Tuesday, October 27, 2009

A Sign I Can Stand Under

I was telling the Carolina Gals this weekend that I've had a rant inside this heart of mine, but this very public place might not be where I need to vent.

You see, I have a pet-peeve that can get my blood boiling in about 2 seconds: Pithy church signs.

Now, I don't mind if that church sign has the catchy title of the Pastors sermon or if there is a scripture verse that is short and sweet. I don't even mind short sayings that show the length and breadth and width of God's love for us, as long as that sign doesn't smack of self-righteous elitism that isn't at all God-breathed.

Why does this make me uncomfortable?

There was a time almost 20 years ago that I was wouldn't have entered the door of a church that had a self-righteous church sign out on the street.

That may sound harsh, but its true.

Down the road from our house there is a church that always seems to have caustic sayings on their church sign. The one that really burned me up was this recent saying:  If the church were perfect, YOU couldn't belong.

Oh that Kellie, you may be saying, she's so sensitive.

The truth is, I am a Christian, and I believe words are important.

I'd feel better if that sign read: If the church were perfect:... none of us would be here.... or, we wouldn't need God or... we wouldn't need this sign.

Honestly, anything would have been better than this elitist statement.

God isn't an elitist.

God's love is for everyone.

I wasn't going to write this post. But yesterday, we loaded up in the mini-van and headed for a day trip to Alamance, NC to check out a couple of battle fields and to do some antique shopping.

We were driving on a country road when all of a sudden there was a beautiful church on a hill, surrounded by the fall colors of the changing trees, with a sign on the street that read:

I don't mind telling you I got a little weepy.

I've lived this truth.

This is a sign that everyone can read and identify with. It's simple and its strong.

Best of all, it's the Truth. It's truth in which every single person on this planet can relate. We all have troubles, we all are "torn up"--some through our own doing; some, the doings done to us.

Its a truth that says: we know you are brokenhearted, we know you aren't perfect, we know you've done things that aren't good, we know you've been burned by people you love, we know your confusion, we know your hurt, we know your shame, we know you desire to be loved. We know, cuz we've been there...but most importantly God knows. 

So come on in, and let Him tend to your torn up self.

That's a sign I can stand under.


Anonymous said...

Recently, I was among those at my church (work) to delicately take the sign duty out of a dear man's lap and put it in the lap of someone who would not use the elitist, Christianese sayings...there are websites dedicated to this topic, so do not feel bad!

Amber said...

Oh, Kellie.

Thank you so much for writing this post, because church signs have been known to cause me to fly off the handle once or a thousand times.

I'm like you...I adore the signs that just stop me dead in my tracks and remind me of the power and glory of our Father.

You aren't alone....
Again..thanks for posting this.

Gretchen said...

Lurve this.

Lurve you.

K2 said...

Great post, Kellie. Love the country church sign, how true!

Amy said...

Well said! I'm reminded of the full-sized billboard we see on the way to the beach with the large "hand of God" pointing down. I don't even remember what it says, but the visual is so off-putting, in my opinion.

Love the "torn up self" saying! Glad you shared this!

mer@lifeat7000feet said...

Amen, Kellie. Amen.

Tiffani said...

Gracious, girl...

You struck a chord in me. Kindred thoughts on the subject but moreso kindred in our hearts...

Love you.

Gretchen said...

We have a cute little country church that I pass every time I leave my neighborhood. It has the sweetest weekly sayings. Beautiful reminders that have sparked a good conversation between the Lord and myself many times over.

I have been convicted to contact that church and tell them thank you. Thank them for never being self-righteous, just gracefully right.

Lori said...

Amen, sister!

Shell in your Pocket said...

What a beautiful blog~
sandy toe

Carpool Queen said...

Ditto Gretchen and Meredith.

Shannon said...

Amen, sister! I needed the reminder today :-)

meh said...

Me too!

Anonymous said...

I'm right with you. I can not stand those marques. They drive me crazy! One near us recently wrote the 10 Commandments in text slang. It's such a turn-off.

But when they get it right... well, that's cause for praising God! :)

Brandy said...

We dont have too many of those signs where I live. But the attitude can still prevail. God help us not have that attitude inside us, much less on a sign. I love the picture you painted of the church at the end. I want to come see it in person.

Cathy said...


I'm SOOOO behind on my blog reading but I'm SOOOO glad I found THIS post of yours!

One I can stand under as well...