A Bumper Sticker and Repentance
On my way to a dinner party last weekend, I drove behind a Honda Civic with a couple of bumper stickers proudly displayed on the back window. The cross sticker was nice and simple, and the sticker supporting a local cause was fine. It was the loud and proud one that took center stage, which said, “God doesn’t believe in atheists.” I instantly found myself pretending that this person would end up at the same dinner party, and I would park next to her. I envisioned myself being forced to ask what her motivation would be for such a sticker. Or would I say, “Are you serious?” Either way, I was feeling confrontational.
The sticker makes the issue seem like a banter of this-for-that. “Okay, well, atheists, if you don’t believe in God then He doesn’t believe in you.” Really? Really? Has it come to this? Is this the kindness that brings the unsaved to repentance, especially the atheists who think they have nothing in the afterlife or a hope for the future? They only have now to believe in. And in a moment of perhaps doubting their own beliefs, they see that this believer has displayed on the back window of her Honda what they have felt all along — if God did exist, would He reach out, even to me?
Why I am so bothered by such a piddly piece of a sticky paper on the back of an inconsequential little Honda? Well, for one thing, the assumption would be that this has been displayed by a Christian, and my pride is bothered that this person would falsely speak for me. But mostly I’m bothered because in the name of everything that exists and is created by a loving God, He does believe in the atheists whom he spoke life into. How dare you, you little Honda driver, display another contrived bumper sticker that chisels away at extravagant love!
I find myself building a case against this person who claims to know Christ; I’m really getting angry. I want to follow her and give her a piece of my mind. Instead, I take a deep breath, say a little prayer, and ask myself, what is my motivation? Is that the kindness that brings them to repentance? No, I guess I’ll just go home and create my own bumper sticker that says, “Do you judge the judger?” I then realize that alone in my car, slowly driving through this neighborhood to a dinner party, that God has gently used a simple little bumper sticker to lead me to repentance.