Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Jesus Doesn't Need PR.

There's a church in town touting a banner that reads as follows:

"We've been called non-traditional... progressive... even radical... Funny, that's what they said about Jesus."

I'd like to point out 3 things.

1. Those things have been said about Jesus, but as the Lord Himself pointed out, it doesn't matter who or what others say He is. It matters who HE says he is. Because, let's be honest - He was also called blasphemer, traitor, and home-wrecker. I don't know if we want those adjectives affixed to the side of our buildings. Word on the street can't be sufficient criteria for our resume. It's unreliable.

2. The aim of the banner is two-fold: a.) to distance themselves from the stereotype of conservative churches in the area, and b.) to suggest their superiority over such churches by claiming that their antithesis to conservatism is what's really Christ-like. This is supposed to be a blow to conservatives, who seriously contemplate their WWJD bracelets and look at liberals as those to be pitied. Listen, if traditional churches are teaching heresy, come out and say it. Don't suggest. Doctrine is serious business; not an ad-campaign.

3. The ad is relatively clever, in a low-brow political kind of way. But the problem is, I've seen the same kind of thing on conservative church grounds. There are entire websites devoted to posting pictures of church signs ("If you think it's hot here..."). The clergyman feels pressure to keep the the ad space fresh and appealing, so he comes up with rhymes and puns to fill the space and he goes back to his study secretly proud of himself. And the people he's "trying to reach" stop in front of the church, take a snapshot, mockingly post it on the web, and never dream of actually attending the church because advertising doesn't save lives.

Let's let our lifestyle be the advertisement. If they want to know where your church meets after seeing that, then you can be pretty sure you're representing Jesus for who He really is, and not just what's been rumored.