published Friday, August 9th, 2013

Cook: The cross in your neighbor’s eye

Three large white crosses, each at least 10 stories tall, are going up on the property of an East Brainerd church.

Drivers nearing the Shallowford Road exit of Interstate 75 will be able to spot the crosses, day or night. The tallest of the three? As high as the downtown DoubleTree Hotel.

(Still smaller, they are, than Anthony Weiner’s ego.)

The project will cost about $700,000.

Jesus, though, wasn’t big on bling. His whole resume was one lifelong exercise in climbing down, not up, the ladder: poor, no place to rest his head, born in a cow barn. He traipsed around with the lowest of the low: hookers, drunks, dealers, tax collectors, sinners, LSU fans, lepers.

Speaking of lepers, the $700,000 spent on the giant crosses could have provided 500 lepers with new houses (they’re marginalized and living in terrible conditions) in Africa and Asia, according to The Leprosy Mission.

Leprosy’s not your issue? Look what else the $700,000 could have done:

• Vaccinate 700,000 global children against measles, according to Doctors Without Borders.

• Fund the homeless winter shelter at the Chattanooga Community Kitchen for the next nine years.

• Provide 3.5 million meals for hungry people coming to the Chattanooga Area Food Bank.

• Drill and build 100 wells, providing clean, disease-free water for communities in Africa that have little access, says Water Wells for Africa. (Just think: billions of people in the world would jump for joy at the sight of a simple kitchen faucet.)

• Send 70,000 orphans living in Ghana or Chad (their parents dead from AIDs) to school for one year.

“You’ll help a special child overcome tragedy and reach his or her God-given potential,” says World Vision.

• Stock the bookbags and closets of 28,000 poor American families without enough money for school supplies and clothing (they’re too busy paying for groceries), according to World Vision. A corporate matching program balloons the number to 280,000 families, which is kind of like the loaves and fishes trick.

• Surprise 1,400 Hamilton County high school students with a free 3-D printer. No strings attached, save one: they have to use their powers for good, not evil.

• Rescue 155 women enslaved in sex trafficking through the abolition work of International Justice Mission.

• Take 21,000 kids to see their first Braves game (outfield seats, with enough leftover for a Coke and peanuts.)

• Buy textbooks for 1,068 college students.

• Invest in 350,000 lottery tickets; another $448 million Powerball payoff would pay for 1,920 more tall white crosses.

OK, enough.

Whew.

That felt good.

Really good, in a smug kind of way.

Here’s what doesn’t: a look at my own checkbook and (lack of) contributions to charity.

Researching this column, I ran across dozens of organizations, near and far, doing the work of saints with the budget of Bob Cratchit.

I read about the crippling monster of leprosy, the never-ending hunger of American children, the 20,000 kids across the world who die every day (I repeat: every single day) from things like malaria, drinking bad water, disease. (I repeat: every … single … day.)

Not once did I give a dime.

I wrote lots of self-righteous sentences, but not once did I give a donate any money.

For all the size of those East Brainerd crosses, not one is as large as the plank lodged in my own eye. My monthly giving? My tithe? I continually choose pleasure and self over charity and others.

Hypocrisy is what the Gospels call it.

(If only something could save me from myself.)

I’m still disappointed and frustrated over the $700,000; plenty of others are, too. Spiritually speaking, it just smells bad.

But really, I think we’re frustrated with the church at-large, the church as a whole, which means we’re really frustrated with each other.

Christians, so unlike our Christ.

We want a church that trainwrecks the banality of junk culture; we want a church that snowballs compassion, models Mother Theresa, kisses the leper. Smack-dab on the lips.

We want a church that makes faith and mystery something fragrant. A church that has no enemies except evil. A church that sells its gold to feed the poor.

A church that mimics Christ.

Those giant crosses?

We want something — larger — on display.

Contact David Cook at dcook@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6329. Follow him on Facebook and Twitter at DavidCookTFP.

about David Cook...

David Cook is the award-winning city columnist for the Times Free Press, working in the same building where he began his post-college career as a sportswriter for the Chattanooga Free Press. Cook, who graduated from Red Bank High, holds a master's degree in Peace and Justice Studies from Prescott College and an English degree from the University of Tennessee at Knoxville. For 12 years, he was a teacher at the middle, high school and university ...

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inquiringmind said...

David, I agree it is a sad tragedy to see a church spend $700,000 on a visual signpost, or to pull up the tent in urban Chattanooga and move their "campus" out on rt. 58 in the idyllic countryside where they can search for a city to adopt, preferably international. But many Pentecostal-type groups have a narrow theological focus purely on "individual repentance," not the individual works mentioned in James that reflect one's faith. Jesus' lifestyle seems to become a comfortably forgotten thing.

Some do not. I know of several groups from the Nashville area to NC that spend considerable time and money quietly working on prison and recovery from addiction.

August 9, 2013 at 8:49 a.m.
benburke said...

What if just one unbeliever sees these crosses, realizes the symbolism which they represent, feels the conviction of the Holy Spirit, accepts Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, later becomes a preacher of the Gospel and witnesses to thousands of lost souls? How much would these crosses then be worth? For you have the poor with you always, and whenever you wish you may do them good; but Me you do not have always. (Mark 14:7)

August 9, 2013 at 9:21 a.m.
Ki said...

I dunno, benb. Any cluster of 3 or more white crosses for many, myself included, brings to mind people in hoods and white sheets wandering around with burning torches, setting fire to crosses and terrorizing the countryside.

August 9, 2013 at 9:33 a.m.
LaughingBoy said...

That's because you're a race baiter, when this clearly had nothing to do with that issue. Jesse, Al, and the president would be proud.

August 9, 2013 at 9:37 a.m.
Ki said...

LB the truth hurts, doesn't it?

August 9, 2013 at 9:45 a.m.
LaughingBoy said...

The truth that your whole life revolves around race? Apparently so.

August 9, 2013 at 10:19 a.m.
elk11060 said...

How others spend money is now a concern of the liberal media? I chose to celebrate the fact that they can express their religious beliefs is whatever fashion they like. Or, has the TPF flacks forgotten the 1st amendment that also protects the practice their freedom of the press?

August 9, 2013 at 10:20 a.m.
librul said...

Nothing but what a lawyer would call an "attractive nuisance" and if a pileup ever occurs on I-75 as a result of some enthralled motorist staring at them, I hope the religionists at "The Crossing" are sued into humility.

August 9, 2013 at 10:30 a.m.
MisterB said...

I knew somebody would say "what if somebody sees those crosses, blah blah blah...". It's easy to minister from a distance, and maybe help one or two. Or you could get your hands dirty and meet with the people where they are. Which of those options sounds more like what Jesus did?

Ezekiel 16:19 "Behold, this was the guilt of your sister Sodom: she and her daughters had arrogance, abundant food and careless ease, but she did not help the poor and needy."

August 9, 2013 at 11:12 a.m.
orangeguy said...

Curious David, did you research the work that The Crossing does feeding & clothing homeless in Miller Park once a week? Maybe check out there charitable work helping paint schools. How about the home they built for ministry to battered women? Maybe you & all these detractors just don't want to see an offensive cross and are just using the money issue to prop up your silly argument. Do a little more research next time and tell the whole story.

August 9, 2013 at 11:16 a.m.
LaughingBoy said...

I agree, to an extent, that the money used could directly benefit those needing immediate help. It seems the construction is taking place in addition to a large amount of aid being given. On top of that, the company putting them up will be paid so it gives them and workers a paycheck.

August 9, 2013 at 11:25 a.m.
grammak said...

Being a Pentecostal believer myself I have to agree with benburke, if only one soul is saved by driving by those crosses it would be worth any amount of money. The 3 crosses represent Jesus and the two thieves that died that day. I applaud this church for their willingness to be an example, to put themselves out there for the unbelievers to criticize and bad mouth. If the devil was ok with these crosses and what they represent no one would be complaining. If this church was just sitting back doing absolutely nothing to further the work of the Lord they wouldn’t be in the spotlight. No one would care. Again I applaud you for your ministry at The Crossing.

August 9, 2013 at 11:44 a.m.
joneses said...

I find it amazing how much liberals can find wrong with something with good intentions and still think the abortion issue is about the woman's body and not about the innocent baby being killed. Absolutely amazing!

August 9, 2013 at 12:31 p.m.
librul said...

And what about innocent babies being killed by drones, Jonesy? Or innocent babies being killed by starvation in the Sudan, or innocent babies being killed by thirst while crossing the Arizona desert, or innocent babies being killed by idiotic parents who choose faith over medicines? You people and your political cyborgs who would kill doctors to save zygotes and force women to carry a rapist's spawn or mandate a woman's death rather than grant her a medically necessary abortion -- but fall silent in face of the slaughter of living, breathing children the world over are a despicable, sickening, hypocritical lot.

August 9, 2013 at 12:55 p.m.
librul said...

"I almost shudder at the thought of alluding to the most fatal example of the abuses of grief which the history of mankind has preserved -- the Cross. Consider what calamities that engine of grief has produced!" -- John Adams, letter to Thomas Jefferson, from George Seldes, The Great Quotations

August 9, 2013 at 1:27 p.m.
whattheheck said...

Benburk, I think a better way to convince people to follow in the message of Christ is to lead by example through kind acts as Jesus did. The likelihood of someone driving by and thinking he needs to strengthen his spiritual health is much lower seeing a giant, gaudy, expensive cross than the impact of feeling the human connection of caring for others.

