Billboard Heckler – Christian Koans

It’s been a long time between heckles.

Usually when I pick a billboard to talk about, I look for one that has a clear message that I can use as a starting point for a rant. But sometimes it doesn’t work that way. This one, from the always-reliable Castle Hill Christadelphians, left me wondering whether they’d put up a Zen koan by mistake:

Consider - fear knocked at the door - faith answered - no one was there...

What?

No one was where? At home? Outside the door? I thought fear was outside the door? Or is “No One” a name? (Third base!) Exactly how many anthropomorphic abstract concepts are there in this lesson?

After I took this photo, Tina and I spent a bit of time trying to decode it. Our current guess is that fear was playing a practical joke on faith by knocking on his (her?) door and running away. We agreed that it would be better if the text of the billboard itself could paint this picture more thoroughly. One suggestion:

CONSIDER:
FEAR KNOCKED AT THE DOOR;
FAITH ANSWERED;
FEAR RAN AWAY
AND THREW EGGS OF DOUBT
FROM BEHIND THE PICKET FENCE OF REASON

Might not be room for that on the billboard though.

On a similar note, from West Ryde Baptist:

Worry is a small trickle of fear that cuts a channel into which everything is drained

So, worry is a small trickle… of fear… hang on, is this a metaphor or not? I could understand if worry was a small trickle of water, that means they’re building some imagery… but what is a trickle of fear? That’s just confusing. And what is this “everything” that is drained into it? I need more information about what’s being drained here. I mean, are problems drained into it? That would be a good thing, wouldn’t it? And where does the channel drain to? If anyone can explain this billboard, I’d appreciate it.

Both of these churches are on main roads. Neither of them update their billboard more than once every few weeks. Tens of thousands of people get to read everything that they put up there. If I had that kind of publicity, I’d make sure that what I wrote made some kind of sense. As it is, they’re not exactly inspiring me about the rationality of their religion.

4 comments

4 Comments so far

  1. JANICE March 16th, 2007 10:50 am

    Well, the message is quite clear, sadly if you are not in the know then you will never understand. Where there is fear there is no faith, where there is faith there is no fear. Faith is the antidote for fear. Most people live in fear all of their lives, the only thing that will save them from their fear is to have faith. When you have faith you have peace and….no fear.

  2. admin March 17th, 2007 11:12 am

    I guess I’m not in the know then. I must not be one of the Chosen. Oh well.

  3. NitnibTriense January 13th, 2008 3:25 am

    Make peace, not war!

  4. Christina July 21st, 2011 1:14 am

    I think the point along the lines of Janice’s post; a “face your fears with faith and you’ll find them non-existent” type message…although you’re right it does sound more like a practical joke.

    As for the second the mixing of metaphors is really bad.

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