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God’s Clear Intent

Walking out and about in the city of Columbus, Ohio, I found two signs within a few blocks of each other.
These two black-and-white religious signs come from opposite ends of the political spectrum within Christianity, but they share some fundamental similarities. Each raised questions in my mind:

What Part of Thou Shalt Not Don't You Understand God Billboard Sign

King Avenue Columbus Ohio United Methodist Church Inclusiveness as God Intended

Why did God choose to say “What part of ‘Thou Shalt Not…’ didn’t you understan”? Is the “understan” an effort to speak to the people in street-wise vernacular? And what about the missing question mark — does it indicate that God is issuing a declarative without the questioning, uncertain lilt at the end of the sentence? That would make sense, since apparently God is not really a questioning, uncertain sort of Supreme Being. But it does indicate God’s willingness to place vernacular presentation and moral teaching over grammar. Will proper conjugation fail to get Josephine a place among the elect?

Moving on to the sign on the church, I wonder if ALL are really welcome (although clearly ALL CAPS are). Would the Reverend Fred Phelps, toting a “Kill The Fags” sign, be welcome? How about Lucinda, the naked worshipper? Would including these sorts be the kind of “inclusiveness as God intended”? How did the United Methodist Church receive God’s intention in this regard? By telephone, fax or e-mail? And why is it that God prefers to express His intentions in white text on a black background? Is there meaning behind this choice, or is God being arbitrary and capricious?

Of course, these questions assume that the signs really are the expressed intentions of God. The alternative — that there are just sets of people who like to tell others what they think and try to give it legitimacy by giving authorship to a “God” character who is automatically always right — is just too silly to consider. If that were really true, then we’d have to ask, “What part of ‘Thou shalt not take the Lord’s name in vain’ didn’t you understand?”

5 thoughts on “God’s Clear Intent”

  1. Methodist says:

    The first sign appears to have been defaced, apparently an editorial comment by a reader offended by the preemptory and uncivil tone of the message.

    As a Methodist I will attempt to answer the questions:
    -Yes.
    -Yes.
    -Yes, although there are rules for proper behavior–for instance, only the pastors are allowed to panhandle.
    -We vote, silly. After praying, of course. This is America.
    -Those who are interested in a particular issue study the research, discuss in committee, etc. Voting is done in person after the usual democratic public discourse.
    -The background looks dark blue to me, but although there are liturgical colors for certain times of the year, in this case the color is merely a fashion statement.
    -What kind of a God would not expect people to work for social justice?

  2. Jim says:

    Wouldn’t God be able to keep his message from being defaced? You know, super-omnipotent paint bomb repellant or something?

    What kind of a God would not expect people to work for social justice? Why, a God that is not like a United Methodist. Are you saying that God is like a United Methodist? That’s interesting.

  3. Methodist says:

    God can do anything she wants, but supposedly we have free will and can choose good or evil as we decide. Either that or God didn’t like the sign either and guided someone’s hand.(That was a JOKE, so don’t go all free speech on me.)

    It’s hard to say what God is like; that’s why religion is a journey instead of a destination. A United Methodist should actually be like God, rather than the other way around. That’s what communion is about–and scripture is quite clear about the cannabalistic nature of the ritual. We eat God, then do God’s work…if we choose, of course.

    Here’s one for your wife, Jim. What’s the difference between God and a doctor? Answer: God doesn’t think she’s a doctor. (rim shot)

  4. HareTrinity says:

    Ooh, ooh, I know a variation on that!

    What’s the difference between a corrupt politician and a god?

    What’s the difference between the pope and a god?

    Doctors don’t think they’re god, they don’t act like gods, they impliment their knowledge of what could be a god’s design for what society currently believes to be the good of the people.

  5. Michael Levy says:

    Proof Satan Wrote Parts of The Bible by Michael Levy

    Religious Christians, Jews and Muslims live by the word of God in their holy books. They fear hell and damnation and the wrath of God. Their reasoning and logic states that acts such as murder, jealousy, anger and revenge are deadly sins that human beings commit and if they do not repent they will burn in hell.

    There are many passages in the bible and other holy books that clearly state that God is revengeful, jealous, angry, and delivers plagues that kill babies. Theses are all deadly sins and God cannot commit sins or he will burn in hell. Also, it would be considered blaspheme by religious peoples logic to call God a sinner.

    Religious people believe in the devil who they say entices weak human beings into sins such as jealousy, revenge and anger. Consequently, it must have been the devil that put the ideas of Gods evil deeds into the mind of the sages that wrote the bible and other holy books, not God.

    Religious people recognize Satan commits sins and God delivers love and joy. Beyond any doubt there is the proof positive, that by religious peoples belief systems, only Satan could have pinned sin onto God in the form of words that projects God being revengeful and jealous. When the false mask of Satan’s fear is taken away from Gods image, religious humanity is presented with a God that is good. When the sin of fear is removed from Gods word all wars will cease in Gods name.

    Michael Levy, is the author of seven books, a mystical poet, inspirational philosopher and wellness/healthy living speaker. His latest books are “The Joys of Live Alchemy” and “Worry Causes Wrinkles” which help a person to change dark negative situations into beautiful colorful positive actions that bring de-lights on the darkest of days.
    http://www.pointoflife.com/

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