And Elk, do tell where you read this writer was advocating for denying rights. Interesting that the "conservative media" can jump on talking about how awful out of control spending is and then spending $700,000 on metal crosses is a-ok.

I work for a non-profit. We operate on a shoe string budget to provide very valuable services for my community's families. It's painful to think how many kids and families we could serve with $700,000. Great points, David.

August 9, 2013 at 1:37 p.m.
HimJim37 said...

Speaking as an atheist, with no dog in the hunt, I find the crosses to be interesting and engaging more than anything else. They'll provide a landmark on a boring stretch of road and give visitors something to talk about. I understand that it's bad publicity for mainstream Christianity, which stakes its legitimacy on some sort of moral utility, but Pentecostal is not mainstream. The project is a bold expression of religious belief that is as mystifying to me as the towers on a mosque or an Egyptian pyramid. I'm a strong proponent of charitable giving too, but if that's not happening, I'd rather see money spent on something deliciously weird instead of iPads and lawn care.

August 9, 2013 at 2:39 p.m.
joneses said...

librul,

What kind of sick mind do you have that asserts that I and most are for the Sudan government letting babies be killed or obama killing babies with drones or the illegal immigrant parents letting their children die in the desert or idiotic parents choosing faith over medicine or killing doctors? You like all mentally challenged liberals have a problem with one size fits all. That is stupidity at it's worst. If your black you are this, if you are gay you are this if you are wealthy you are this. You have shown your limited amount of intellect. By the way why do you even care how babies die as you are the one that supports killing babies in the womb. Your hypocrisy is amazing.

By the way if babies were dying of thirst in the Arizona desert all the time like you imply I am sure your liberal media would be using their deaths to demonize those that oppose hussein obama, or at a minimum they would be blaming it on President George Bush. So now you are a liar.

August 9, 2013 at 2:52 p.m.
EmB said...

Thank you, David Cook, for your insightful article. The showmanship certainly does not seem Christlike. Baal, golden calf come to mind.

August 9, 2013 at 3:17 p.m.
Downtownman said...

Excellent work David. Joneses frothing mouth proves your correctness.

August 9, 2013 at 3:32 p.m.
TartanHiker said...

Are there no other LSU fans out there that are just a bit miffed at the group into which we have been lumped? :-)

August 9, 2013 at 3:42 p.m.
mkelly54 said...

Another great piece, David. As soon as I read the story I thought of all the things that could be done to help those in need. I understand that many will be offended by this column; at the same time, those dollars could have been spent on adult literacy programs, training for care dogs for veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan ... the list is endless.

I understand that the church has a series of charitable activities, which I highly value and support. And I know the folks who built and installed the crossed will receive compensation. But like another writer stated, the best way to spread Christianity is through good works and charity. Big churches and big images are a big turn-off to those who question the motives of the church as a whole.

Better to feed, cloth, educate and visit folks in need. Those have always been the biggest necessities. Sadly, they always will be.

August 9, 2013 at 3:56 p.m.
ChattanoogaVol said...

Poor David. I guess you will just have to take a different route now that those 3 crosses (that cost $700,000 you know) are right next to I-75. I suggest using Bonnie Oaks, but make sure you keep your eyes straight ahead and look directly right or left. Do NOT allow your eyes to look slighly up to your right or slightly up to your left depending on which way your are traveling. Otherwise, you might just catch a glimpse of those 3 crosses.

Why in the world do the Atlanta Falcons want to build a new $1 billion football stadium and implode their current one? Their current stadium is just fine. How many starving people could $1 billion feed David?

Why did Blue Cross build such a HUGE campus on Cameron Hill? I'm sure they could have cut back a bit and used the savings to feed the hungry. Right David?

Why couldn't the new Embassy Suites off of Shallowford Rd have been built with one less floor? It's just WAY too big. I mean, I can SEE it from the interstate for goodness sakes. The Embassy Suites people could have just given those savings to charity David. Instead, when I'm driving up and down I-75, I have to SEE that monstrosity of a hotel.

Why is the Chattanooga Times Free Press currently spending money to update their printing presses/buy new ones? The current look is fine. No need to do that. David, you should be ashamed that the organization you work for doesn't just give that money to the homeless shelter downtown instead.

Why on God's (sorry David) green Earth did Volkswagon put a GIGANTIC sign on top of their assembly plant just so people flying in airplanes or looking in via satellite could see it? Surely, we (yes we the taxpayers who paid for that sign in the incentives we gave them) could have given that almost $300,000 to help vacinate some kids against the measles.

I'm curious, David, as to why you haven't written about these types of spending items, yet you are firing away at a church that spends money on 3 crosses? I think I know why...

August 9, 2013 at 4:14 p.m.
Downtownman said...

