I love reading bumper stickers. In Boston we call them Bumpha Stickhas. They reveal so much about culture, beliefs, and life in general. I came across one that stated: I get along with God just fine. It’s his fan club that drives me nuts. This is a popular sentiment. Unfortunately, it’s delusional.
I too used to say me and God are fine. I pushed away the religious, or kept my guard up very high when around them. Religion, especially the institution of Christianity is, in many ways, nuts. I write at length about this.
Here’s the real problem. God is relational. He’s relational in a big way. Yes, he absolutely wants to be in a close personal relationship with us. However, this does not, nor was it EVER intended to exclude community.
God thinks big. He doesn’t want just you or me. He wants everybody – the good, the bad, and the ugly! The bumper sticker is delusional because it fails to recognize God’s nature and his desire for a community of people. He wants us. Our whole family. Our town. Our district. Our state. Our nation. Our world. He’s got global aspirations.
God wants us slogging it out together. That means putting up with people that piss us off. It means gently guiding those who have gone astray. It also means loving, laughing, and living with a diverse community in which we can express God’s love, and enjoy the awesome gifts he provides.
Thanks for reading,
~ Ted Olson