Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Yellow Signs

So the other thing about Comic-Con 2012 was the yellow signs.  I've seen the yellow signs before (last time was in Burbank near the AMC movie theater), you've probably seen the yellow signs before.  

The stoic handlers, the yellow signs trumpeting things like "The Blood Of Jesus Cleanses Sin" and "Humble Yourself Before God" "You Must be Born Again" "Receive Salvation Through Jesus" "God Is Rich In Mercy" "Repent and believe in Jesus." "Salvation Is A Gift From God."  "Sin Brings God's Wrath" "The Kingdom Of Heaven Is Near" "God Is Rich In Mercy" "Jesus Bore Our Sins" "Only Jesus Can Save" "Get Right With God"

It should be pointed out that these yellow signs and their handlers were NOT affiliated with the group with the loudspeakers across the train tracks.  Those idiots were the ones trumpeting how we were all going to hell.  The yellow sign people didn't say any such thing, and their signs didn't say any such thing.

But people that were blogging about them on the web lumped in the Yellow Sign people in with the Loudspeaker people, and the snarky signs popped up next to the yellow signs.  "Jesus Was A Zombie." (which is technically only half true.  Yep, Jesus came back from the dead.  But Jesus never tried to eat people after he rose from the dead, so that doesn't make him a full fledged zombie.) and "Yellow Signs Make God Angry, You Wouldn’t Like Him If He Was Angry."  A Hulk joke!  Nice.

I’m sure these people know that God doesn't really give a flying frack what color your signs are, He cares what's ON the signs.   God doesn't have a problem with the signs saying "Get Right With God"  "Salvation Is A Gift From God," etc.  But he might take issue with you speaking for him and saying that yellow signs make him angry.  You think the Yellow Sign People are wrong, well, you kinda are, too.  But that's okay, because God still loves wrong people.  He loves wrong people, He loves right people.   He even loves the Hulk, and he loves a joke, and la la la.  He loves us all.  That's what He does.

I dunno why people get it wrong.  Why the mere presence of these signs infuriated them.  Why they immediately lumped them into the Loudspeaker People, and said the yellow signs said we're all going to hell.  Not one of those signs said that.  It's right there, in yellow and black.

And the Yellow Sign Holders weren't the ones with the Loudspeakers.  They were just holding their signs.  Maybe one or two of them had portable microphones, but they weren’t saying anything like how we were going to hell.  I'm sure they took it as martyrdom for every cardboard sign that popped up next to them.  They LIKE being persecuted, for every blogger online that mistakenly lumped them in with the Loudspeaker People, it guarantees them a new electric appliance in heaven or something.  You're just giving them what they want, Comic Con attendees.

The people I was with refused to let me interact with the Yellow Sign People, and since they had the hotel room key, I didn't wanna go rogue on them.  But I did manage to grab one of their tracts, which happened to be blue.  Blue and yellow!  So I snuck one off the stack as we were walking past, nobody handed one to me, or said anything to me. 

And when I got back to L.A., I was thumbing through the thing.  Wondering if I was the average Joe who didn’t believe in God and happened to stumble upon one of these and decided to thumb through it, what would I think?

Well, I would be pretty bored.  I’m Amy The Writer and I absolutely believe in God and Jesus and that, and I was bored on page 1.  That's page one >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Zzzzz…. Hmmm?  What?  Huh?  I’m sorry, I dozed off.

I’m sure the Bible Distribution Club of Cerritos, California had the very best of intentions when putting together this little 55 page booklet with the tiny pictures that kinda look like mini coloring books for ants.

But, as they clearly state in the preface, “the entire contents of this book are excerpts from the Bible.”  If I was a non-believer, using Bible quotes to make a case for why I should believe in the Bible, God and Jesus is not going to convince me.  It would be like Snoopyologists trying to make me believe in Woodstock using the self-help books that Woodstock wrote.  You can’t use the books of a religion to prove that you should believe in that religion.  I mean, you CAN, but you’re not going to be very successful.  I’ve read The Wonderful Wizard Of Oz books and love them dearly, but that won’t convince me that Oz exists.

The preface also notes, “The astounding message of the Bible is that the Creator of the universe became a man, a man like us, because He loved us and wanted to save us from the awful results of our sin.”  If I was an average Joe who didn’t believe in God, I would read this sentence and think, “WHAT awful results of my sin?  I haven’t done anything!”  And then I would close the book and go down to the hotel pool with the Jacuzzi and the drink menu on tiny wooden surfboards that you could surf over to your friends.

The Bible Distribution Club means well, I’m sure they do.  But this book, “Jesus Christ, The Real Story,” isn’t going to convince anyone to believe in anything.

Basically, I think the Yellow Sign People and their book are the equivalent of studying really hard for a science or history test, regurgitating the answers for the test, and promptly forgetting everything they learned as soon as they turn the test in.  Meaning, somewhere inside them, they might be thinking my job is to do this.  I’m doing this.  I’m holding this sign.  I’ve got this stack of books next to me.  I’m enduring the cardboard signs, the taunts, all the horrible things that reinforce my secret desire to be a martyr.  I did this.  It’s over.  My job is done.  It’s up to them to take the book, to read the book, to make the choice to believe.  All I had to do was provide the book for them to pick up, and the Yellow Sign to attract attention.

But your methods are flawed.  Your book won’t convince anyone.  Your book needs a rewrite, it needs to come out of the Bible, and into stories and examples that would make sense and resonate with people.  You need to get personal.  Which nobody would want to do, seeing all the mockery you attracted just by saying nothing and holding a sign.

Basically, you need to figure out something else.  Talk about something from your own life that you can share.  You could… I dunno… start a blog.  Talk about your struggles.  Hell, that’s what I do here.  If I can do it, anyone can do it.  It’s not so hard.

Just try to be real.  Please.  Real goes such a long long way.


Dan Weeks said...

I also see these guys everywhere, and although you and I disagree on a metaphysical level, it is very encouraging to read your very empathetic, clear-headed analysis of the efforts of people like this. You are absolutely correct that tactics like this will not convince a nonbeliever like me of the truth of their message. I thank you for your clarity and astuteness, it was a pleasure to read.

JW in Riverside said...

Amy, peace be with you. I read your blog. I was thinking that maybe you should view the brothers and sisters holding the yellow signs that speak truth as being out there, not for thier own gain, but for the love they have for Christ Jesus and the hope that someone, anyone in the masses of people might at that time in thier life need the truth about Jesus. I am a believer, repentant from a long life of sin and have witnessed for myself the transforming power of Jesus and His love for me. I am sure that the Word of the Lord will speak with clarity to the person that recieves the Gospel message and I am glad there are True Christians out spreading the Word in Love. We are commanded by the Lord to spread the message of salvation thru Christ to the whole world. I hope from the time you wrote this blog until now you have grown closer to Jesus and have done your best to stay away from the things (sin) that we know hurt Him and seperate us from Him. Please know that serving the Lord and living by the truths of the Bible is the more excellent way, it goes against what the world says is good, but in that you will have peace, hope an joy because your love for Him will grow and thru that you will be able to love and help others, Christians and Non Belivers to take the word to heart and live by it day to day.