Monday, June 11, 2007
best site on drive back from FLA
On the drive home from FLA (and there will be more about that one coming up), we passed the fine edifice pictured on your right. Naturally, it inspired some conversation.
There was a time when I subscribed to the "a church must look 'a Church'" philosophy, and by that standard, this fails miserably...it looks like a reject from the now defunct Heritage USA park. This is not glorious, and it does not enhance the aura of anything.
I have long since quit thinking churches have to look any certain way. Instead, I now believe that those glorious cathedrals really are more about the institution showing how big and important they feel...and while I don't know exactly what God might think, I'm pretty sure He doesn't need his ego stroked. And if the public display of power and importance is just about the church showing "I'm bad," then that's the kind of thing that puts more people off religion than anything else.
But what about Stone Jesus? Is this just a big "look at me!"? Yes, this certainly draws attention to its subject, but at what cost? Does this not also just make the religious organization sponsoring it look silly?
I did notice on my drive an increasing amount of visual displays of faith. There are at least two Christian trucking companies out there, a few Christian hotels, and any number of commuters who feel the need to tell the world what they believe?
I guess this all ties in to the "I support our troops" car magnets and ribbons. While the sentiment is nice, I'm always wondering how exactly these people support our troops. I have friends and ex-students who're military, and I know that there are things they'd rather have from us than people putting yellow magnets on their Hummers.
Likewise, when I look at Stone Jesus, I've gotta think if all the effort put into this statuary could've gone to something useful, to either God or mankind. Or, as my wife said, "imagine how many starving people they could've fed with the money they spent on that."