"I went to Jerusalem to become acquainted (Gk. istoria) with Cephas" - Paul's words from Galatians 1:18.

Big Butter Jesus Burns

While catching up on some news during the 3:16 Networks (live) feed interruption of the Southern Baptist Convention, I came across the following story.

It seems Big Butter Jesus was struck by lightning and caught fire.

The conservative, evangelical church in Ohio that built the gaudy statue probably attributes its burning to the devil. I see it as a symbol that the modern evangelical church has a hard time distinguishing between the reality of Christianity with the religion of Christianity.

The story does, however, give me pause to reflect over the fact any religious icon we build will one day ultimately fail--whether it be a program, a methodology or a particular way of doing church.

20 comments:

Michael said...

And here all along, I thought it was God who controlled the lightning, not the devil...

:)

Wade Burleson said...

:)

Just think it's hard for the good folks in Ohio to say God struck their statue with lightning.

Kelly Reed said...

When we heard the news about this on the radio it was put in a very sad context.

The report seemed to find it amusing that just down the street from this big statue of Jesus is a big adult bookstore--selling pornography and videos. They even interviewed a woman who worked at the "bookstore" who was rather gleeful of which one was struck by lightening--paraphrasing... "God took out Touchdown Jesus"

It was sad commentary but it does serve as a reminder of how Jesus cleansed the temple of those just trying to provide a "necessary service" to those trying to worship.

Anonymous said...

Glad I wasn't the only one affected by the black outs of the live casting.

Just another reminder how fragile the net is :)

Scott said...

Yep. They're going to rebuild it. They have the technology.

Amanda said...

Yet another reason to go with the Westminster Shorter and Larger Catechisms (questions 51 and 109 respectively). ;)

Kelly Reed said...

"Better than he was before... Better. Stronger. Faster."

The Six Million Dollar Jesus

New BBC Open Forum said...

From this March 16, 2010 story...

After four years of standing strong and weathering the storm, Bishop says this winter's constant snow, sleet and ice, is slowly starting to chip away at the landmark statue -- so, now the 62 foot sculpture made of steel, fiber glass and Styrofoam is getting an almighty makeover.

I'd call this an "almighty makeover" all right.

Byron said...

I do not understand why churches spend so much on projects like these that could be spent otherwise truly making a difference in the world, even spreading Christian love (but without the glory). It is (or was) a beautiful statue, but its existence accomplishes virtually nothing in the spiritual world, and could even turn into an idol.

New BBC Open Forum said...

Best headline of the day:

President Obama to visit Ohio; 62-foot statue of Jesus explodes

Anonymous said...

SBC Orlando


Today I witnessed, this time from afar, the second SB takeover in my lifetime. Not as well defined or as politically significant but very much in the manner of the first. The tactics learned at the feet of the original raiders worked beautifully on the old masters themselves.. Chapman, Patterson and others were soundly rebuffed and then ignored by the young, change group. Seemingly without even a clear understanding of the CP they fragmented it. In the same way that Rogers and gang destroyed missions education and diminished AA & LM by repeatedly undermining and ridiculing WMU, Hunt and Floyd used every ploy known to work on gullible, emotional Baptists.

When there are two options, both with some merit, there should be a fair setting used for both sides to present worthy arguments. Let the people hear both sides, ponder and make a choice. The cards were as stacked in favor of the new takeover as they ever have been in any contest. The Pastor’s Conference ,paid for by men representing both viewpoints, was used for promotion of one side to the extent that it was embarrassing and diminished any hope of the conference being spiritually challenging for most of the time. Do the pastors who are urged to give more and more not resent that their contributions are used to promote something that they may not want?

Just can’t stand it anymore.

Robin Michelle said...

That thing is (or was) beyond tacky! I read that they spent over $200,000 on that awful thing. That money could have gone to much better use to...oh I don't know....feed the poor?

Lydia said...

" do not understand why churches spend so much on projects like these that could be spent otherwise truly making a difference in the world, even spreading Christian love (but without the glory)."

If one thinks about it, how is it different than the mighty palaces we build to worship in and declare they Glorify God? Like the one being planned in Dallas? I understand that one is less tacky than the other but what about the thinking that goes behind each?

Are we less Holy if we gather in a General Steel building that costs, say, hundreds of millions less?

New BBC Open Forum said...

What is Idolatry?

Anonymous said...

Christians have a habit of only seeing their "witness" through their own eyes. But ask the lost what all these symbols mean, and they all say "hypocrisy".

It takes the lost to see that the emperor has no clothes; it takes the lost to say the truth: large amounts of cash (and usually credit) are spent on Christians and their clubs, and comparatively little on actually supporting missionaries or feeding the poor. We are materialistic to the core, and any witness we think we have is the wrong one. We are clearly witnessing to a Christian club, not to the Jesus who had no home and said "neither here on this mountain nor in Jerusalem, but in spirit and truth".

Byron said...

Lydia, you have a very consistent habit of hitting the nail on the head. :)

Byron said...

I guess tackiness is a worse sin than being wasteful or overspending.

PC said...

I actually live a few miles away from that thing. Yes, it was very gaudy eyesore and looked as if it was carved out of soap.

Nevertheless, it did its job. Every time I drove by it I had a look, and every time I saw lots of people either parked on the side of the road with cameras.

Heck, I’m amazed that a local artistic monstrosity made national headlines. I doubt that roadside dinosaurs and the novelty architecture on Route 66 would be given such coverage.

A classic example of America’s particular brand of Holy Roll-Your-Eyes Evangelicalism. Just grin and move on.

New BBC Open Forum said...

"I guess tackiness is a worse sin than being wasteful or overspending."

No, I think it's just that "tackiness" is more in your face. The wastefulness and overspending are typically hidden from view. It's hard to hide 62 feet of "tacky," especially when it's struck by lightning and goes up in flames.

One 911 caller was quoted as saying, "The giant Jesus' right hand is on fire! Is it supposed to be that way?"

Byron said...

New BBC: OK, I can't argue with that logic. I definitely see your point. LOL @ at that last sentence, BTW.