Atlanta Falcons, VW, Times Free Press, BCBS, Embassy Suites: All secular, all trying to make money. You're right ChattanoogaVol, this church does belong in that category. Why don't they string lights on the crosses, maybe the pastor can get a face tatoo of a cross, maybe they can blast hymms 24 hours. that will really bring in the customers, er, people.

August 9, 2013 at 4:32 p.m.
joneses said...

I know this will piss off david cook and the rest of you liberals but it is actually none of your business what the church does with their money. Why did David Cook not write this article about obama's spending on Solyndra that failed and what that 50 million dollars could have been used for. Cook, you use the word hypocrite and if you look in the mirror you will see one.

downtown woman,

I could care less if the crosses are there or not but fools like you, david cook and the rest of you liberals do not like them so you think they should not be there. That is an example of liberal mental illness. If you do not like them then no one should like them. Where is this tolerance you are always preaching about? Oh, that is right you are only tolerant of those that agree with you. That is the limit of your intellect. That frothing comment was stupid.

August 9, 2013 at 5:05 p.m.
mkelly54 said...

joneses, I have nothing against the cross. In fact, I wear a crucifix all the time. It was given to me 44 years ago. This isn't about tolerance, it's about helping the poor. Your referencing the government's assistance to Solyndra is off topic. The government has provided monies to countless projects through the years, like the Osprey plane that was billions of dollars over budget, or the G.W. Bush bailout of financial institutions without mandates to loan money to businesses. That's another subject, and it can be debated on another forum.

This is about a church and its priorities ... another freedom, yes, but is it the best use of resources when so many people have other needs?

That's the discussion. It's pretty simple.

August 9, 2013 at 5:25 p.m.
chet123 said...

LAUGHINGBOY HAVE ENOUGH NERVE TO USE THE WORD RACE BAITER(A NEW REPUBLICAN TALKING POINT,FOLKS!)

THIS IS THE MAN WHO WATCHES BILL ORILLEY,SEAN HANNITY,RUSH LIMBAUGH AND GLEN BECK(A NOBODY THAT MADE 9,000,000.00 LAST YEAR SELLING HATE)...NOT ONLY DO LAUGHINGBOY SUPPORT RACE BAITER BUT HE ALSO SUPPORT RACE PIMPS..HA HA HA HA HA HA HA

KEEP THROWING STONES IN YOUR GLASS HOUSE LAUGHINGBOY...HA HA HA HA!

August 9, 2013 at 5:49 p.m.
inquiringmind said...

Benburke and grammak I understand where you are coming from and offer you good will and apologize if I hurt your feelings. However, I would like you to at least consider this expense in the context of good stewardship.

My question to you, what if you spent $700,000 on a mission effort into an urban area or a place where Christian compassion might open some eyes and reached 100 or 1,000 people, rather than 1? As the rude comments on this page show, these crosses have an effect more like the Pharisee standing on the corner praying loudly so every one can see and hear, rather than finding a closet in which to pray. They tend to harden the hearts of those who need the compassion, not soften them.

Ben you quote Mark 14, but completely miss his teaching point. He is saying (paraphrase) "you will always have the poor with you (because you allow it), and you can show kindness to them whenever you wish (but you do not, why)? At least she is anointing my feet as I will not be here with you much longer. Treat the poor as she treats me.

As for orangeguy, I can only say just think what we could do if they spent the WHOLE $700,000 on those activities he lists. One meal maybe $300, about 44 years of 1 per week meals, or 7 years for 1 meal per day! Even better, spend the funds on building responsible lives. And by the way, there is more than one person I know who is preparing and feeding folks at Miller Park making a far greater sacrifice to do it.

August 9, 2013 at 5:51 p.m.
chet123 said...

ALL YOU HOLY ROLLER THAT HAVE HALF A BRAIN......

WHAT ARE YOU DURING...IDOLS WORSHIPING????....MOST OF YOU ARE HATERS...HA HA HA HA!...SUPPOSE YOU FOUND OUT CHRIST WAS A BLACK MAN HA HA HA HA HA HA HA....YOU WOULD DROP CHRISTIANITY IN A HEART BEAT...HA HA HA HA HA...MOST OF YOU IN THE BIBLE BELT DONT FOLLOW THE TEACHING OF CHRIST....HA HA HA

TO THE DUMMIES OUT THERE THAT BEING LEAD BY A HYPOCRITE....THIS IS WHAT CHRIST SAID IN THE NEW TESTIMENT....

JOHN13:34 AND 35....A NEW COMMANDMENT I GIVE UNTO YOU. THAT YEE LOVE ONE ANOTHER; AS I HAVE LOVED YOU, THAT YE ALSO LOVE ONE ANOTHER(VS35)BY THIS SHALL ALL MEN KNOW YOU ARE MY DISCIPLES.....

