Monday, January 23, 2012

Jesus loves you double cheesburger

While traveling through a small south Georgia town Friday, the sign for the local Dairy Queen captured my attention: "JESUS LOVES YOU DOUBLE CHEESBURGER"  it read. I didn't take a photo but the sign continued with fries, drink, and a price.

Had it been around lunch time perhaps I could have persuaded my wife to pull in and order it. I could visualize myself at the counter speaking with some teen, "Yeah, I'd like the Jesus love you double cheesburger deal."

More likely, I would have been ordered to, "Just drive on, smart aleck, we'll eat when we get there."

No doubt the proprietor just wanted to offer a word of Christian witness in his community - nothing wrong with that. It's just the odd juxtaposition of Jesus and a double cheesburger. There was insufficient room on the sign to separate the two messages. "Jesus loves you" really should be a modifier for a double cheesburger.

One wonders, would Jesus want to be identified with a double cheesburger?

LifeWay and other merchants have no difficulty allowing Jesus to be identified with chewing gum, mints, keychains, and other trinkets. The idea of "Jesus Loves You" printed on a set of toenail clippers doesn't add to my feelings of spirituality nor enhance my personal grooming experience. Jesus and capitalism leads to some odd arrangements.

Over the years, it has become more common for merchants and service providers to identify themselves as Christians. Business signs which contain a cross or a fish symbol are commonplace. Megachurches publish Christian business directories. I'd make the point that  there are Christians and there are businesses. There are Christians who operate businesses. But there are no Christian businesses.

Advertising that identifies one as a believer says, (a) "Hey, buy from me because I'm a Christian," or (b) "You can trust me because I'm a follower of Christ," or (c) both. I'm of the school that if you have to tell me you're a Christian, or paste it on a sign, it doesn't count. It should be obviousl

I'm not a big fan of Christian directories or business signe and don't go out of my way to patronize a hamburger joint or use a plumber because they declare themselves to be Christian. I'll go with the burger that best gives value and taste and the plumber who doesn't show any posterior, does a good job, promptly, at a reasonable price.

In fact, were I a merchant or service provider, I'd eschew the Christian sign and be diligent about conducting my business in a way that gives God glory. That way it counts.

Now if it were "JESUS LOVES YOU BACON DOUBLE CHEESBURGER" I might have been tempted.

No comments: