This morning as I drove to work at Jeffrey and Alton in Irvine, there were about 10 people, apparently Christian, who were holding enormous yellow signs that had large lettered short messages most of us have seen/heard before:  Repent or go to hell; God will judge the world; sin is death.  One sign among the 10 or so said God is merciful.  

Now, I am a mature Christian, and frankly these signs disgusted me.  Why?  Not because the messages were untrue.  Theologically, the messages were unassailable.  What disturbed me is how “out to lunch” these persons were–they were using 19th Century “church” slogans to reach a 21st century population deeply hurt by the severe judgments of “religion.”  The canned “in your face” messages communicated anger, not love.  

I witnessed an old woman almost running across the intersection to avoid one of the young men who reached into his holster to hand her a religion tract.  Is scaring old women effective evangelism?  

Then a very disturbing thought entered my mind.  What if the power of darkness was behind this public display of unimaginative, stereotypical “hell & brimstone” vernacular of two centuries ago?  Now that would be one clever devil.