Some on the internet have made a habit of sharing supposed pictures of signs seen in front of various church buildings. Often these signs contain messages which seem humorous and that primarily explains the attention they attract. Such signs are examples of what I see as “thinking out loud”.
Recently in Baytown I saw this church sign: “Do we give the kind of love we seek from God?” This is a powerful question which begs additional questions. Does everyone define love the same way and therefore seek the same kind of love? As a corollary, don’t we demand from others the kind of love we believe God seeks and therefore demands. If, religiously, we embrace a God who is needy, demanding, and arbitrary, doesn’t that logically color our concept of the love relationship between ourselves and others, especially within our marriages and family situations? A “love” which requires reciprocity can easily transform into a demand that you demonstrate your love for me or I won’t love you back. This understanding of how love works is an emotional minefield which blows up in our individual lives daily and dominates our collective consciousness. It is also the basic principle behind much of our current theology.
“Thinking out loud” on church signs can be fun and amusing, but it is also dangerous. One openly expressed thought can trigger others, and who knows where that might lead. Perhaps to a place considered heretical in times past.