hile driving through Murphy, North Carolina, a couple of weeks ago, I saw this billboard: TOLERANCE IS THE HIGHEST FORM OF EDUCATION.
Adorning the bottom of that sign was the “coexist” symbol, which pictures the idea that Islam, Hinduism, Humanism, Judaism, Paganism, Taoism, and Christianity are equally valid belief systems.
The better educated you are, the billboard communicated, the more accepting you will be toward whatever philosophies others choose to live by. The smart people are universalists—“adherents to the belief that all human beings will finally be saved.” No particular religion is better than another one.
So, if you are a self-proclaimed Christian who believes Jesus Christ is a savior but not the Savior, you will be welcomed into the coexist community.
However, Jesus is not so tolerant. He said about Himself, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me” (John 14:6 NKJV).
A genuine Christian is a born-again follower of Jesus Christ and His teachings. He or she is not a poorly educated nitwit, but someone who loves God, loves fellow Christians, and loves people of other religions while pointing them to the one and only Savior.
That brings me to a billboard I saw while driving through north Georgia last week:
AT THE NAME OF JESUS EVERY KNEE SHOULD BOW . . . EVERY TONGUE SHOULD CONFESS THAT JESUS CHRIST IS LORD (EVEN THE DEMOCRATS).
It made me cringe.
First, this sign’s message abuses Holy Scripture in order to send a political message. Ironically, the quotation is from Philippians 2:1-11, which describes the self-emptying of Jesus Christ and urges believers us to follow His example.
Contrarily, the billboard’s sponsors arrogantly tacked on the phrase “even the Democrats” to verses 10 and 11. Why not just quote the Scripture passage itself? Apparently the messengers do not believe the truth of Hebrews 4:15—that “the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword . . . and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart” (NKJV).
If they did believe in the power of God’s Word, and if their motive was pure, they could have simply posted the “every knee, every tongue” verse and prayed daily that God would speak though their sign to Democrats, Republicans, and Independents alike.
Second, the billboard made me cringe because such messaging damages the cause of Christ. Such a sign communicates the wrongheaded idea that one particular political group is “Christian.” Unless we fall in line with everything that party stands for, the genuineness of our faith is questioned.
To be clear, I have disagreements with certain positions of both of the two main American political parties. However, two particular moral issues keep me from considering voting for one of those groups. Quoting from democrats.org:
- “Democrats believe that LGBT rights are human rights.”
- “We believe that safe abortion must be part of comprehensive maternal and woman’s health care.”
Moving further into Philippians 2, Jesus calls us as His followers to:
“Do everything without grumbling and arguing, so that you may be blameless and pure, children of God who are faultless in a crooked and perverted generation, among whom you shine like stars in the world, by holding firm to the word of life.” (vv. 14-16 CSB).
SHINE LIKE STARS IN THE WORLD — what a great billboard that would be!