Bigger isn’t always better
You’d think at some point we’d learn.
But I’m sure it’s not without reason that God refers to us as sheep and goats.
As you look at a project like the Great Cross Alliance (GCA), you just have to wonder if these people have ever even cracked open the book of Genesis.
So what is the GCA? Well, they want to build “… the largest, longest-lasting Christian monument in the world.” It’s main funding is from people and families buying mausoleum vaults, or above-ground graves, in a price range between $4,000 and $30,000.
Mike Nowland, who along with his wife Laurie, are the chief architects of this concept, explained it this way in an informational video from their web site: “The goal was to build a landmark that would serve to once again unite the body of Christ,” they explained in the video, which compares the proposed monument to the iconic Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. “The Christian world hasn’t built great monuments for a while, and it’s time to build another one.” (quote paraphrased from The Huffington Post, 08/17/13)
So Christianity is about building it bigger? Evidently if we don’t have the biggest monument on the block, we just aren’t doing our job.
And as I think of it now, Christ really missed some great sight-seeing opportunities while He was with us here on Earth … beeing too wrapped in giving people their sight so they could see.
The Great Pyramid at Giza, the Hanging Gardens of Babylon and the Temple of Zeus would have made great photo ops, right? But I guess for a guy who is all-knowing and everywhere all the time, He was probably kind of ‘been there, done that.’
And had He not been so busy helping the needy, the lame and the sick – not to mention all those people who’s souls were lost – He could have whipped on over to see the Mausoleum at Halicarnassus, which still had pieces hanging around until the early 1400s.
Yeah, the ancient built one of these already too.
But something about this GCA project just sounds so familiar…
“Then they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city, with a tower that reaches to the heavens, so that we may make a name for ourselves and not be scattered over the face of the whole earth.” ~ Genesis 11:4, NIV
This is just looking more and more like a bad idea.
I was always taught that being a follower of Christ, being a disciple of who He is and what He stands for, is all boiled down to loving people right after loving God. And doing both with everything we’ve got, including our land and real estate.
I looked through most of the site and could not find a single Biblical Scripture to back the GCA’s project. Maybe because Christ and Godly men of the Bible spent a lot of time tearing down stuff like this.
OK, let me try and clear my head and look at this objectively. So what feature might it have to change my mind on this?
Well, according to The Huffington Post, the entire text of the Bible will be engraved inside, in four different languages. Wow, that seems kind of cool, right? Wonder which four they picked? I mean, considering the Linguistic Society of America has estimates that range from their being as “few” as several hundred to as many as 6,909, four just doesn’t seem real adequate.
I’ll give them an ‘A’ for effort on this, because any time the Word of God gets out there its a good thing. But its a big ‘F’ on execution. The approximately $1 billion used to build this gigantic structure – which will no doubt end up being the setting for some future Scooby Doo cartoon or the third installment of the “National Treasure” franchise – would be much better used feeding the hungry, clothing the poor and providing shelter to those with none.
It’s going to have huge crosses inside and places where people can pray. Gee, maybe going to where the people are that need those prayers, showing them the love of Christ, might be a better use of that cash.
It’ll be a cross that can be seen from space! Hmmm … that verse from Genesis just whipped into my head again.
I mean, why does God need to see a collection of dead people from His throne in Heaven when He can already see into our hearts?
And aside from God, who the heck else is going to see it from up there? Are they building this to impress Richard Branson and his fleet of Virgin Galactic space shuttles to nowhere?
The last thing that just sticks in my craw about this whole project is that it is a ‘for profit’ venture. Why? Nowland told the Northern Nevada Business Weekly, “people don’t take nonprofits seriously.”
It has nothing to do with the non-profits, Mike. It has to do with the people in charge of them. They are the problem.
And the same goes for the GCA.
James makes it pretty clear in the opening chapter of his book of the Bible why this whole thing just doesn’t add up for me.
“Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.” ~ James 1:27, NIV
While I love the idea of jobs coming to the Nevada desert, this is one that just doesn’t work for me.
No, the world doesn’t need another monument, Christian or otherwise. What the world really needs is what Jackie DeShannon sang of back in 1965 – Love, sweet love.
That is one thing that there is just too little of.