Hmmmmm???? BY THIS SHALL ALL MEN KNOW YOU ARE MY DISCIPLES.....Hmmmm???? IT DIDNT SAY THE PIN HEAD WHO CAN BUILD THE BIGGEST CROSS ARE MY DISCIPLES.....HA HA HA HA

August 9, 2013 at 6:20 p.m.
chet123 said...

THIS IS THE PROBLEM WITH THE CHURCH IN THE SOUTH.......STUPIDITY!!

August 9, 2013 at 6:22 p.m.
chet123 said...

STUDY TO SHOW YOURSELF APPROVE YOU BALLOON HEADS!

August 9, 2013 at 6:23 p.m.
chet123 said...

700,000.00 THAT COULD FEED POOR KIDS.....OH NO!!!!....LET US ERECT A CROSS TO THE HEAVENS......HA HA HA HA HA!!!

HOW TWISTED CAN ONE BE HA HA HA HA!

August 9, 2013 at 6:25 p.m.
chet123 said...

INQURINGMIND....PLEASE DONT APOLOGIZE FOR TELLING THE TRUTH....SOMEBODY NEED TO TELL THEM...IT OBVIOUS THAT THEIR PASTORS NOT DURING IT....HE TOO BUSY LINING HIS FAT POCKETS....AND PREACHING HATE

August 9, 2013 at 6:29 p.m.
chet123 said...

HEY JONESES ARE YOU THERE??? HA HA HA!

YOU SAID ITS NOONE BUSINESS WHAT THE CHURCH DOES WITH ITS MONEY..HA HA HA HA HA...YOU ARE WRONG AGIN..HA HA HA HA HA HA..IT DOES IF THE CHURCH USING TAX EXEMP STATUS, YOU GOOBER!

HA HA HA HA HA! THIS OLD MAN BEEN GOING TO CHURCH FOR 70YEARS AND HASNT ENOUGH SENSE TO REALIZED CHURCH INCOME HAVE TO BE ACCOUNTABLE IN THE STATE WHEN USING TAX EXEMPT...

August 9, 2013 at 6:44 p.m.
chet123 said...

I SEE THE TWISTED MINDED SHEEPS HAVE JUMPED OFF THE CLIFF!!THIS IS BECAUSE THEY FOLLOW FALSE TEACHERS AND FALSE PROPHETS.....HOW SO MANY PEOPLE CAN BE SO STUPID..HA HA HA HA

August 9, 2013 at 6:47 p.m.
andystaab said...

The church has a right to spend their money however they want whether I agree with their choices or not. I'm sure none of the church people would agree with how I spend my money. And yes, I could do more to help others, too. I think we all could. The problem I have with these crosses is that they're so "in your face" in the way that people affix religious/political messages on their car bumper and knock on my door to give me their message of salvation. Long ago, I did all of those things including the door-to-door bit. Ultimately, it wasn't for me and I'm as far from Christianity as one can get. However, it's great that people can worship one god, many gods, the moon, or woodland fairies. I respect anyone's beliefs, but I cringe when any group tries to beat others over the head with their message, which in my opinion are what these three enormous crosses are being used for.

August 9, 2013 at 7:04 p.m.
chet123 said...

ANDYSTAAB....WITH ALL DUE RESPECT ANDYSTAAB,,,IS IT SOMETHING IN THE WATER THE BIBLE BELT PEOPLE DRINKING.....

MUST I REMIND YOU OF WACO...Hmmm???..DAVID KORESH THOUGHT HE COULD TOO....YOU KNOW HOW THAT TURNED OUT..

YOU SAID THEY ARE SO IN YOUR FACE....HA HA HA HA!!!BINGO!!!! YOU ARE RIGHT!!...ALSO THEY HAVE NOTHING TO DO WITH THE TEACHING OF CHRIST......NOTHING AT ALL...JUST IN YOUR FACE....THESE FOLK DONT HAVE A CHRIST-LIKE SPIRIT....CHRIST WOULD NEVER DO SUCH FOOLISHNESS....

I WILL TELL YOU SOMETHING ELSE...THEY ARE IN YOUR FACE WITH PRAYERS, THE TEN COMANDMENT(MOST OF THEM CANT EVEN NAME THEM)THE BIBLE

THEY ARE SOME MEAN SPIRITED HATEFUL PEOPLE!!!! HA HA HA!

August 9, 2013 at 7:18 p.m.
chet123 said...

NEXT!

August 9, 2013 at 7:19 p.m.
AndrewLohr said...

@10:30am--and people who go to sleep on boring roads can sue atheists for getting rid of religious symbols?

@12:55pm--who spoke against drones? Rand Paul. Not exactly a liberal.

re 3:56pm--our federal government spends not $700,000 but $4,000,000,000 (four trillion, plus) yet there are still poor people?

