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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 7/26/08

What Next, A Golden Calf?

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What Next, A Golden Calf?

When I heard that Grace Community Church in Houston is going to build two 150’ tall crosses and prayer centers along I-45 I had mixed feelings. My first thought was, “That might be a nice symbol and tourist attraction for the area”.

Upon further review I think it’s just plain hypocrisy. The crosses will rank among the largest in the world. Putting it into perspective, the crosses, one at each of the churches in the Woodlands and south of Houston at Dixie Farm Road, will be twice as tall as the Sam Houston statue in Huntsville. Wow! That’s tall!

"A Space Needle-type place”, Pastor Steve Riggle said, "where Christians from all over Houston could come to pray for the city’s well being". (Houston Chronicle, July 10, 2008)

Can't Christians pray right where they are? Please, leave the monument building to the government entities. Churches should be the hands and feet of Christ not His mansion builders. When one sees the artist's drawing of the proposed crosses it brings to mind idolatry (golden calves).

Riggle sees the crosses as a symbolic stand against moral decay: "The freeways are littered with sexually oriented businesses," he said. "I'd rather see something that stands for hope, life and faith". (Houston Chronicle, July 10, 2008)

I agree that there are some obnoxious billboards around Houston, such as  the “Love Works” one at I-45 and Sawdust, but is the answer to those billboards to build an obnoxiously large cross or two? Please explain how these crosses are going to help eliminate sexually oriented businesses.

Might that not be just as offensive to the unchurched in the community, pushing them further from the Church? I love seeing symbols of hope, life, and faith as well. But the symbols that really make an impression on me are the ones that involve people selflessly helping people they don’t even know without any kind of recognition or extrinsic reward.

These Bible passages came to mind when I read this about this.

1 Peter 5:5:
....and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble.

Matthew 5 and 6:
5.  And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men….
6.  But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.

Let's not forget Second Commandment:  Exodus 20:4-6: "You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below."

Monuments to Themselves?

“…If they are true Christians, then why not take that money and HELP people? … Do these people not have anything better to do than erect monuments in honor of themselves…” (Wendy Melton)

Said Elliott Gershenson, president and CEO of Interfaith Ministries:
"I would question, however, whether in the times of scarcity that we are in, there aren't better ways to express the way each of us, in our own way, walk in God's path," (Houston Chronicle, July 10, 2008)

“I find this a great waste of money….Turn that 'Tower of Greed' into the 'Tower of Need'. … In truth all those crosses are is a marketing tool for Grace Community Church. They need to get out of their 'prayer center' and out into the community where they can put some of those prayers into action.

Just think what 12,000 members could do if they got up off their knees and onto their feet... prayed with their servant hearts while their hands were busy doing the work of Jesus... and put their money where their mouth is!

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A graduate of the State University of New York at Buffalo with an MBA in 1980, John went into the banking business from 1981-1991. John went into the gymnastics business with his wife, with whom he has two children, in 1992 and grew it enough (more...)

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