sign, sign, everywhere a sign

July 27, 2010 at 1:37 pm 14 comments

We live in an area of the United States originally settled by German Mennonites. There is still a large Mennonite population here. German, or actually Pennsylvania Dutch, was still commonly spoken in the area through the 1950’s. I don’t know that much about the Mennonites, at least not as much as I should living here. My own heritage is partly Pennsylvania Dutch, though not Mennonite.

As with many other Christian denominations, there is a wide spectrum of churches, from liberal to conservative. Old Order Mennonites, a conservative group at one far end of the spectrum, are similar in many ways to the Amish, forgoing many modern conveniences and embracing older, traditional ways of living. On the other end of the spectrum, many Mennonites are quite progressive and modern.

Mennonites have a long tradition of working for peace and taking a strong anti-war stance. The Mennonite Central Committee, a service organization of the Mennonites, performs relief work and invests in sustainable community building all over the world, and are well know for their work in the field of appropriate technology (which is one of my pet interests).

So that’s a brief background. I have a lot of friends and acquaintances who are Mennonites, or are of Mennonite lineage, and they all are good people, every last one.

This post was really created for the photographs included below. They were all taken within a five minute radius of our home. I am guessing someone in the region manufactures them. I don’t know if it is just a Mennonite endeavor, though it would seem to be, from the location of the signs.

Click on the images to see them full size.

This sign is across a small road from a Mennonite church, but I doubt they placed the sign there themselves. I suspect the verses inserted in these signs can be swapped out, but I’m not sure. Are you rejecting Jesus?

"Perilous times shall come."

Here is the other side of the same sign. Like most of these, it has a strong emphasis on wrath and judgement.

Here is a second sign, next to the larger greenhouse sign. The Mennonite owners of the business seem a conservative group. The men always wear button up shirts, and the women wear long dresses and head coverings.  I had thought all these signs contained harsher messages, until I noticed this one when I photographed it. Also note the statement concerning the day they are closed, near the bottom. The signs clearly express a desire to preach to the world around them.

"O Lord I am poor and needy."

"With my whole heart I sought God."

I took this picture out my car window while stopped in the middle of a road, which resulted in the camera shake.

"The Lord shall keep you from evil."

This sign is in the front yard of a house. There is sign at the corner of the property advertising toys and crafts for sale. Some of the merchandise can be seen on the small table next to the yard sign.

"The broad way leads to destruction."

The toys are more visible in this photograph. I think it is an interesting jux-
taposition with the message on the sign.

There are a couple more signs I know of in the area, one a bit farther away, and one I can’t remember the exact location. I may add them to the post at a later date. What bible verse would you put up in your yard if you were to do so?


Entry filed under: Christianity, conservatism, fundamentalism. Tags: , , , .

not dead yet apologies for apologists

14 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Bruce  |  July 27, 2010 at 1:53 pm

    Sign Sign everywhere a sign
    Blocking out the scenery breaking my mind
    Do this, don’t do that, can’t you read the sign :)

  • 2. Clergy Guy  |  July 27, 2010 at 2:56 pm

    I have had several people with Mennonite background in my churches and they were always my favorites. Tender, hardworking, consciencious–they’re lovely.

  • 3. Quixie  |  July 27, 2010 at 4:45 pm

    “Behold, I will corrupt your seed and spread dung upon your faces”
    Mal 2:3



  • 4. Temaskian  |  July 28, 2010 at 4:19 am

    Like Bruce’s poem / limerick.

  • 5. Bruce  |  July 28, 2010 at 8:30 am

    Not mine. Just an old man remembering an old song from the early 1970’s. by Five Man Electrical Band.

  • 6. Sabio Lantz  |  July 29, 2010 at 2:46 am

    I look forward to your next photo collection of bumper stickers.

    I put one that said “Honk if you love Jesus” on my Mom’s car — she was always so embarrassed.

    I put a huge poster in my dorm room as a kid which so embarrassed my roommate.

    So I wrote an apology for my sign days.

  • 7. Sabio Lantz  |  July 29, 2010 at 2:54 am

    @ Clergyguy
    Your link does not work. You miss spelled it:
    But I found ya:

  • 8. atimetorend  |  July 29, 2010 at 12:44 pm

    Thanks all for the comments.
    @Bruce, now everyone can have that song stuck in their heads for a while.
    @Quixie, maybe there will be a mennonite sign generator application some day. For now though:

  • 9. Amy C  |  July 30, 2010 at 10:16 pm

    Those are nice signs!! At the last fundie church I attended, it became a fad to choose a favorite Bible verse and a sign-maker who attended the church would make a cheap looking yard sign for your yard. You’d think those people would have spread ‘hope’ verses but it was always the ‘doom and gloom’ ones. Amazing.

  • 10. Mike AKA MonolithTMA  |  August 1, 2010 at 9:41 am

    Reminds me of this site:

  • 11. Lorena  |  August 3, 2010 at 9:32 am

    I went to a Mennonite church for a while, and I came to appreciate their cooking…those people cook well, and not only peroggies (or vereniki) and borsch. They also make wonderful buns and lots of other things.

    They’re quite conservative, but they also work for peace, and that’s great.

    I took a career exploration course at an MCC establishment last year, and the employees told me that they don’t need to be Christian to work there. I thought that was neat.

    That said, I experienced a lot of racial discrimination from Mennonites. I even went to a church where non-Mennonites by race where not allowed to become members.

    Others made it very clear that Mennonites only marry Mennonites, when I was single, of course.

  • 12. atimetorend  |  August 3, 2010 at 8:41 pm

    @amy: It is funny to imagine ordering a gloom and doom sign for your yard. “I’d like a Matthew 7:13 please.” Weird!
    @Lorena: Interesting stories, sounds like a very conservative bunch of Mennonites you were in with.
    @Kay: Hi, and thanks for the encouragement!
    @Mike: yeah, I love that site

  • 13. atimetorend  |  August 5, 2010 at 6:03 pm

    Flash update — the sign that said “Are you rejecting Jesus?” now reads, “The broad way leads to destruction.” So they are interchangeable. And I think someone is trying to send me a message…

  • 14. Johng702  |  August 4, 2014 at 1:26 pm

    Hello. excellent job. I did not expect this. This is a great story. Thanks! edkaadcckgfk

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