They both represent and are a product of something that our society has come to hinge on. Something that makes our society the wreck that it is. Impersonality. Though on one side, they represent a lowering of a sacred text and the other a heightening of lethal range both represent the loss of a relationship between us. Whether good or bad, relationship is being lost in our society and I see it every day with the gun murders and war and in the biblical bumper stickers. Strange comparison I’m sure, that’s just me I suppose.
In yesteryear, we didn’t deny that not every human being is built and equipped for war. We had warrior class of individual. Those who specialized in the defense of the people. We wouldn’t have seen the present commercial for the Guard about the other current occupations of the Samurai or the Spartans say. Their occupations were, as in the movie 300, soldier. That’s what they did; that’s who they were. War was a dirty business, still is in my opinion. But before we had guns one had to get right up face to face with an enemy and battle them as equals. You could see their eyes and have a very active part of watching them die. Shooting a gun took the personal relationship aspect out of the equation; in short it’s quite passive. The range of a gun allows a person to be out of eye contact range with a foe-man. You aren’t forced to recognize a person’s full humanity when you keep at gun range. That’s why point blank range is still considered a more vicious kill than a shot from far away. Every kill used to have to be at point bank range and therefore required a different type of killer.
A bible bumper sticker takes the personal relationship out of sharing Jesus with people. It’s one hundred percent passive. It takes no study to put a sticker on your car. You don’t have to put the effort into a conversation. You aren’t faced with getting to know someone and their personal situation. You aren’t forced to lean how the gospel affects different people different ways and face for faith for a necessary change. You get to sit in your high tower, or now thanks to Duck Dynasty obsession, your lifted truck and throw out verses with no context pretending it’s a witness. Is that what christ’s example has taught us? To remove the personal relationship from the gospel? To take a step back and let God’s Word speak for itself? I don’t think so. Christ was the advent of the personal relationship. Christ was the one clarifying when God’s Word seemed unbearably cold.
Everything suffers when we do it this way. Christians have no idea how to discuss their faith with people. They don’t know how certain situations would affect their faith or if they should. They don’t have biblical context for situations but can definitely give you a cute catch phrase. And Christ is gone. Christ’s example dies with every bumper sticker bought. There goes the way He met people where they were and personalized the Gospel for them. There goes flexibility and the drive to study when we don’t know how a situation would be handled. There goes the relationship. There goes that scary, terrifying, relationship-showing moment when we make ourselves vulnerable to another human being who we can see is very like ourselves. And just like with guns, if we had to face that moment, it would change the way we have a relationship with the Other.