Touchdown Jesus delay of game

A huge statue of Jesus, some call Touchdown Jesus due to the way the arms are raised signaling a touchdown, will be delayed in fulfilling its original purposes. As the AP reports: 6-story Jesus statue in Ohio struck by lightning.

“MONROE, Ohio — A six-story-tall statue of Jesus Christ with his arms raised along a highway was struck by lightning in a thunderstorm Monday night and burned to the ground, police said.”

This statue has been part of the 4,000 member Solid Rock Church, founded by Lawrence and Darlene Bishop, since late 2004. The AP story states that Mr. Bishop was “trying to help people, not impress them, with the statue.” And that Mrs. Bishop “proposed the Jesus figure as a beacon of hope and salvation and they spent about $250,000 to finance it.”

The church actually calls the statue the King of Kings Statue. The About the King of Kings Statue page has some more information about its construction. Not only is the statue 62 feet tall and weigh approximately 16,000 lbs, but it took “over 8,000 man-hours in development and installation.”

Over 8,000 man-hours in development and installation?

To get an idea of what 8,000 hours would look like daily, it breaks down to about 666 12-hour days. Quite a bit of work time. This statue took a lot of time and money to build. I’m sure people are asking – Isn’t this a waste of resources?

I wonder if they could they have done something differently for the gospel in the community. Sure they could, but given that the Solid Rock Church campus sits on 60 acres and has 4,000 members, it seems as though this endeavor would hardly exhaust their resources. They could probably build it again if they wanted to.

The real story is that this statue took 8,000 and $250,000 to build, yet  it was destroyed by an act of God in a few hours.

I don’t know how “successful” this statue was of giving people hope or bringing into Solid Rock Church. It is hard to measure “success” for type of attractional thing like this that is done by a church. If it is truly the program or novelty item that attracts people can it really be called a success? This is not to point fingers at Solid Rock nor to speculate if there is a message in the statue burning down.

It is a great reminder to all Christians for when we create something to try and draw people to Christ. Anything we create can become an idol and take the focus off of Christ. Distractions come is all shapes and sizes, from blogs to Bible studies (Cf. John 5:39-40). While a 62 ft. tall statue is easy to spot and speculate about, a clean mirror can be tough to look into.

“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. (Matthew 6:19-21 ESV)

(Photo credit: Morhange)

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