Here in the buckle of the Bible belt you don't have to drive too far to read all sorts of crap that passes for "sound theology" in today's conservative churches. They are the source of much amusement for me and would be even more amusing if so many people didn't buy into this kind of claptrap about God. So, I'm going to start writing regularly about the theological bull$%!& I regularly see around my area.
I'll provide photographic evidence of as much of this crap as I can, but I didn't have the camera when I read this morning's gem:
"Are you ready to meet him in your present condition?"
Theologically there are so many problems with this statement, but let's focus on the major underlying assumption: "You have to change your ways before you'll ever be acceptable to God. You are such a scum sucking worm that God could never, ever love you as you are right now, so shape up, jerk, or you'll spend an eternity burning in HELL!"
But, they can't fit all that on a small message board, so they go with the shorthand:
"Are you ready to meet him in your present condition?
My answer is, "Yes, of course."
Why? Because God meets ME in my present condition. God isn't waiting somewhere far off ignoring me until I clean up my act, wash my face and stop that damn sinning. Instead, God is with us constantly, getting dirty with us. God meets us every minute in those moments when we think bad thoughts about others and in those moments when we have rare altruistic thoughts without a selfish motive. God is with us in the good times and the bad - when we're wishing the idiot driving the car in front of us would swerve off the road and out of our way and also when we're coming to the aid of someone who just swerved off the road in front of us.
Anyone who tells someone else that they must change before God can love them is lying. Plain and simple. Those who put the sign up are probably the smugly self-righteous crowd who believe that yes, they have properly cleaned up their act and God is favoring them even as they finish spelling out their theological bull$%!&.
God tells us we can come to Her heavy laden and unburden ourselves. We don't have to come unburdened and all fixed. God is the one who does any repair work that's needed. Trying to change ourselves without God's help or thinking that we can win God's favor by even trying is the real sin here.
Here's the truth - God is with you now, in your present condition, and She thinks you're incredibly wonderful.