Tirade Against Christian Bumper-Stickers

The Ends vs. the Means

Why do so many of us feel compelled to put religious bumper stickers on our cars?  Is our motivation to bring people closer to God?  Or is it to make them angry?  I wonder, because if bringing people closer to God is the goal, these stick-on slogans may be having the opposite effect.

I don’t know of any numbers.  I haven’t conducted any sociological surveys.  But every time I see “Got Jesus?  It’s hell without him,” or “Have you read my #1 best seller? There’ll be a test.  — God ,” I think: Would Christians say these things to someone’s face?  I hope not.  So why do they slap these messages on their cars, where they can invade other drivers’ lives?  Is that really “speaking the truth in love”?

Even though “His pain, our gain” is less offensive, it is so cheesy that the cheese may impair whatever epiphany it was supposed to bring.

And have you thought about how your driving might not be consistent with the Christ-like demeanor your bumper-stickers imply that you have?  I cuss and pray to God every time a mini-van with a Jesus-fish cuts me off.

Bumper-stickers in religion are like bumper-stickers in politics.  For the most part, they are not messages of love, but are propaganda.  They get people fired-up who already agree with you, but they put up a barrier between you and the people you think you are reaching.  They’re not a bad idea in theory, but they end up being a bad idea in practice.

Check out some other awesomely bad examples.

I praise God that He is bigger, more powerful, and more loving than us, even in our feeble attempts at serving Him.


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8 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. What a great post. I agree whole-heartedly. I must say however that the same can go with the fish and darwin fish emblems that people put on their cars. I don’t care if it’s a faith or anti-faith message, if it’s not actually funny, nobody cares. Instead, you’re just stuck with a sticker that’s hard to get off the car when it’s time to sell it.

  2. Any message reduced to bumper sticker length is by definition a truism at best, a slogan at worst. And more than likely is doing more harm to your cause than help. Nice post.

  3. Thank you, both! The one funny thing that I’ve seen with the fish: my buddy Jason chopped the feet off of a Darwin fish and stuck them onto a Jesus fish. Now that’s funny and food for thought, even if you disagree with the message!

  4. great post. I think the root may be that people don’t want to spread Jesus in the world, so they put it on their bumper’s and feel better about themselves

  5. So true! I want to do my duty, but loving people and listening is so much more work than just slapping on a sticker.

  6. Yes, these bumper stickers hit a raw nerve with me, too. I saw one awhile back that said, “Live your life so the preacher won’t have to lie at your funeral” and thought, “That is just wrong on so many levels I don’t know where to start!” Then there was the “anti” sticker that said, “Instead of being born again why don’t you just GROW UP” … Ouch!

    These “Christian” messages bother me for many of the same reasons they bug you: (1) bad theology, (2) bad substitute for actually loving each other, which I fail at all the time anyway but why would I highlight that fact by putting an asinine sticker on the back of my car, (3) misplaced feeling of the need to “defend” God by purporting to speak for Him (I especially hate those b/w bumper stickers and billboards “signed” by “God.”)

    Anyway, in short, I agree. Cheers!

  7. It almost wants me to make one of my own: “God hates bumper-stickers,” but that’s casting God in my own image. He might be more understanding?

  8. Good blogpost, amazing looking blog, added it to my favs.

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