What your car says about community

Generally speaking, I'm against bumper stickers. And I think a limit should be set as to how many you can have on your car. Like, if you can no longer see the bumper of your car, that's too many.

Now I have been known to laugh out loud at a bumper sticker before, but for the most part I’m tired of seeing Calvin peeing on a truck brand (or kneeling at a cross) or a reference to your smart kid and his or her school (or how your kid beat up that kid). And occasionally, one really makes me mad; such is the case as I traveled home two days ago.

Picture it. You’re driving along, minding your own business, toddler in the back chattering happily. A nice tan Cadillac, with a middle-aged gentleman approaches on the left side and begins to pass you. Then his bumper practically screams in your face: "Abortion doesn't make you UNpregnant. It makes you the mother of a dead baby." (and in red!)

Seriously? Did the vehicle owner look at that bumper sticker in the bumper sticker store and think, “Man, thank goodness I found a sticker that so eloquently expresses my very thoughts!”? I’ll try to give the benefit of the doubt - that it’s just misguided passion for an important issue. But Mr. Tan Cadillac man, please scrape that sticker off!

When we decide to prominently display our opinion on our shirts or blogs or bumpers, we need to remember to speak the truth with grace and love. Sometimes we get so caught up in speaking our mind, we undermine the very point we’re trying to make. In the example above, the car owner is obviously trying to persuade women to not get abortions, but do you think that’s an effective way to do it? Not really. Most likely, it would make a woman considering abortion angry or frustrated. And does a woman who has received an abortion experience God’s grace and love through those words? Does heaping on more shame and judgment draw her to Christ?

If we want to build community (and God’s kingdom), we need to be careful with our words, always seasoning them with an extra measure of grace and love.


Donetta said...

(shouts and cheers rising up)
Right On!

Llama Momma said...

That bumper sticker sounds awful and misguided. UGH!

Is it still raining?

spaghettipie said...

D - Thanks for stopping by!

LM - I was pretty offended, to say the least, and if we talked, I'm pretty sure the driver and I would be on the same side of the issue. :( Still raining. Forecast doesn't even call for "partly cloudy" until next week!

Donetta said...

I have three bumper stickers
1)Teacher changing the world one life at a time
2)What would Charles Ingles do?
(this is in hope to heal all those who have been turned off to good character via us rude Christians)
3)Well behaved women rarely make History.

I find humor in them and I often am given favor in traffic as a teacher, this also alerts other drivers that I have kids in the car.
Us oldies know who Ingles stood for and are reminded to do what is right.
Doing what is right is more important than the mask perfect behavior offers.

Craver Vii said...

I guess I have a different take on this. I don't like bumper stickers either, but I just can't wrap my mind around the thought of our supposed great civilization snuffing out millions of innocent lives.

Different people react to different things. When I see that kind of bumper sticker, I pray that someone straddling on the fence will come to the realization that we are murdering babies, and that is an awful thing... worse than edgy bumper stickers.

I wouldn't put that kind of message on my own car though. Not just because I don't use bumper stickers, but because I'd be concerned about adding injury to the guilt of someone who has been involved in an abortion and struggles with feelings of remorse. I would want to point them to the cross, the forgiveness of Christ for all who are His, and the covering of the sinner with the righteousness of Jesus Himself.

If the Son has set you free, you are free indeed.

spaghettipie said...

D - Those all sound like very nice messages.

To all, I don't mean to put down people who choose to put bumper stickers on their cars. I just don't care for them. I do recognize that some are witty or offer encouraging, thoughtful messages.

C - I don't have a problem with trying to convey the pro-life message, but my concern is over the wording of this specific sticker. I can appreciate the intent behind it; I just think it's a poor choice of how to convey it.

michelle said...

one of my personal favorite bad christian bumper stickers is
"Warning, this car will be unmanned in case of rapture!"

another tempting t-shirt i saw in a christian bookstore..
"modest is the hottest"

another bad one.....
friends don't let friends go to hell

if only they had meant to be funny!