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And Even More Dumb Quotes and Posters

Dec 21, 2015

As part of my ongoing series on dumb sayings and posters, I offer a few more for your enjoyment and edification. Given that the social media supplies us with a non-stop supply of such things, I have a bottomless well from which to draw these prime examples of goofy thinking, bumper sticker clichés, dodgy Christian sayings, and just plain unhelpful posters and posts.

A book could easily be filled with all these dopey sayings and senseless quotations. Yet we find them continually being posted and paraded as if they were the height of wisdom and biblical truth. That is the scary part: the number of Christians who push these things, actually believing they are such great words and almost inspired teachings.

facepalm 4All of these posts, if my memory serves me well, were put up on the social media by Christians. That to me is the most shocking thing. We would expect all these rather vacuous and silly posters to be proudly put up by those into the New Age Movement or some such thing, but not by those claiming to be biblical Christians.

But this is all just part of the dumbing down of our culture and our churches. It has been happening for quite some time now. And I have often addressed this worrying trend elsewhere. So let me here offer a few more prime examples of threadbare thinking and mushy moralising.

“2016 is going to be your best year yet. (Type “yes” if you agree)”

Um, says who? The presumption here is that this is God speaking, and this is another wonderful promise to be claimed by the believer. But how exactly do you define “best”? Indeed, we already have popular preachers writing books promising us our “best life now”.

“Best” in terms of what? Of course for the megapastor who penned that book, it is all about your best career, your best success, your best financial situation, your best self-image, your best life as in what we find in Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous.

That is never how Scripture defines the best. Our best life is one of selfless service and dedication to our Lord, counting the cost and paying any price to serve him and reach the lost. It is never about ‘me, me, me’. But the modern gospel is just that – a totally self-centred gospel. Self can never be the best – in Scripture it is the path to the worst.

“Something great is about to happen to me!” (Put out by the Kenneth Copeland Ministries.)

This is more mumbo jumbo that we would expect from New Agers and airy fairy feel-good religious movements, but not from those who purport to be followers of Jesus. Like the silly poster above, this is more false advertising. And again, what is meant by the key term here, “great”?

The truth is, we have many promises in Scripture, and not all of them could be called great, at least in terms of how this poster would have it. Consider just one such promise: “everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted” (2 Timothy 3:12).

I realise that Christians like to speak about claiming every promise of God, but most of them don’t seem to want to claim this one. And there are many others like it in Scripture. Most often the Christian life is one of hardship, trials, suffering, and persecution. And it is always about taking up your cross, denying yourself, and dying to the flesh.

That God will allow real blessings and joys along the way no one is denying. But these sorts of statements are really bogus, biblically speaking. Life is not always great for the believer. Sometimes it is simply horrific. Just ask the Christians being tortured, raped and killed by IS right now in the Middle East.

“Love comes naturally, hate is learned” (With a picture of a black child and a white child hugging each other.)

Again, we expect sentimental New Agers to push this silly mush, but never someone claiming to be a biblical Christian. Did those posting this ever hear of the doctrine of original sin? Have they ever read their Bibles? And really, “love comes naturally”?

Where does it say that in Scripture? And we have to learn hate? The biblical data is clear: we are born as selfish sinners who put self first. It takes the saving work of Christ in our lives to break this fixation and orientation to self, and move it to God and others.

It is fully normal and natural to be self-centred. To really care about and love others is not natural at all – it is supernatural, wrought in us when we are born again and the Holy Spirit takes residence within us. So why any believer would want to post something like this is really beyond me.

“Everything you need will come to you at the perfect time.”

Here is more dodgy theology, and something we would expect the NAM to come up with. But sadly New Age thinking has infiltrated the churches big time, especially in the form of the “name it and claim it” teachings and the “positive confession” movement.

They insist that we just need to think happy thoughts and always hope for the best and everything will turn out just peachy. It is all mind over matter and thinking happy thoughts. Again, this does not at all square with the fate of so many suffering and persecuted believers, not only today but throughout church history.

