Bumper Sticker Theology: Beware of God

So this is what it comes to – bumper stickers on the rear of cars pronouncing the bold theological statement: Beware of God.  This is what I followed home from work / church the other day.  Since the traffic on Sunset is SLOW, I had plenty of time to stare and think about what it was the driver was trying to tell me.

Option #1 – Be aware of God.  Isn’t that one meaning of the word beware?  Well, yes, I actually am very aware of God.  Thank you.  In fact, not a day goes by that I do not think about Him, talk to Him, and seek to follow Him.  But for the one who is not so divinely attuned, this assigned meaning is really too broad.  We live in a religiously pluralistic world and not everyone thinks the same about God.  Which god we are talking about when it comes to awareness is a matter of great importance.  My God is the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.  The Triune God expressed in the Father, the Son (Jesus Christ), and the Holy Spirit.  THIS is the God I am acutely aware of and that I believe everyone would do well to be aware of.  But somehow I don’t think any of this is what the driver with the bumper sticker was trying to tell me…

Option #2 – Be wary of God.  This is another meaning of the word beware.  It acknowledges that God is real and present.  It assigns an attribute to God, namely that He is one to be feared, for whatever reason, and thus we should all be wary of Him.  So this meaning of the bumper sticker gets us further down the road.  It tells us that there is a God and it purports to tell us something about Him.  I get this.  You see, if God is real and He is God that, by definition, means that He is something wholly other than Man.  That “something” we would naturally assume to be strength and power.  Certainly a strength and power that dwarfs our own.  Such a God is one that we, as mere mortals, would never want to offend or make angry.  Thus we should be wary.  Even this, though, is not what I believe the bumper sticker was intended to communicate.  No, I think it was meant to communicate something completely different than either of these first two legitimate interpretations…

Option #3 – Be wary of the idea of God.  I think what the driver was really trying to tell me is that God does not exist.  That the natural world is all that there is.  That we are here by pure happenstance.  That there is no real purpose in life.  And that when we die, that’s it.  Game over.  The bumper sticker, I think, is also meant to communicate that the mere idea of God is dangerous.  To believe in God is to ignore obvious facts, such as the ones I listed above.  That to ignore the facts is a dangerous way to live, thus Beware of God.  Believing in God will mess you up.  It will lead to delusion.  And many atheists love to point to historical and modern instances where “god” and “religion” have led to killing.  Of course we must ignore that the worldview of atheism led to the slaughter of over 100 million people in the 20th century, making it the deadliest belief system known to man in the last 100 years.  Nevertheless…Beware of God.

Ultimately, I don’t think the driver of the Beware of God bumper sticker car had a clue what they were really saying. 


2 responses to “Bumper Sticker Theology: Beware of God”

  1. proactiveoutside1 says :

    I wonder, too, if it is the sort of thing a person with a “prophetic” spirit puts on their car, like something someone might say about how many people’s cavalier attitude toward God will eventually reap judgment. Which would be, of course, a rather curious way to advertise one’s faith.

  2. Joseph Stevens says :

    Unfortunately Jeff, your ending statement is accurate and spot on. The driver is so oblivious to what is actually being marketed on his or her vehicle giving Satan another not h on his belt.

    It’s funny how God works, I actually was following a car with this same number sticker this morning and googled the word beware, something was not sittin right with me. I then googled the “Beware of God” bumper sticker and you site came up. Well done, I could not have stated it better, thank you for your meditation on this issue.


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