Sjolander Road Fellowship

Declaring the God of Unconditional Love

Forgiven But Not Perfect

Have you ever seen a tee shirt or bumper sticker with words similar to this: “I am not perfect, just forgiven”?  I suspect that subliminally many reading these words interpret the real message to be this: I am not perfect, just better than you. Claiming superiority for oneself (either explicitly or by implication) does not realistically encourage further dialogue.


That is the basic flaw with the evangelical fundamentalism which inspires such tee shirts and bumper stickers. Its message has a certain element of smugness to it. I’m OK, but you are not OK. If you are willing to submit to the doctrine that I can give you, you can become OK like me.


What may be intended as an altruistic message can be lost because of all the associated tangential issues in the minds of the hearers. Is your message a threat? What do I have to give up to be like you? Will I have to become a self-assured messenger of superiority too?


A message with so much associated negativism cannot encourage the spiritually bereft nor transform the world. If it could, it would have by now. Something is amiss. Either the message is wrong, or its purpose was not the transformation of humanity. We should not be prepared to accept a marginal Gospel. Such does not befit the God whose mercy endures forever.