@5:25pm--why not compare Solyndra? The $700K here was freely given, and is actually producing SOMEthing. The $500,000K (five hundred million) for Solyndra was taxed, or borrowed from our kids, and went down the drain.

@6:29pm "preaching hate"? Have you ever been there and heard the preaching? Me neither--I hear (and preach, free, elsewhere)--but I'd be surprised. (The Crossing probably has a website; maybe we could listen online.)

@7:04pm--the crosses beat people over the head with the gospel? Well, they remind us that it's there; they don't force more than a glance. "God shows His love for us in that while we were still evildoers Christ died for us" on the cross--love, dying for us, is what the cross means. Worth knowing; worth trusting. And Jesus did not stay dead; He shows God's power as Mohammed, Marx, Ayn Rand, Buddha, Darwin, Korresh, Smith, and the dead Presidents fail to show it. Also worth knowing and trusting. (Including knowing and trusting in His personally generous small-government politics.)

Crosses? OK, but my favorite church for budgets met in a house--no "edifice complex"--and could spend all its money (except coffee and snacks) on evangelism and deaconal work.

August 9, 2013 at 8:22 p.m.
lkeithlu said...

$700k??? We built a large steel boat for 1/5 of that. My house is worth half that. Why so much?

August 9, 2013 at 9:14 p.m.
chatttownvol said...

Where to even begin....the cross is gaudy, tacky and completely counter productive. Get this through your head- the people that the church has trouble reaching...oftentimes the ones that have trouble with being overly intellectual or pessimistic- they think your huge crosses are idiotic. The best way to teach people about Christ is through his teachings.

It doesn't take courage to build a huge cross in the middle of the bible belt. It only takes money and a group of people that love big huge showy displays.

So if you think the cross will reach someone who wouldn't have been reached- you're wrong. Because that person already has plenty of loud showy symbols and teachers available.

August 9, 2013 at 10:56 p.m.
jjmez said...

With so many churches struggling just to pay their utility bills these days, and membership rapidly declining, and to put it simply, I honestly don't believe they raised 700K in 10 years (this was suggested in another news article), it would be interesting to know who their wealthy benefactor may be, why and if this may in some way have political ties?

August 9, 2013 at 11:39 p.m.
andystaab said...

AndrewLohr, you see these crosses as gentle reminders of what you believe. I'm happy for you, really. I bet you're a great person and your heart's in the right place. My opinion is that whomever put them there is trying to force everyone to notice them. It's narcissistic (again only my opinion) like the people a few years ago who had the loudest car stereos imaginable and would sit in gridlock blasting away with their windows open. The owner of such a vehicle thought it was a great idea and subjected everyone within blocks to their taste in music whether anyone liked it or not. People don't like stuff forced on them, and I consider that beating people over the head. You don't share that view and that's just peachy. You will never convince me and vice versa. It's actually humorous to me.

August 9, 2013 at 11:47 p.m.
ORRMEANSLIGHT said...

Jesus Christ of Nazareth. The Lord God of Hosts shed His life's blood for You and me. Now, a silent sermon reaching a possible 75,000 (plus) souls daily who travel I-75. And that is only the number for those who travel I-75 daily.

All of Christianity is born from what happened on Calvary's Cross. Jesus Christ, and Him Crucified...for You and me.

...................The Old Rugged Cross......................

'On a hill far away stood an old rugged cross, The emblem of suff’ring and shame, And I love that old cross where the Dearest and Best For a world of lost sinners was slain.

So I’ll cherish the old rugged cross, Till my trophies at last I lay down; I will cling to the old rugged cross, And exchange it some day for a crown.

Oh, that old rugged cross, so despised by the world, Has a wondrous attraction for me; For the dear Lamb of God left His glory above, To bear it to dark Calvary.

So I’ll cherish the old rugged cross, Till my trophies at last I lay down; I will cling to the old rugged cross, And exchange it some day for a crown.

In the old rugged cross, stained with blood so divine, What a wondrous beauty I see; For ’twas on that old cross Jesus suffered and died, Just to pardon and sanctify me.'

Source: http://www.hymnal.net/hymn.php/h/618#ixzz2bYz0qkLs

August 10, 2013 at 7:11 a.m.
ORRMEANSLIGHT said...

Another cherished refrain to the hymn 'The Old Rugged Cross'

'To the old rugged cross I will ever be true; Its shame and reproach gladly bear; Then He'll call me some day to my home far away, Where His glory forever I'll share.'

...Peace and Blessings to You!...Ken ORR

August 10, 2013 at 7:47 a.m.
chet123 said...

LISTEN TO ANDREWLOHR....THIS MAN IS A PRIME EXHIBIT OF A TWISTED MIND.....HES DRIVEN MORE PEOPLE FROM CHRISTIANITY TO ISLAM, BUDDHISM,HINDUISM AND ATHEISM...

