Bumper-sticker Theology

by Lisa Quintana

In many ways, this is exactly what apologists, teachers or pastors are up against in today’s culture—bumper-sticker theology. It seems everyone wants a quick fix to their problems, like slapping a bumper sticker on their car. “Give me a short quote that will answer my questions!” people demand. To perhaps “demand” them to dig a little deeper, wrestle with concepts of their perceptions about their worldview, and actually use critical thinking skills is an abhorrence to some in our time. What… you really want me to think?

Why is it that thinking deeply has become such a chore today? People seem to want :30 second sound bites to tell them the truth of significant issues that may affect them, or they want their pastors to tell them “everything is going to be okay,” even though it might not be (at least this side of heaven).

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So, what do we tell people then, to satisfy those tough questions when bad things happen, or to help solve their problems? In trials with our loves ones and friends, we should “weep with those who weep” (Rom. 12:15) first before anything else comes out of our lips. Telling someone who is in the middle of great suffering that “God won’t give you more than you can handle” is, in some ways, adding to the pain they’re already experiencing! This is not even Biblical, but can be implied if interpreted this way, as 1 Cor. 10:13 states, “…he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear.” Notice this verse speaks only of “temptation” or in some versions it’s called “trials.” Anything that threatens your faith in Jesus Christ should be considered a “trial,” and “temptations” can also be things that can separate us from God, i.e. to commit adultery.

Does this mean that God won’t give us more than we can handle? Individually, I don’t think so, as I know enough through studying history that tells me differently…

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Think Divinely – Bumper-sticker Theology