When you tour through old, old, old churches, you can help but feel a little sick looking at the richness and ornateness (which spell-check says is a word) of the buildings. All that money spent on a building when people were starving in the streets. I fail to see how gold-gilt walls bring more glory to God than caring for your neighbor.
I should have felt the same thing every time my old church went through a capital funds campaign to build a huge building we didn’t need, and I’m certainly feeling it today after reading about Touchdown Jesus. (Sending you the Boing Boing story because if you’re a Christian, you should read the comments and see what people really think about us.)
Forget all the graven images stuff. What has my knickers in a twist is that it cost $250,000 to build that thing. Which did nothing but draw attention. (It even had its own Facebook page.) It didn’t help to feed the hungry or clothe the needy or house the homeless. (Unless they could take shelter in an armpit.) It did nothing to bring hope to the desperate or peace to the stricken. As far as I can tell, they spent a quarter of a million dollars on a big-ass statue rather than on funding actions that the church is supposed to take. (Insert graven images argument here if you happen to think big-ass statues of Jesus should be church work.)
And … they’ve already planning to do it again. To build another giant Jesus. Not fund Kiva loans or support a local shelter or finance medical mission trips or invest in the Acumen Fund. Nope. Giant Jesus seems to be a far better way to spend God’s money. Definitely the best way for the church to seem relevant today and for us to bring glory to God and for the world to think we have a clue.