Christian memes are the internet's version of tracts without the negativity. Tracts try to scare people into faith with goury images of Jonah's skin peeling off after being in a whale multiple days, or people burning alive in hell. My high school had a few who would generously drop tracts into my locker. I would laugh at the graphic novel style mini-book. I was not brought to faith through fear and manipulation. I was brought to God through love and caring. Tracts do not scare me, they humor me.
Christian memes, unlike their secular counterpart, do not make fun of the subject matter. They take an image or a group of words to express a Christian idea in an attractive way. Their whole goal is to get you to read and click. Christian memes are hooks. It is meant to draw you into something bigger. This is one of the ways the internet fish for people. This might sound cheap to hear the purpose behind those clever little pictures, but it is all a double edged sword.
Everyone advertises. Everyone uses graphic design to express an idea or feeling. For the most part, churches do it poorly. Part of the reason they do it poorly is because they know they will be chastised for doing it. Design today is manipulation. McDonalds uses red in their restaurant because it increases hunger and get's you to eat faster. The FedEx logo has a forward moving arrow hidden in the name to help your brain understand it is a shipping company. Also, it was recently pointed out the new Wendy's logo has "mom" hidden in Wendy's collar to suggest their food is like home cooking. Design is everywhere. Advertising is everywhere. We cannot escape it. Even at church.
The skin tone of the icons on the church walls and powerpoint presentations are design. The choice between a wooden or brass cross is design. Whether a church has a communion table, what that table looks like and where it is located is all design. All these things and more sends signals to our brain and tells us theological truths. When churches refuse to admit they are designing worship or the space they worship in they allowing bad design to take over. Humans communicate with more than verbal cues.
I write all this because this week I am choosing to post three Christian memes in place of a meditation. Part of the reason I make these memes is so you will share them and spread the word. They are by design. This is the internet and we don't have the luxury to ignore how design looks. Everything has to have a reason and a place or it is ignored. If you find one you really like: pin them, share on Facebook, post one or more on Twitter. If you are a minister, feel free to use one on a Sunday morning during your powerpoint. It's appropriate to evangelize when we are sharing the love of God.
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Have a Christian meme you want to share? Join the conversation on our subreddit, http://www.reddit.com/r/FigTreeChristian/. On the subreddit you can ask questions, give answers, and share blogs and memes. Look forward to seeing you there!