During a church visit, a lady mentioned our church yard signs – I wrote about them three years ago. They are similar in size to realtor signs and many of our members have one in their front yard. I know of only one person who requested one, but is not a member, so when you see one, you know the source.
The lady said the signs are not good PR for our church.She said the verses were negative. I regret that’s a problem for her, for two reasons:
First – the signs contain scripture. Yes, it’s only a verse – and not a long verse at that. But the chapter and verse are cited and it’s simple to look up the verse and see it in context.
Second – the signs have two sides and the design has a verse of warning on one side and the other side in a verse of encouragement. Both sources are cited and available for comment.
I would hope they would be a source for questions and comments, an opportunity to expand viewpoints and learn from each other.
It is not any Christian’s responsibility to make the message acceptable – only to make it available. That’s what Pastor taught us Wednesday night during our study of Jude verses 3-4:
Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints. For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ. (Jude 1:3-4 KJV)
Another reference he used was:
But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of. (2 Peter 2:1-2 KJV)
That led me to two specific thoughts. The first has to do with “pernicious”:
having a harmful effect, especially in a gradual or subtle way.
synonyms: harmful, damaging, destructive, injurious, hurtful, detrimental, deleterious, dangerous, adverse, inimical, unhealthy, unfavorable, bad, evil, baleful, wicked, malign, malevolent, malignant, noxious, poisonous, corrupting; maleficent
I believe the translators found an excellent word for the Greek ἀπώλεια - destruction, causing someone (something) to be completely severed – cut off (entirely) from what could or should have been.
My other thought came from a genealogical article expanding on an example to encourage “trust but verify,” even when using a source with impeccable credentials. For me – that includes the Bible. I do trust it, even though the original writings are lost and there are multiple translations. It is the translations I verify and consider the source.
The 66 books included in the King James Version were listed as scripture by the fourth century. The process was open and there are many websites that give that history and discussion. I agree with the one that states:
. . . we are moved simply to trust in his providence as he led his people through the years and gave us the most honored and powerful and comforting volume in the history of humanity, the book known as the Bible.
Let’s continue studying it, even what appears to be negative.