We recently saw the following bumper sticker on the back of a local junker: "Include God in your life. Read the Bible every day." After musing on the message for a moment we felt a bit of consternation, and a portion of revulsion. Bumper sticker religion has never had much worthwhile to say, and this one conveyed the very essence of what so-called modern religionists really believe. "Include God." Yes, indeed; by all means include a favorite deity in your daily activities.
The simpleton mentality that contrived this slogan seems to presume that their god is generally being treated like a "red-headed stepchild." Somewhat left out appears to be the situation the average deity finds itself in. We feel compelled to say that if we had the deity for ours that these religionists have, we would probably do well to leave him out also.
This is a day when everybody wants to offend nobody. Race, sexual orientation, gender, age, and now deities, must be "included" in every aspect of existence. If it exists, "include it."
To show a rare moment of patience for the arminian tribes, we will assume they are trying, in their own way, to drum up acceptance for the true and living God. We do hear them often plead for folks to ''accept God," "receive Jesus," "let Christ into your heart," and so on. Now we are petitioned to "include God."
"Include God." This appears, on the surface, much like another bumper slogan making the rounds: "If it feels good, do it." Oh yes, if you will but include God, you will feel good. If you fail to include God, as the obvious implies, you will feel bad. Thus, the answer to all the world's ills. Or is it?
"Include God in your life. Read the Bible today." Since the bumper sticker offered no instructions on how to "Include God" other than "read the Bible," we shall attempt to inquire therein.
"Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me. And ye will not come to me, that ye might have life (John 5.39,40)." Why would these "daily Bible readers" not come to Jesus? "No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him; and I will raise him up at the last day (John 6.44)." The champions of the local deities may respond that they can come because God draws all men. Not so! "All that the Father giveth me shall come to me: and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out (John 6.37)." To emphasize further that which is obvious, observe the following "And he said, Therefore said I unto you, that no man can come unto me, except it were given unto him of my Father (John 6.65)." Thus, if we have any discerning powers at all, these verses tell us that the sinner cannot have a relationship of any sort with God, unless he is numbered among those the Father gave the Son. How, we ask then, can a human "include God" if God has not "included them?"
There appears to be a smattering of fleshly exhortation in the bumper sticker slogan we have examined, that sinners ought to seek out God, and, as one "goat-herder" put it, "give God a chance." Pitiful! "But Esaias is very bold, and saith, I was found of them that sought me not; I was made manifest unto them that asked not after me (Rom. 10.20)." Volumes more might be said, but nothing we know of addresses the matter better than the above text.
January - February 1992