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Touchdown Jesus

On this day after Christmas, it’s always good to peer into the “they meant well, but it sure turned out badly” file. Today’s entry is “Touchdown Jesus” outside Solid Rock Church in Monroe, Ohio – just South of Cincinnati.
I’ve heard it’s the largest sculpture of Jesus in North America. The statue sits in front of the baptismal pool within viewing distance of highway 75. On the negative side (other than it just looking weird of course) is that it’s actually made of Styrofoam and fibeglass, originally constructed on the beaches of Jacksonville, Florida and then hauled in sections to Monroe. The cost? A baffling $250,000. I won’t even go into the bad art discussion, or the “what else they could have done with the money” discussion, or the “Christians look bad enough without this stuff” argument. I’m afraid I’ll go to my grave not understanding what some pastors think is effective ministry…

Any thoughts?


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  1. I’ll bet this pastor’s messages are filled with football metaphor’s, his head deacon is the high school football coach and his board is filled with all the fathers of the team. Can’t you see their wives rolling their eyes as they try to sell all that junk at the church rummage sale for the missionary fund right under the touchdown Jesus Idol? Oh well!  

  2. The pastor raises and sells quarter horses, is featured in his own collection of gospel/country/blue grass records.

    Its a different church experience to be sure …

  3. I think “perceived tackiness” is the key here, and Stevan’s brought up a good point. In the past, the Christian world built great cathedrals, sponsored magnificant passion plays, wrote the greatest music, painted the greatest art, and literally transformed Western civilization. The greatest minds for hundreds of years were CHRISTIAN thinkers. But now, we build churches out of metal buildings, produce poorly made movies, write bad “Christian fiction” (it’s become it’s own category) and create statues out of fiberglass. To answer PaulJoshua’s point, this statue wasn’t featured on MTV, CNN, and Fox News because it was an example of the kind of great art our culture should aspire to. Let’s face it – they were making fun of it. Now we can always take solace in saying “the world is against us.” But I think first, we need to look at the quality of what we’re doing out there. If we want to change the world, we have to gain their respect first.

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