Friday, April 15, 2011

Salvation Lite™

(St. John's Baptist Church, 13th and Tasker Streets, Philadelphia)

© Peter Rozovsky 2011

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29 Comments:

Blogger seana said...

Your kind of church, I'd think, if there was actually such a thing.

April 15, 2011  
Blogger Cozy in Texas said...

Interesting find.
Ann

April 15, 2011  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

I don't know about that, Seana. I enjoy coming up with slogans and titles, but I never thought of them as a means to a greater end. I'd write some catchy sayings for the church, though.

April 15, 2011  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Ann, America is noted for advertising and for storefront, street-level religion. That sign combined the two -- in one handy package!

April 15, 2011  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Seana, I was on my way out but went back home to fetch my camera to get that picture. It did occur to me, though, that the implication that one can achieve salvation "for all you do" might violate the doctrine of salvation by faith alone. So the slogan was odd to see outside a Protestant church.

April 15, 2011  
Blogger seana said...

I suppose it could mean, for all you do (including sinning), his blood's for you.

It does make it sound kind of like a blood drive, though.

April 15, 2011  
Blogger Glenna said...

That's funny, I get a kick out of church slogan signs. I haven't seen any good ones lately though, which is disappointing.

April 15, 2011  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Seana, I realized precisely that shortly after I posted my comment, and that put an even more weirdly optimistic spin on the the sign -- bluff American optimsim and the most solemn event in history for believing Christians make for an odd combination.

April 15, 2011  
Blogger Loren Eaton said...

Wow.

And I don't mean that in a good way.

April 15, 2011  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Glenna, church signs have come to occupy their own little niche in American popular culture the last few years, to the point where some of the funnier ones posted on the Internet have been exposed as photoshopped frauds. Still, this was the best I'd seen since:

"Work for the Lord -- the pay is poor, but the retirement plan is out of this world."

April 15, 2011  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Loren, I don't want to seem too irreverent, but if God is omnipresent, I suppose he can manifest himself in advertising slogans, too. But hey, the sign is getting the church some publicity it would not otherwise have received.

April 15, 2011  
Blogger Linkmeister said...

Anheuser-Busch could argue for breach of trademark or copyright. It would make for a fun court case.

"In this corner, Budweiser!"

"In this corner, Yahweh!"

"Let's get ready to rumble!"

April 15, 2011  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Linkmeister, this being America, the thought of a lawsuit naturally crossed my mind. But I'm sure God and Anheuser-Busch would reach a mutually satisfactory out-of-court settlement.

April 15, 2011  
Anonymous kathy d. said...

Hopefully not offending anyone, I have to say that as a secular Jewish person, my reaction is that this sends chills up my spine -- and I don't really get it.

April 17, 2011  
Blogger seana said...

I don't think any of us really get it, Kathy, if that's any consolation.

April 17, 2011  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

I think we all get it but just can't believe the evidence of our own eyes.

April 17, 2011  
Anonymous kathy d. said...

To sum it up in a nutshell: Oy vey!
My final comment on this subject.

April 17, 2011  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

I have a feeling that hands are slapping foreheads all over South Philadelphia and now, thanks to the Internet, the world over that sign.

April 17, 2011  
Anonymous Elisabeth said...

Initially, I was not going to comment on this post but… As a very much lapsed Lutheran and currently not a Christian (but let me know if Arianism is removed from the heresies list) but as a layperson very much interested in early Christianity (say, the first 100 years or so) I decided that maybe I should put my 2 cents into this thread.

A quick run across the Web reveals this is a slogan to be found on the signs outside any number of conservative and fundamentalist Christian churches, on bumper stickers, on t-shirts, etc.

In a nutshell, the more than 2 billion Christians believe that Jesus died was sent by God to die the death that they deserved for their sins–the righteous for the unrighteous–so that God might both punish their sins in Christ and forgive it in them: But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin. 1 John 1 : 7

Those of us who are not Christians don’t have to believe this, we don’t have to like it, but we do have to respect the faith of those other 2 billion people.

April 18, 2011  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Oh, the slogan's meaning is readily apparent. It's the tone that surprised me -- more flip than I'd have expected for such a solemn sentiment.

April 18, 2011  
Blogger seana said...

I don't have a problem respecting people's beliefs, but I don't think it obliges us to respect that sign. It is a very jokey kind of statement, and really I don't know exactly who it is speaking to.

Also, I really think that advertising is fair game, no matter what it's representing.

Unbelievably, my v word is actually 'punesse'. Either a kind of duchess of puns, or a very feminine sort of double meaning joke.

April 18, 2011  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

OK, here's a second try at posting this, with a better v-word this time.

I like to think I can view the sign from a perspective of detachment, surprised at its flipness but thinking hey, who says religion has to be solemn? But yes, advertising is fair game.

That v-word falls just a letter short of perfection for this subject: worshis

April 18, 2011  
Blogger seana said...

Makes you think that there are actually people hired by Google to read all these comments as they are written and coming up with a v word on the spot.

Okay, yeah, it's probably robots.

Mine is good, but mysterious: taxhabi

It either has to do with taxis or taxes and I'm not sure which.

April 18, 2011  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

It would not shock me if certain key words in comment trigger certain combinations of letters as verification words.

Yours makes me think of wasabi and taxes, though I'm not sure how to combine the two. Today is tax deadline day in the U.S. Perhaps tax will turn up in v-words as a reminder.

April 18, 2011  
Blogger seana said...

I was thinking the same thing regarding taxes.

I was joking about the robots, but I wonder if there is someone actually paid to feed word parts intot he mix. Probably a short work day...

v word: wringl. Yeah the vericator is on a roll tonight.

April 18, 2011  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

I'd guess that a human sense of humor figures into the process somewhere, in the initial programming if not the daily operation.

Unfortunately I was already logged in when your comment arrived, so no new v-word for me this time.

April 18, 2011  
Anonymous Elisabeth said...

Then why do I still have the sneaking suspicion that Christianity is the only faith that is fair game when it comes to poking fun of world religions? That it isn't just the silly, catchy slogan that is being "dissed"?

The "you" on that sign means you (and me) and everybody else. Yes, even nonbelievers. Seems pretty clear to me.

Christians are told to: Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.
He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned. Mark 16 15 : 16. The fundamentalist church that that sign stands in front of takes this command literally. The sign functions as that net that makes Christians fishers of men. If they have to use silly gags to get you saved, then, dang it, that's what they'll do.

Crikey, this nonbeliever certainly didn't expect to find herself in the position of Christian apologist on Passover, of all days!

April 18, 2011  
Blogger seana said...

It's odd, Elizabeth, but yes, you are going to have to play the Christian witness here.

If you want to show us a jokey sign from another religion, I'll be glad to poke fun of it too.

April 18, 2011  
Anonymous kathy d. said...

I think that one should not disrespect people for their religions, but one can profoundly disagree with them and question, even publicly the premises, beliefs, practices and rituals and so on -- whether it's this sign, that beings from another planet established a religion, that women and men pray separately, Biblical (or other) stories, reincarnation, or whatever.

Have to have honest dialogue and discussion, but it should be done fairly. And there can be humor, too.

April 19, 2011  

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