There is a rather large forest fire that has been burning for about a month not too far from here...you can see and smell the smoke in the air on most days. I took this picture this morning of a local baptist church (I took out the names of the church and pastor). This church, located on the second busiest road in town, is well-known for having signs like these all the time. My guess is probably about 5000 people see this sign every day during the summer months.
From what I know of this church, this sign is part of what they would call "evangelism"...
1) How many people who don't know God are going to read this sign and maybe think to themselves, "I need to get my life right with God?" 2) How many people who don't know God are going to read this sign and maybe want to come visit this church hoping to hear some "good news"?
Two more questions:
1) How many people who don't know God are going to read this sign and maybe think something bad about God? 2) How many people who don't know God are going to read this sign and maybe think something bad about the people of this church (or any church for that matter)?
We removed the word "baptist" from our church name and sign a few years ago, in large part, because of baptist churches like this one. There's a good reason people think the way they do about baptists, churches, Christians, and ultimately God.
How often do my words and actions communicate, to people who don't know God, the same thing this church sign communicates?
My guess is, people would give church, Christians and God the benefit of the doubt regarding signs like this one IF they didn't already know a real Christian or two who believed that the message on this sign was good evangelism...