For a number of years I have seen a bumper sticker that is made up of symbols to spell the word “COEXIST”. I have often wondered, like you may have, what was their purpose or intent? Who produced or sponsors the bumper sticker? Was it pro- Christian or anti- Christian?
A preliminary search for COEXIST bumper sticker will give you multiple views of for or against the bumper sticker. I will tell you I have been a “live and let live” kind of guy. I changed this philosophy after I became a Christian to live as the Bible tells me to live. Surrendering my life to the Lord Jesus Christ, included adapting my way of thinking to the way God wants me to think. The way that mankind thinks is often opposite of the way God thinks. Romans chapter one gives us some insight as to how man thinks and how God thinks about how man thinks [underline by me]:
18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth.19 For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. 20 For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. 21 For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened.22 Claiming to be wise, they became fools, 23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things.
24 Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, 25 because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen. English Standard Version
Futile is defined as incapable of producing any result; ineffective; useless. Why was their thinking futile? The answer is in verse 25. They didn’t believe God and didn’t worship Him.
So with my background and view established, I will try to answer my questions about coexisting.
According to Merriam-Webster.com
: to exist together or at the same time
: to live in peace with each other especially as a matter of policy
According to coexistbumpersticker.wordpress.com
This word “Coexist” literally means to exist in the same space as somebody else. Indicating that all beliefs and religions should aim to live together in peace.
PURPOSE OR INTENT
According to coexistbumpersticker.wordpress.com
The Coexist Foundation aims to increase communication and cooperation between Jews, Christians and Muslims.
According to The Coexist Foundation
Coexist works in communities with a history of conflict to repair the divides caused by prejudice, hate and violence by creating opportunities for people to work and learn together, we help build relationships, knowledge and common purpose to advance coexistence.
While on the surface, these appear to be noble goals. Coexist Foundation is active in programs providing educational teaching, building restoration. What are Muslims, Jews, and Christians taught to make them accepting of other faiths? I don’t see how they could remain true to their core beliefs by altering their views.
BUMPER STICKERS PRODUCED OR SPONSERED BY
coexist bumper stickers– The coexist bumper sticker is a grass-roots promotion of tolerance between different philosophies. Also, a coexist bumper sticker on your car means that humanity and nature are parts of the same whole. Another coexistence movement is the promotion of tolerance between “straight” and “non-straight” people. If people could just act in a cultured manner around this point then coexistence might be realistic. Laws geared towards proper conduct and behavior are needed, to be sure.
moveon.org– [Wikipedia] MoveOn is an American non-profit, progressive or liberal public policy advocacy group and political action committee
peacemonger.org– [a merchandising company][from their website] Originally inspired by a sense of outrage and a search for truth, Peacemonger owner, Jerry Jaspar had begun an evolutionary journey which has become a mission to design messages advocating humanity’s quest for inner peace, unity, and harmony. Starting with a handful of pro-peace and anti-war images mixed with some Bush bashing bumper stickers, it became clear that messages advocating love and peace were far more popular than those pointing out the obvious flaws and corruption inherent within our system of laws and government.
international answer.org– [Wikipedia] Act Now to Stop War and End Racism; ANSWER characterizes itself as anti-imperialist, and its steering committee consists of socialists, civil rights advocates, and left-wing or progressive organizations from the Muslim, Arab, Palestinian, Filipino, Haitian, and Latin American communities. Many of ANSWER’s lead organizers had ties to the International Action Center, and Workers World Party at the time of ANSWER’s founding.
With these given sponsors, I’m beginning to wonder if these pro-Muslim, anti-Semitic groups will be tolerating of a fundamentalist, Bible believing Christian. It appears there is also a political movement to affect laws involved.
ARE THEY PRO-CHRISTIAN OR ANTI-CHRISTIAN?
Before we look at the specific groups, I wanted to set some perimeters for my evaluation. Those perimeters would be: 1. Who do they believe Jesus is? The Bible says He is the Only Begotten Son of God; Savior to the world; He was 100% God and 100% man (Hypostatic Union); He was part of the Triune Godhead (Father, Son, Holy Spirit). 2. Who is their God? The Bible identifies God’s name as YAHWEH or Jehovah. 3. Are they accepting of Christianity?
What COEXIST symbols represent:
C – Represents the Crescent moon for Islam. Islam is a monotheistic faith. Their key figure is the Prophet Muhammad. The name of their god is Allah. Their scripture is called the Quran. They consider Jews and Christians as heretics. They reject the theology of a Triune Godhead (Trinity), saying it is polytheism and Christians are condemned for this belief. If you reject their beliefs you are called an infidel. According to the Quran, “Fight in the cause of Allah those who fight you, but do not transgress limits; for Allah loveth not transgressors. And kill them wherever you find them, and drive them out from whence they drove you out, and persecution is severer than slaughter, and do not fight with them at the Sacred Mosque until they fight with you in it, but if they do fight you, then slay them; such is the recompense of the unbelievers.”—Qur’an Surah 2:191
What should my response be toward a Muslim? Show them the love of Jesus. Tell them that He died to pay their sin debt; just has He has done for me. If they choose to kill me…The Bible says to be absent of the body is to be present with the Lord (2 Corinthians 5:8). There is a great history of Christian martyrs who have faced that situation. Hebrews 11 list the way Christians have been treated and concluded in verse 38 saying, “of whom the world was not worthy…”
O – Represents the peace symbol sign. Pacifism is the belief that any violence, including war, is unjustifiable under any circumstances, and that all disputes should be settled by peaceful means. The first pacifist movement was Buddhism.
