2.22.2007

America, return to Christ!

So this is the Statue of Liberation through Christ that stands outside the World Overcomers' church on Kirby and Winchester. On any given Sunday afternoon, protesters stand at the corners of the property with sign declaiming against graven images and the money racket of the church. I've heard that the statue cost about $60,000. It's about thirty feet tall.

Can I just say that I feel a deep, abiding affection for it? I think it's really great. Every time I pass it on the way to church, it makes me smile.

Here's why: I don't know too much about the Overcomers' theology, but I do know that they care about and reach out to Memphis, and that they have an international outlook. They could be much worse. As a church, they are extremely visible, and they have a lot of passion, which I admire and wish Baptists would emulate.

But the reason I really think this is a piece of genius is that it's as offensive as it is. On the front, in large caps, it says, "AMERICA, RETURN TO CHRIST." In its left hand are the Ten Commandments, and in its right hand a cross. On its crown rests the word "JEHOVAH." And here's what I love about it. The Overcomers have totally shanghaied an Enlightenment symbol and changed it to draw attention to Christ. And they've done it in an in-your-face way in a part of Memphis that is rapidly going downhill, and they're totally unashamed of Christ. Look at the symbol: she's not just liberty leading the masses. Her crown and splendor come from God, and she's not heading forward under the golden glow of Enlightenment thought; the cross is her torch. Knowledge is not her shield and treasure; she carries the words of God. Why wouldn't I like it? It's a big, bold way of telling America as a whole, and Memphis specifically, to get right with God.

I keep thinking about this Gandhi quote :"I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ" (Thanks, Ashley). How often do I look like I have Christ? Just walking around or driving down the street, am I proclaiming Him? I hope so. I'd like to hope I have guts like the Overcomers, but I just don't know.

1 comment:

ashley said...

you're welcome. i'd like to note that you're one of the few christ-like christians i know. or at least, honest, sincere, mostly rational ones. i like your christ, and i like this christian.

been thinking about you lately. hope things are excellent.