Motorists in Ontario, Canada, are voicing their complaints about the province’s new license plates. They’re virtually unreadable at night – even when light is shone on them…
…At first glance, the new plate design reminded people of a box of Q-Tips. They have the same color design. But after a month in circulation, motorists and police realized that the plates’ letters become invisible at night when either the headlamps of other cars – or the license plate’s own light – illumine them.
Now, the government claims that the new design went through numerous tests to ensure the highest level of readability. But something was overlooked in their development. Police have reported that not even their hand-held scanners can read the new plates. These new plates are colorful and durable. But, as an NPR article explained, “It appears the new plate design is struggling with its most important job: clarity.”
And what about the message of the Church of Jesus Christ? Is it clear? Does the church bear the message of the gospel, as Paul declared it in 1 Corinthians 15:3-6: “For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have fallen asleep.”
Is the mission of the church clear? Does the church make disciples (Matthew 28:18-20)? Does the church serve as the pillar and support of the truth (1 Timothy 3:15). Is it the light of the world and the salt of the earth (Matthew 5:13-16)? Does the church help the poor (Galatians 2:10) and face persecution for its stand for righteousness (Matthew 5:10-12)? Does it expose evil and perverse behavior (Ephesians 5:11)? Or, as one famous churchman asked, is the church functioning as a thermometer – merely reflecting the moral temperature of society, rather than as a thermostat – setting the moral temperature of society?
Lack of Clarity
As we survey the state of the contemporary church, I suspect we’ll find its message is far from clear. Muddled, watered down and outright twisted, the message lacks clarity. It’s promoting a gospel of earthly and temporary prosperity, ignoring Christ’s admonition to lay up treasure in heaven (Matthew 6:19-21). It ignores the example of Moses, who considered the reproach of Christ of greater value than all the treasures of Egypt (Hebrews 11:26).
Many churches who have entertaining their audiences as a priority, face the danger of the gospel becoming smothered with no calling to repent. And too many churches are merely following the world’s lead, chasing after whatever popular causes there may be, from addressing climate change to championing the concerns of the LGBT community. They’ve become like the church of Laodicea, in which Christ has found Himself an outsider, seeking entrance (Revelation 3:20).
Are we failing in our primary job – to be absolutely clear in our message? Let’s kneel before the mighty Lord Jesus Christ, ask His forgiveness, and plead for a new heart, a new zeal, and a far greater clarity in declaring Him to others by our words and deeds.
Dear Lord Jesus, I confess my sins of seeking approval from this world rather than from You, of storing up treasure on earth rather than in heaven, and of harboring sin rather than being zealous for righteousness. Please forgive me and cleanse me. Please create in me a new and pure heart that hungers for You and seeks to do Your will. May my mouth and my deeds clearly proclaim the love of Jesus Christ. Amen.
(Information from: https://www.npr.org/2020/02/18/807133008/ontarios-new-license-plates-have-a-problem-you-can-t-read-them)