they similar or are they totally different?

Anonymous said...

Well in the Bible God talks in mysterious ways. And I think this is how he is trying to get to you.Well give those billboards a chances. Wait and see what Gods plans are for you before you judge them billboards.

Anonymous said...

So.. does everyone believe Fairy Tales still?
Jesus Christ is copy of Horus the Egyptian Sun God (1500 years BC), same as Mithra and many other Sun Gods. Look it up.
The cross is the cross of the Zodiac, and Jesus is represented by the Age of Pisces.
Religion is a tool of control. All that talk of "mysterious ways" is a cover up for "we can't prove anything."
Man made those Billboards. Wake up!
The bible was written 200+ years after the supposed sun god's death.

The bible may have some good messages, as do many other books written by man, but also contains messages of violance, war, hate, and intolerance.
Please read more about this "religion" which pretty much has the same values as Islam and Judaism.
The world was not created in 6 days. Ever heard of Neanderthals, Dinosaur fossils, and Ice Planets?

What makes this god better than that god.
Just be a good person and stop lying to yourself. might help you.

Yasmine said...

Hey! I just wrote an entry about that same billboard. Where'd you see it?

It really bugs me too. I don't like the idea of people putting words into Jesus' mouth. Plus, a constant reminder that He died for us kind of makes Jesus sound like a jerk, which is even more wrong.