THE PROBLEM WITH ANDREWLOHN AND MANY OTHER SICKO IN THE SOUTH LIKE HIM IS THAT THEY DONT COMPLY TO THE TEACHING OF CHRIST.....THEY ARE NOT NEW TESTIMENT CHURCHES NOR MEMBERS.....THEY HAVE HIJACKED THE FAITH OF CHRISTIANITY.

THEY LIE,ABUSE THE POOR AND WEAK,THEY SPEW HATE.....

I HAVE MORE RESPECT FOR ATHEIST....THEY ARE NOT PHONY!!!!!

JUST WHERE IN THE BIBLE DO YOU SEE CHRIST FORCING ANYTHING ON THE PEOPLE.....NOR DID HE TEACH HIS DISCIPLE TO DO SUCH.......

ANDREWLOHN DONT GIVE A HOOT ABOUT CHRIST TEACHING....CHRIST SAID IN THE BIBILE.....DONT EVEN CALL MY NAME AND DO NOT WHAT I SAY..

ANDREWLOHN....CHRIST DONT WANT YOU NOR YOUR PHONY CHURCH FOLKS TO EVEN CALL HIS NAME BRO

DONT YOU EVER READ THE BIBLE????

ARE YOU RETARDED???

August 10, 2013 at 8:07 a.m.
chet123 said...

ORRMEANLIGHT..

I READ YOU POST....YOU ARE VERY CONSISTENCE....YOU SEEM TO BE VERY SOUND AND ROOTED...NO HATERED....NO HYPOCRISY!!!...I CAN RESPECT YOU!....

August 10, 2013 at 8:16 a.m.
chet123 said...

THERE ARE A LOT OF HATERS WHO SAY THEY ARE CHRISTIANS......THEY GIVE LOT OF LIPS SERVICE....BUT DONT COMPLY TO THE TEACHING OF CHRIST....I RAN A BACKGROUND CHECK ON ALL YOUR POSTING ..YOU ARE CONSISTENT... I BELEIVE YOU ARE THE REAL DEAL.....

August 10, 2013 at 8:20 a.m.
ORRMEANSLIGHT said...

chet123

Thank You chet123. I am truly trying to do what is right. i suffer a lot, but, i always believe that Jesus Christ is my Blessed Hope. He does have Heaven awaiting me because i believe what He says. It is all Jesus. He want His children to love e-v-e-r-y-o-n-e.

i'm getting ready for work now, but, I'll be back tomorrow, Lord will'in.

August 10, 2013 at 8:34 p.m.
hotdiggity said...

Matthew 6:1

"Be careful that you don't do your charitable giving before men, to be seen by them, or else you have no reward from your Father who is in heaven".

  • World English Bible

What a vulgar show of ostentation from an institution that claims to follow the teachings of Christ. And here I thought the Catholics held a monopoly on ostentatious displays.

August 11, 2013 at 1:59 a.m.
ORRMEANSLIGHT said...

1 Corinthians 1:18

For the preaching of The Cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are Saved it is the Power of God.

Philippians 3:18

(For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ:

Jesus Christ of Nazareth. The Lord God of Hosts shed His life's blood for You and me. Now, a 'SILENT SERMON' reaching a possible 75,000 (plus) souls daily who travel I-75. And that is only the number for those who travel I-75 daily, tens of thousands of others will also receive His Silent Sermon.

All of Christianity is born from what happened on Calvary's Cross. Jesus Christ, and Him Crucified...for You and me.

Ken ORR

August 11, 2013 at 8:28 a.m.
hotdiggity said...

Orr, you may call it a "Silent Sermon". Others may call it a graven image. Christ did not teach people to promote "Silent Sermons" but to go out and preach his message. To care for the sick, feed and clothe the poor. Instead, I see many pious evangelicals wishing to deny these basic tenets to their fellow man while erecting towering edifices to their vanity.
This is a gross insult to everything Christ taught regarding how to spread his gospel. It is nothing more than a glorification of The Crossing Church and its parishioners.

-Leviticus 26:1

-King James Version

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.

August 11, 2013 at 12:29 p.m.
andystaab said...

To piggyback on hotdiggity's comment @12:29pm, I don't think any religious symbols result in conversions or new followers. I think members of the church believe they do, and perhaps that helps them justify them. To non-believers like myself, we see them and say, "Ugh, please, another self-serving display of piety. I don't want anything to do with them."

