Friday, January 25, 2013

Cheesy Christian Analogies

I've heard it said that the GPS analogy is getting too much mileage. (See what I did there?) If you've spent any amount of time in the church environment you'll know what I'm talking about:

"All right my congregation/flock/sheep, today we're going to be talking about how the Bible is your GPS to (pause for dramatic effect) HEAVEN!"

It gets kinda weird when you hear the metaphor used as much as it is. And I understand that it's cool 'cuz it's all hip and relevant, what with the abundance of GPS-enabled cellular devices. I get that it makes the speaker look like he's "with it." (I was hoping I'd never see the day I used that phrase...) But c'mon people, I'm sure you could be more creative. If navigation to heaven is what they're trying to get at, I'm sure that pastors could say things in a much more original way. Like a sailor using his compass to navigate the treacherous seas. Or a vagrant finding his way by the use of a star. Something other than a GPS. Anything. Really, anything.

If I hear another "God's Positioning System" joke again, it'll "drive" me insane. (Man, I'm on a roll.)

In any case, I find that pastors usually use this analogy to talk about how the Bible gets you to heaven. I'm not sure that this is entirely the point of the Scriptures, however. I definitely think that the reward of every believer is eternal life in paradise, but I think that's just the by-product of what we get to experience now:

Knowing God.

If you're going to take an axe to my dislike for bad analogies, at least do it with the right goal in mind. Yeah, Heaven's gonna be amazing. Beyond belief. But as my boy Matt Chandler says, the reward of the gospel is not that we get God's stuff, but that we get God. Period. Exclamation point. No question mark. Unequivocally, the unbelievable truth of God's grace is that we get to be perfectly intimate with Him at all times, not simply that we would enjoy the perfect afterlife.

John 17 puts it this way, "And this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent."

So please, take advantage of put-downs. As in, put down that GPS-enabled phone and put down your knees to the floor so that you might find your ultimate navigation.


Post a Comment