If not the Church, then who?

On Mother’s Day a sign out front of a local Baptist church read:

God can’t be everywhere, that’s why He made mothers.

I was appalled, to say the least!!! Immediately my husband and I began discussing this. Not that we disagreed with each other but we disagreed with the statement on the sign. Why on earth would a Baptist church write this in the first place??

I felt lead to contact the church via their website. With three boys screaming while writing I wrote the following rather quickly:

“I very often drive by your church and take notice of the message on your sign out front. The one on Mother’s Day wrote: God can’t be everywhere, that’s why He made mothers. Was this a joke or supposed to be cute???? My husband and I were appalled!! I was extremely disappointed to read this message. I do not know the church, though a family member has gone there for a time, but I’m not sure the message is what you want to be displaying – that God isn’t everywhere? That’s a basic fundamental belief – pretty much takes away some of His power!!!! Thanks for taking the time to read and consider this!!”

I didn’t know how it would be received, so I wasn’t real hopeful on getting a response. To my surprise, I did receive one; it read:

“Thank you for taking notice of our sign. To be honest, when I saw the saying on the board, I, too, thought that people could take it the wrong way. Our intent was not to teach theology, but to honor our moms. We believe in the omnipresence of God. Thanks for keeping us on our toes.”

At first, I thought it was a decent response but as I began thinking more about it I changed my mind. Here’s why:

  1. Anyone not firm in their faith, or even an unbeliever, may read the sign and doubt the power that God possesses. He is not everywhere, they may question. This may satisfy their already confident doubt. This is a huge misrepresentation of God! I believe this is potential cause for someone to stumble in their faith. This is serious!
  2. I believe the Pastor took it lightly – way too lightly. It seems he brushed it off as a mere “flub-up”. This is huge! God being everywhere – called omnipresence – is a huge part of who He is. This is not something to be wavering on. This is fundamental to our faith!
  3. “To be honest, when I saw the saying on the board, I, too, thought that people could take it the wrong way.” First off, he didn’t do anything about it! He saw the sign, but all that followed was a thought. There was no action. No addressing it. No correction. He is the Pastor and with that comes a responsibility of leadership. They are not called to sit back and watch. Secondly, “people could take it the wrong way”? What other way could it be taken? God can’t be everywhere…that is what the sign said. There’s no other way to spin that!
  4. As humans we fail constantly, I’m not questioning that. But this is not a I-had-a-bad-attitude-with-a-cashier mistake. At least that one you can make right – you can mend it. This is not a fly-by-the-moment, oh-shoot-I-shouldn’t-have-said-that issue. This statement took time to think up and time to put up on the board (it was not a digital sign)…meaning they had time to question whether this was true in accordance to God’s word. The sad part is that they don’t know who the viewers are; they can’t simply go talk to them. Comments like these need to be thought over longer and confirmed with Scripture!

This cuts to the very core of the Christian belief. This statement may have caused someone to falter in their faith. I, as a believer, saw it, so who else did? I’m sure someone said, “See I knew it! I knew God wasn’t ‘all that’.”   Or “that’s why He doesn’t answer my prayers; He’s off helping someone else.” This creates doubt, and questions the very character and power of God!!! (I could go into detail about God’s omnipresence; but then I would have to include His omnipotence and omniscience, which I cannot accomplish this appropriately right now.)

The Church, the body of Christ, needs to verify our faith according to the truth in the word of God and then stand firm in that faith. This error should not and cannot happen. If the Church does not stand up for the truth, then who will?

Whatever happened to simple is better? I understand the intention was to honor mothers but wouldn’t a simple Happy Mother’s Day! We appreciate you so much! suffice? Want something more elaborate? How about – Mothers were intricately woven by God, created incredibly for His precious purpose. God may not allow us to see Him with our eyes or to feel His touch on our skin, but mothers can. Mothers can touch lives and hearts like no other on this earth. Happy Mother’s Day!

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