Today Google - the ubiquitous smart search engine - has unveiled its newest logo and do a little self-promotion at the same time. It was accompanied by a short video of their development and promise to reach further and do more.
Re-branding over time is nothing new. You start with an idea, keep the good core values and alter it as you move ahead. You keep speaking to the current needs and look to improve upon what is already working.
As a geek, I see this in the history of Batman and Superman, How they have changed over the years, yet remained immediately recognizable.
Here's some of the most recognizable logos Batman has had in 70+ years:
The core remains the same. The values and initial reason for creation have not changed, though many details and other functions or audiences may appear.
Do you know what freaked me out about becoming a Christian in the late part of the 20th century?
I began to understand the Christians in the late part of the 1st century. I began to understand the emotions and problems and challenges of being no longer a citizen of this world, but a citizen of heaven.
Before my full conversion, I knew about God. Now I knew Him as a Person, a real living Being who had feelings and love and pain and compassion and humor and was full of grace...
...and in my discovery, I tried to figure out what the hell had happened that we, who can know God intimately and personally, like a dear friend, had screwed it up!
I mean, why was I so crazy for Jesus but not my family or friends? And what was killing this awesome Good News of a Good Relationship with a Good God?
It did not take long. I took a course on Christian History and watched it happen. It opened the door to the Muslim faith in Christian countries, I believe.
It was people wanting a religion instead of a relationship. They wanted to say "Hi, God - I'm pretty O.K. so I don't need your help. I'll talk to you later when I think I might need you."
We cover it in somber ceremonies and sacred rituals but essentially, God is relegated to being our insurance agent. You only call your agent when:
- You need help,
- Your premium is due.
We cover ourselves with symbols and apologize for "any sins we might have done" but have no intention of really changing or getting closer to Him.
God knows this game. He knows it very well.
He watched Adam blame Eve blame Satan for their act of self-gratification.
In an act that prefigures Christ, God covers Adam and Eve with real clothing, not fig leaves. Clothing made from killing a live animal. Clothing that was made in blood.
Christ became our new clothing before God. He is our blood garment, that grants us access into the Holy of Holies - the place before God.
You see, the idea that only blood will satisfy the righteous wrath of God is prefigured all the way back to the Garden of Eden. We see the need for a miraculous child to be sacrificed also when Father Abraham is willing to sacrifice Isaac, but God stops him. He provides the sacrifice instead.
We see this blood cost in the commanded temple sacrifices. We see it finally ended, fully paid, on the cross.
Jesus was the lamb that was slain. I have looked at the full scope of scripture I believe that Jesus was "the Lord [who] walked in the Garden in the cool of the day" for He is the three-dimensional image of an unlimited, multi-dimensional God.
It is His hand that takes the first life to cover Adam and Eve.
It is His heart that is pierced to die to cover all our sins - even theirs.
You see, I am saying we have moved too far away from the bloody damnable mess that necessitated Christ dying on the cross to fix us. We've lost the content and the imagery.
When you slap on a new logo with no concern of the past or change something too much, it loses its usefulness.
We are living in a 21st century neat-freak environment. We have no idea the power and passion of Christ because we have cleaned up Christianity to be something it was never meant to be, something it could never be.
A nice religion for nice people in nice homes to practice so they can be more tolerant of attractive and clever people who act nice.
No harm = no foul, right?
No blood = no Jesus, buddy.
God knows every generation has the baggage of the previous one. God told His own people as they were going into a painful and long exile that He did not hate them. He loved them - but they would have to do the calling on Him.
They would have to get off their spiritual butts and Google Him.
11 "For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. 12 Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.
13 "You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. 14 I will be found by you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back from captivity.
"I will gather you from all the nations and places where I have banished you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back to the place from which I carried you into exile.”
Let me be blunt: if you are not talking to God, you are a jerk.
You are ignoring someone who loves you. And no, I don't mean empty whiny prayers when you are uncomfortable, which are SO typical of modern Christians. I mean laughing with Him and telling Him all your praises as well as problems. Like the psalmists, like the prophets of the Old Testament.
He is good, and we are not.
The point is, geeks, you accept Batman and Superman and get all excited if one thing about them is changed.
Well, fanboys, God does not change. But He is willing to speak to you and your needs.
And just as you would imagine anyone who cannot learn to Google, to search for answers using the simplest, most helpful interface the world has ever known, a complete and utter idiot [in fact, there is a snarky site designed to shame such lazybones called appropriately enough, "Let Me Google That For You" or lmgtfy: http://lmgtfy.com ] you must accept God's open invitation to speak to Him and know Him as honest and real and paid for by Christ.
You have no excuse to remain ignorant. Nothing has really changed.
You and I sinned just like Adam and Eve. We have that stupid pride in us.
When the Lord comes walking to us, what are we gonna do? Change our logo and cover ourselves with fig leaves of excuses? Or instead, we will activate our search engines for Him - and let Him comfort us by covering us with what He Himself has paid for?
Times may change, but the needs do not.
And the need to call on a good God to do what we cannot possibly do has never been greater.