And again, this depends on how we define “need”. For those pushing this, it usually means not needs but greeds. It means having lots of money, fancy cars, big homes, and the good life. Those who need to be rescued from an IS beheading do not always find this coming at the perfect time.

Indeed, Scripture tells us that we can expect both: sometimes we do get things like divine deliverance, and sometimes we do not. Consider Hebrews 11:33-38 which speaks to both situations. It speaks of the great saints of the past

who through faith conquered kingdoms, administered justice, and gained what was promised; who shut the mouths of lions, quenched the fury of the flames, and escaped the edge of the sword; whose weakness was turned to strength; and who became powerful in battle and routed foreign armies. Women received back their dead, raised to life again. There were others who were tortured, refusing to be released so that they might gain an even better resurrection. Some faced jeers and flogging, and even chains and imprisonment. They were put to death by stoning; they were sawed in two; they were killed by the sword. They went about in sheepskins and goatskins, destitute, persecuted and mistreated – the world was not worthy of them. They wandered in deserts and mountains, living in caves and in holes in the ground.

Did you get that? These were all heroes of faith – real, powerful, life-changing faith. Yet while some escaped the edge of the sword, others died by the edge of the sword. Same great faith, yet quite different outcomes. No name it and claim it silliness here.

“You are confined only by the walls you build yourself.”

My final example is yet another case of this mind over matter mania. Um, sometimes there are real walls that confine us – such as a prison cell. The Apostle Paul knew all about such realities. He did not try to just think happy thoughts, or visualise a situation where he was tiptoeing through the tulips.

Yes, we can sometimes put unnecessary limitations on ourselves, either by being overly negative or by not seeing how God might work in a tight situation, but again, this is the mindless mantra of “your best life now”. Try telling that to the millions of Christian martyrs over the centuries, or to the grieving Christian couple who just lost a young daughter to cancer, etc.

Sometimes very real walls exist, and just claiming an occultic mind over matter spiel is not going to knock down every such wall. There are enemies – both human and spiritual – who are at work in this world, doing all they can to stop us or thwart us from doing the will of God.

It takes more than wishful thinking and happy thoughts to withstand much of this. Real spiritual warfare must be engaged in, and even then, some real walls will remain. Such is life in a fallen world with very real opposition. So a bit of biblical realism is certainly needed here.

This is now my ninth such article in this series. Regrettably, I suspect there will be many more to come, since the supply of silly if not downright wrong and unbiblical posters seems to be in endless supply. And even more sadly, there seem to be plenty of rather clueless Christians happy to post such things.

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9 Responses to And Even More Dumb Quotes and Posters

  • People who post this crap aren’t following Christ. They’re following Robert Schuller…

  • I totally agree Bill. I’m sick of some of the sayings I see. The one that really gets me is “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger!!!” Really!? So doe that mean those who died were somehow not strong enough in some way. They failed somehow. That passage in Hebrews 11 is one of my favourite to counteract that kind of sloppy thinking. ALL listed were heroes of faith and it “was accounted to them for righteousness” no failures there in God’s eyes. Regardless of the outcome here on earth. And how about “every thing happens for a reason?!! No. I believe God takes what happens in our lives and brings meaning and purpose out of it. I think that is an entirely different slant.

  • “It is all mind over matter …” is one of my favourites. Translated it means, “I don’t mind and you don’t matter”.

  • Nine articles? You would have hoped that people would have gotten the message by now. Alas, no.

  • Ha! Take that poster of the hugging kids; try giving one child a slice of cake that’s clearly bigger than the one given to the other child and see how much “hugging” ensues!

    People who think children are naturally loving have never reared any.

  • So True. Thank You for this blog and never stop.

