21
Dec
09

Helpful or not?

Have you heard about this billboard set up outside an Anglican church [Wellington, New Zealand] depicting [in mock fresco style] a downcast Joseph lying beside Mary in bed with the heading ‘Poor Joseph, God is a hard act to follow’? As you might imagine, the whole deal provoked more than the intended reconsideration of the meaning of Christmas. Within hours of going up, the sign was defaced by a brown paint-wielding vandal or hero [depending on your perspective].
Church vicar Glynn Cardy said the billboard was meant to challenge stereotypes about the way Jesus was conceived and get people talking about the Christmas story. “We’ve dislodged santa from being the number one topic on Christmas time.” Explaining how his church has very liberal ideas about Christianity, Cardy clarified how the billboard, “is trying to lampoon and ridicule the very literal idea that God is a male and somehow this male God impregnated Mary.”
It certainly did get people talking — in fact, it triggered passionate and angry debate on talk radio and the Internet. Many are offended and consider the billboard inappropriate, disrespectful and offensive to Christians. Some think such a billboard represents something more likely used by an anti-Christian group to actually poke fun at the divinity of Christ.
No question — the whole thing is extremely provocative. It’s hard not to wonder WWJThink?  Looking at it, I don’t really see the point or value. I’m not convinced this is going to be helpful to anyone and especially not to local children who are excited about Christmas. Is it possible to go too far in attempting to generate and encourage dialogue? I’m still processing it – but my gut says “yes” you can go too far. Does this cross the line of what’s appropriate — well my initial reaction is not positive. It leaves a bad taste in my mouth — although that could be the result of some “bad chicken – mess you up!”

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re: the random-ness

Husband. Father. Senior Pastor of Parkview Community Church in Glen Ellyn, IL.

Ok...so you've located the place where I put down my random thoughts. The key word here is random: music, sports, art, food, books, news, spiritual musings, weird stories, etc. I'm especially interested in how everyday experiences of life intersect with the ancient stories of Scripture. Thanks for reading.
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