In my opinion, one of the highest expressions of love for your neighbor is to actually help them in some way, and to do it with avoidance of any sort of recognition (don't spout off to others how you gave money or donated time, etc.). These crosses are chest-thumping, look-at-us warts on the landscape. And they're going to light them at night? Great! Why not broadcast sermons via loudspeaker? And if the sermons don't convince them, maybe build a huge burning fire pit with a sign reading, "You're going here if you don't think just like us," because fear is a powerful conversion tool. Love? Not so much. As hotdiggity implies, actions mean so much more and I'd add that they require the ingredient of love. Maybe that's why having the biggest crosses in the nation was chosen rather than helping your neighbor. Yet another reason I'm embarrassed to tell business colleagues I live in the south.

August 11, 2013 at 1:26 p.m.
ORRMEANSLIGHT said...

hotdiggity, andystaab

Please be willing to 'look' at it this way:

Numbers 21:7-9 Authorized (King James) Version (AKJV)

7 Therefore the people came to Moses, and said, We have sinned, for we have spoken against the Lord, and against thee; pray unto the Lord, that he take away the serpents from us. And Moses prayed for the people. 8 And the Lord said unto Moses, Make thee a fiery serpent, and set it upon a pole: and it shall come to pass, that every one that is bitten, when he looketh upon it, shall live. 9 And Moses made a serpent of brass, and put it upon a pole, and it came to pass, that if a serpent had bitten any man, when he beheld the serpent of brass, he lived.

The serpent represented Jesus Christ who became sin for us.

So, You see the power of only being obedient to 'look upon' something holy. 'A painting is worth a thousand words.' The Silent Sermon on Standifer Gap Road.

Jesus told doubting Apostle Thomas to 'only behold' (look at) My hands.

John 20:27

Then saith He {Jesus} to Thomas, "Reach hither thy finger, and behold My hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into My side: and be not faithless, but believing."

Ken ORR

August 12, 2013 at 4:52 a.m.
ORRMEANSLIGHT said...

2 Corinthians 5:21

For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.

August 12, 2013 at 5:07 a.m.
ORRMEANSLIGHT said...

Please show Your appreciation to the Times Free Press by becoming a paying subscriber. These services/venues provided are of utmost value!

disclaimer: I affirm that I am not an employee of the Chattanooga Times Free Press. I am a grateful paying subscriber and have been for decades.......Ken ORR

August 12, 2013 at 5:08 a.m.
conservative said...

Those without Christ want a silent church and those crosses are a loud reminder of their lost condition.

Their opposition to the crosses has nothing to do with money I assure you.

August 12, 2013 at 7:39 a.m.
lkeithlu said...

I am sure conservative thinks that the rest of us will cower as we pass beneath. So few are TROO Christians (TM). Still waiting for a definition.

August 12, 2013 at 7:46 a.m.
conservative said...

Why wasn't this money spent on the Poor?

Those opposed to Christ and Christianity have always hypocritically feigned concerned over money spent to advance Christianity.

Judas Iscariot was their leader and example:

Then Mary took a pound of very costly oil of spikenard, anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped His feet with her hair. And the house was filled with the fragrance of the oil.

But one of His disciples, Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, who would betray Him, said, “Why was this fragrant oil not sold for three hundred denarii and given to the poor?” This he said, not that he cared for the poor, but because he was a thief, and had the money box; and he used to take what was put in it.

But Jesus said, “Let her alone; she has kept this for the day of My burial. For the poor you have with you always, but Me you do not have always.” John 12:3-8

August 12, 2013 at 11:29 a.m.
andystaab said...

I'm Cherokee. My near ancestors were dehumanized, raped, and slaughtered during the process of christian "advancement." Can you imagine how I feel about christianity? Crosses symbolize racism and genocide to me. I don't expect anyone to understand that.

August 12, 2013 at 2:36 p.m.
chet123 said...

AUGUST 12 7:39AM...CONSERVATIVE SAID "THOSE WITH OUT CHRIST WANT A SILENCE CHURCH AND THOSE CROSSES ARE A LOUD REMINDER OF THEIR LOST CONDITION"...

MAY I ASK WHERE IN THE BIBLE DOES IT SAYS THAT????? Hmmmm????..Hmmmmm???...Hm???????

IS THIS PART OF THE GREAT COMMISSION?????

DID CHRIST COMMAND THE CHURCH TO ERECT THREE CROSSES

DID CHRIST SAY TO GET IN PEOPLE FACES WITH THE CROSSES OR BIBLE OR EVEN THE TEN COMANDMENT????

PLEASE SHOW ME WHERE IT SAYS THAT IN THE NEW TESTAMENT...THAT IS THE TEACHING OF CHRIST....

TO ALL POSTER...THIS IS AN EXAMPLE OF A TWISTED MIND.....THIS IS THE EXTREMIST LIKE CONSERVATIVE VIEWS.....HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH CHRIST NOR CHRIST TEACHING

EXCUSE ME FOR SAYING THIS....BUT WHAT A DUMB BUTT!!!

August 14, 2013 at 10:30 a.m.
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