Buddhism is based on the teachings of Siddhartha Gautama, called the Buddha. Buddhism teachings are recorded in the Tripitaka. Buddhism is pantheistic, meaning ever thing is god. Jesus was just a spiritual leader. Current Buddhist leader is the Dalai Lama (Tibetan Buddhism). There is also Zen Buddhism.
What is my response to a pacifist/Buddhist? Show them the love of Jesus. Try to explain to them there is one God who created the universe and He should be worshiped, not His creation.
E – Represents scientific equation. The symbols for male and female were added later. The Free Dictionary defined this phrase as: 1. The act or process of equating or being equated 2. The state of being equal. There is not a lot written on this in regards to it being a faith or religion, but from what I can gather, it would be the possible conflict of modern science and religious belief. To extend the thought, it would lead to the conflict of Creationism vs. Evolution.
I come back to the definition of the state of being equal. I understand in mathematics and scientific equations that things must add up and be proven. But in regards to how the universe was made, is man’s thoughts equal to how God said it was made? I refer you back to the Romans Chapter 1 passage. One of the best known scientists was Albert Einstein. In reading about his beliefs about creationism and how the universe was started, he had these thoughts. He did not believe in a personal god. His study showed him the universe had a beginning. If it had a beginning, it would have to have been created. His conclusion was it was created by an impersonal god. He would have been classified as a deist.
Are male and female equal? Is one sex more important than the other? Is white skin better than black skin, or yellow, or red, or brown? As one who believes that God created everything, I believe that all things were created as it pleasured Him to create and has a purpose. When I was born, I had no input to my sex, my skin color, to whom I was born, when I was born or where I was born. I was born as He created me. Jeremiah 1:5 says, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations.” Psalm 139:12 says,” For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb.” God, the creator of the universe, knows me quite well and about my life.
I find it amazing that God has created laws of nature, such as the law of gravity, and laws of science, such as water molecule make up; how things exist day to day, only to be able to over-ride those given things to serve His purpose, like walking on water, or rising the dead to life, of healing leprosy by speaking a word. He established the natural things to show He could overcome them to work the supernatural.
What is my response to those who believe in scientific equation? Show them the love of Jesus and remind them of the great equality spoken of in Galatians 3:28 “There is neither Jew or Greek, there is neither slave or free, there is no male or female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”
X – Represents the Star of David for Judaism. Judaism is a monotheistic faith. Their key figure is the coming Messiah. The name of their god is YAHWEH or Jehovah. Their scripture is called the Torah and the Tulmud. Jesus is viewed as a prophet, but not the Son of God, not the promised Messiah.
What is my response to those who are Jewish? Show them the love of Jesus and point out the great numbers of prophesies Jesus fulfilled. We have much in common.
I – Represents Wiccan or pagan. Wiccan is witchcraft. They believe in duotheism (horned god and moon goddess), pantheism, and polythesim. There is no key figure or scriptures.
What is my response to those who are followers of Satan? Show them the love of Jesus. There are numerous verses in the Old and New Testaments warning believers about being involved in sorcery and mediums, etc. 1 John 4:4 says, 4 Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.
S – Represents Chinese yin-yang . [Wikipedia] “yin yang”, are concepts used to describe how apparently opposite or contrary forces are actually complementary, interconnected, and interdependent in the natural world, and how they give rise to each other as they interrelate to one another. Many tangible dualities (such as light and dark, fire and water, and male and female) are thought of as physical manifestations of the duality of yin and yang. This duality lies at the origins of many branches of classical Chinese science and philosophy, as well as being a primary guideline of traditional Chinese medicine. This philosophy is tied to Confucianism and Taoism.
What is my response to those who are believers of yin-yang? Show them the love of Jesus. Tell them we all must surrender ourselves to serve the all-powerful God who requires the law to be fulfilled and knowing we can’t fulfill it; sends His Son to die on the cross to pay for my sin debt.
T – Represents the Cross for Christianity. Christianity is a monotheistic faith. Their key figure is the Lord Jesus Christ. The name of their god is YAHWEH or Jehovah. Their scripture is called the Holy Bible made up of the 39 books of the Old Testament and the 27 books of the New Testament.
What is my response to other Christians? Show them the love of Jesus. I have to summit to dying to myself each day. I must prefer the needs of others above myself. I may not agree on how you conduct a church service or share your convictions, but if we are both “in Christ” we are in the same family.
What Did Jesus Say About Coexisting?
John 14:6 ” Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
Matthew 10:34-36 34 “Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I have not come to bring peace, but a sword. 35 For I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. 36 And a person’s enemies will be those of his own household.
Should I join the majority in order to get along? I say no. Have you noticed that throughout the Bible, God would keep getting the crowds smaller? Sifting out those who were not committed to Him, He chooses to use a smaller number to do a greater job. The Bible tells us that 120 believers changed the world. In Heaven, there will be people from around the world. The Bible describes it as people from every nation, every tribe, every tongue. Those who have put their trust in the Lord Jesus Christ alone, will coexist for eternity worshiping Jesus.