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Some of the most wasted space in America is found on church signs! Rare is the sighting of a church sign that broadcasts scripture verses. You may find the occasional John 3:16, which is great, however, it may as well be the only one in the Bible because it’s usually the only one believers know or share with the world! This lack of using good, visible space to present Scripture is astounding to me given the fact that only the Word is alive, active, and able to lead to salvation! (Heb 4:12, 2 Tim 3:15)
More often, church signs boast mushy, feel-good, cliché sayings, which makes our faith appear no different than the theology found on Oprah and Dr. Phil! Not to mention that quaint, catchy sayings are not helpful when life crumbles or to assist in producing healthy, mature growth!
Even more frightening is finding a church sign that actually promotes a dangerous, erring theology of salvation like the one I encountered recently. The church sign read, “For the road to heaven, turn right and straight ahead.” I almost slammed on the brakes! I gasped! I pulled over and took a picture because I was sure no one would believe that a Protestant, evangelical, conservative church right in the middle of the Bible belt would dare say anything of the kind!
Let me be fair. I know this congregation and pastor both mean well. In being charitable towards them, I believe in these words they are affirming the necessity of repentance. They in no way are being intentionally misleading. In fact, I believe they have the very best intentions for everyone who will read their sign.
However, what is an unchurched sinner supposed to conclude from this message? More than likely, he will conclude that he will be “ok” with God if he will simply clean up his act “turn right” and live a decent, morally good life (straight ahead). He is going to conclude that he can get to heaven by “being good.” If he dies in that belief, he will have been eternally, tragically misled!
Maybe a better message on a church sign would read: For the road to heaven, embrace Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior! Love Him and Follow Him! (Jn 14:6)
Or even better - just quote John 14:6! And then quote others like it! Keep putting worthwhile, trustworthy messages on your church sign if you have one. Use the Bible!