  • Funny, the whole time I’m reading this Bill, I keep thinking of those parody posters – a twist on the cheesy motivational posters you’d see on a boardroom wall. (puke)
    This one makes me laugh. And think.
    “It could be that the purpose of your life is only to serve as a warning to others.”
    http://despair.com/collections/demotivators/products/mistakes
    Well, it does needs a little tweaking at the “purpose of your life” bit, but you get the general idea.
    Isn’t that how Judas ended up, and Solomon in his latter days, and Sampson, and Gehazi and Absalom. Let’s not forget to mention the prophet who was eaten by a lion.
    As Solomon said (in his better days anyway), that it is better to go to a house of mourning than to go to a house of feasting, for death is the destiny of everyone; the living should take this to heart. Ecc 7:2
    So. I thought I’d throw together my first anti-corporate-Christian poster… (Sorry – I couldn’t help myself).
    http://www.learneasy.info/tim/posters/God's-plan-for-your-life-is-better-than-yours.jpg

  • “Love comes naturally, hate is learned”

    Stephen Fry, the gay man who recently got married to a toy boy, young enough to be his grand son, Elliot Spencer, would agree 100%. He said,

    “At least 260 species of animal have been known exhibiting homosexual behaviour, but only one species of animal, ever, so far as we know – and I would be fascinated if anyone could prove me wrong- has exhibited homophobic behaviour. And that is the human being. So ask yourself: which is really natural? Think about it. Go with your heart [1]

    Presumably he would recommend that we take our lessons in love from the animal world, in particular from the Bonobo monkey which it is claimed is the closest to humans. Wikipedia says,

    “Because of the promiscuous mating behavior of female bonobos, there is a great deal of paternal uncertainty. If a male cannot be sure which offspring are his, he is less likely to invest any time or energy caring for them. It is because of this lack of certainty that the entirety of parental care in bonobos is assumed by the mothers …..

    Bonobos do not form permanent monogomous sexual relationships with individual partners. They also do not seem to discriminate in their sexual behavior by sex or age, with the possible exception of abstaining from sexual activity between mothers and their adult sons…….

    More often than the males, female bonobos engage in mutual genital behavior, possibly to bond socially with each other, thus forming a female nucleus of bonobo society. The bonding among females enables them to dominate most of the males. Although male bonobos are individually stronger, they cannot stand alone against a united group of females…….

    Adult male bonobos have sex with infants. Frans de Waal, an ethologist who has studied bonobos remarked, “A lot of the things we see, like pedophilia and homosexuality, may be leftovers that some now consider unacceptable in our particular society.”…….
    Some claim bonobos have also been known to practise cannibalism in captivity, a claim disputed by others. However, at least one confirmed report of cannibalism in the wild of a deceased infant was described in 2008…..
    The Japanese scientists who have spent the most time working with wild bonobos describe the species as extraordinarily peaceful, and de Waal has documented how bonobos may often resolve conflicts with sexual contact (hence the “ make love, not war” characterization for the species).

    Bonobo society is dominated by females, and severing the lifelong alliance between mothers and their male offspring may make them vulnerable to female aggression.
    Surbeck and Hohmann showed in 2008 that bonobos sometimes do hunt monkey species. Five incidents were observed in a group of bonobos in Salonga National Park, which seemed to reflect deliberate cooperative hunting. On three occasions, the hunt was successful, and infant monkeys were captured and eaten.” [2]

    If one wanted clear scientific proof that evolution was true. It is Stephen Fry, for by the look of him, ,he is a direct descendent of the Bonobo monkey on heat.
    [3] His toyboy husband, Elliot Spence looks like one of those infant monkeys, transfixed before being devoured by the brute beast. [4]

    [1] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kILwL0iwG6U
    [2] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bonobo#Social_behavior
    [3] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zBy3hEpRNm8
    [4] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dpw4fLlBFS0

    David Skinner UK

  • …and that tired old “love comes naturally” cliche is a Mandela quote.
    “People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.”
    So in regard to the terrorist acts of the MK under his command, is he saying he was taught to hate…like Martin Luther King wasn’t?
    Here’s another quote. It’s not Mandela this time.
    “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked” Jer 17:9

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