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Smiting JesusPosted Wednesday, June 16, 2010, at 6:23 AM
Monday night, just North of Cincinnati, storm clouds gathered. The heavens erupted unleashing fury on the mortals below. The lightning was intense; placing people in fear of the Lord and reflecting on the condition of their souls.
With a mighty blast, lightning streaked down from the heavens and smote - - - Jesus? That's right, Jesus. Lightning from the heavens struck Jesus causing him to burst into roaring flames reminiscent of a holocaust on the altar of Abraham consuming all but the skeleton.
In 2004, the evangelical Solid Rock Church erected a 62-foot tall statue depicting Jesus rising from baptismal waters showing his chest to his upraised hands. The statue was named "King of Kings." Due to the roll of the land, motorists on I75 would come upon the scene suddenly causing frequent traffic jams and accidents. In a pole, 75 percent of local residents found the statue to be an eyesore and bad for the community.
To some, it looked like Jesus was preparing to do a back flip. To others, it looked like Jesus was drowning. To many it looked rather like a referee at a football game giving the sign for a touchdown. That caused the statue to become popularly known as "Touchdown Jesus." Because of the creamy color of the statue, the musical comedian Heywood Banks thought it looked like a giant butter sculpture. This inspired his song "Big Butter Jesus."
I am not sure if my faith has been shaken to its roots or not. If lightning strikes and destroys a statue of Jesus, is it a sign from God? If so, what does it say? "I really meant it when I said 'no graven images.'" "That statue was too tacky even for me." Was something so wrong about this particular church that God smote himself???
But, there is more to the story. Across the street from this church was Larry Flynt's "Hustler Hollywood" pornography store. The pornography store was untouched.
As Christians, we believe that God is Omniscient, Omnipotent, Omnipresent. What does it mean if God missed his mark? Lightning destroyed Touchdown Jesus and left the porn store. Does that mean:
Hustler Hollywood: 1, King of Kings: 0?
There has been much commentary on this bazaar act of God. One of the most interesting exchanges I have seen read: "Ye shall make you no idols nor graven image, neither rear you up a standing image, neither shall ye set up any image of stone in your land, to bow down unto it: for I am the LORD your God." Which drew the reply: "This doesn't apply since 1st Timothy 13:25 reads: And the lord said unto those gathered, "After further review, the ball broke the plane of the endzone. Touchdown."
Another person speculated that since this happened during the World Cup, God must eschew American football for soccer.
Of course the pastor was interviewed. During the interview he said: "It will be back, but this time we are going to try for something fireproof," I guess if someone were to ask "what would Jesus do?" The answer would have to include something fire resistant.
Personally, I believe that God has an incredible sense of humor. It doesn't take much of a look around to find things to laugh about. The destruction of the King of Kings statue has to be the irony of ironies for 2010. I hope God is laughing as we all ponder on this singular "act of God."
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