Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Christian Inspirational Posters

I don't get Christian inspirational posters.

I never feel inspired.

We take verses and slap bright colors on them. We clothe words from a repentant serial murderer (Paul) in pastels and put them with pictures of fat babies with wings peeing into fountains.

We strip the grittiness out of Christianity and replace it with bunny rabbits, rainbows, sunshine, flowers and fluffy kittens.

Brooke loves all these things, I helped her color a big picture containing several of them the other day. She's 4.

To see only the "fluffy kittens and pretty flowers of God" dumbs down the message and robs the awe and wonder.

We see passages like "Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer" juxtaposed with sunflowers and call it a day.

Ignoring entirely who these words were penned for. Christians in Rome. Christians who were deep in affliction and incredibly destitute in hope...and what faith did they have left to put into prayer anyway?

Men, women and children who were fed to big cats--one time fluffy kittens--in front of sell out crowds that would embarrass the ticket sales of a U2 tour. People who were tied to poles (or rather eviscerated by) and lit on fire to provide light for the orgy dinner parties of Emperor Nero.

In Rome, they were forced to worship in tombs. Tunnels in the ground lined with skulls where they administered word and sacrament.

This. Still. Happens.

What kind of inspiration is a God of fluffy white clouds, carefree sheep and sunflowers to a Christian in Sudan that has seen every member of their congregation hacked to bits by machetes?

Should we send our images of bloated flying babies to China? Perhaps the power of the God who made the 'Precious Moments' empire can rescue their family (whatever is left of them) from imprisonment in forced labor camps.

Or maybe it'll be the cute cat picture with a caption of "I can do all things through him who gives me strength" that provides that breakthrough needed in Indonesia...Iran...Korea...or tons of other countries around the world.

For that matter, how does it help us in our luxury and comfort?

What does it do for the person who was told they are unloved by God because they cheated on their spouse? How does it help to heal those who can't see past intolerance and hate? What good does it do to build ourselves a fluffy happy castle and close off the pain and hurt that is outside--as if by allowing it in it would infect God with its presence?

As if Jesus doesn't know it's happening out there? That he'd be surprised the world was something other than lolly-pops, VBS classes, children's Bibles and nativity scenes.

The trite is more comfortable, we like angels we can hug.

Forget the pillar of fire, or a completely destroyed body of Jesus on a cross triumphing over every imaginable evil that humanity could ever come up with!

It seems to us a teddy bear is a more fitting icon of holiness.