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Homeless Jesus

Society & Culture  (tags: Homeless Jesus, Davidson, NC, bench, church, controversy, the poor, sculpture )

- 1781 days ago -
A sculpture of Jesus as a homeless man installed outside a church in Davidson, NC, has neighbors and church leaders debating its message and appropriateness.


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Barb Knight (1685)
Monday July 7, 2014, 4:19 pm
That's not very nice. Thanks Dandelion.

Kamia T (89)
Monday July 7, 2014, 5:47 pm
Sorry, but I have no problem with this as a Christian. I'm sure Jesus would be sitting down with homeless people every day if he were here. In fact, in Luke 9:1-6, he sent his disciples out into the world and told them to Take Nothing for the journey, neither staffs nor bag nor bread nor money..." If that doesn't sound like he wanted them to appear homeless and reliant upon the generosity of those whom they met, I don't know what does. Often we just don't like to be confronted out of our comfort zone.

Peta Clarke (30)
Monday July 7, 2014, 5:57 pm
Thank you Dandelion. I love it but it all depends the way you look at it. I believe it is a reminder to all about how we should care for others and God knows all of us. I believe a lot of Churches leave Jesus at the front door and won't let him in. Too busy with other things.

Animae C (508)
Monday July 7, 2014, 6:25 pm
"Appropriateness" ? For goodness sake!

Pity it was rejected by many cathedrals & lofty Christians aren't getting the message.

T.Y. Dandelion

Sheila D (194)
Monday July 7, 2014, 7:24 pm
The only ones feeling uncomfortable with this will be those who are denying the homeless food and shelter and medical help...that assumes they have a smidgeon of conscience left. Kudos to the Church. Thanks.

. (0)
Monday July 7, 2014, 7:36 pm
i am not sure i like this. jesus i don't believe belongs on a park bench. i am just not sure. i do not deny the homeless anything but calling it jesus just doesn't sit right with me.. i would help any homeless person i could.

Krista Slavin (194)
Monday July 7, 2014, 8:50 pm
Interesting. I wonder how long it will be before someone wrecks it just because they can. Thanks, Sheila for the forward.

Monday July 7, 2014, 9:15 pm
I think it is very appropriate, is that not what Jesus preached. Thanks for sharing Dandelion

Edith B (146)
Monday July 7, 2014, 9:21 pm
I think it is appropriate if it will make people think and reassess. I firmly believe if Jesus showed up today, there would be people who either wanted him deported or jailed due to his socialist activities. Too many who profess to be Christians forget about what Jesus actually taught.

SusanAWAY A (219)
Monday July 7, 2014, 9:55 pm
Noted and shared.

As an atheist, I honestly found the article funny. Of course, it was the "christian" who rode by the church and upon seeing the sculpture, immediately calls the police to complain about horrible homeless person sleeping on a park bench in front of the church. How dare that homeless person do that? I mean, whoever heard of going to a church for help and sanctuary?

Actually, I think it's one of the better things I've seen a church do in a long, long while. It should help people get back to what christianity is "supposed" to stand for. I mean if you are going to believe in this mythical sun god figure, shouldn't you actually follow the teachings instead of listening to and buying into the wealthy meme that most of the homeless people are simply takers, deserve to be where they are because they nothing but slovenes and will take the food right off your own table if you let them.

Disgusting, undeserving homeless people ... I spit on thee!

SusanAWAY A (219)
Monday July 7, 2014, 9:56 pm
Damn, I forgot to add how proud I am that this is in my state ... oh yea, for NC. Something else to put us in the news!

Ljiljana Milic (115)
Monday July 7, 2014, 11:17 pm
Thank you Dandelion for sharing this interestng article & I agree with AniMaeChi

TomCat S (125)
Monday July 7, 2014, 11:21 pm
Appropriate: Matt 8:20 - Jesus replied, "Foxes have dens and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head."
If that isn't homeless, what is?

Katherine May Williams (0)
Tuesday July 8, 2014, 1:15 am

Arild Warud (174)
Tuesday July 8, 2014, 1:49 am
Appropriate piece of art,I seem to remeber that Jesus took all our burdens onto himself so that we could be saved,at least thats what the Christians preach.

john byrne (50)
Tuesday July 8, 2014, 2:59 am

Well good for you Davidson. N..C. Less thunder in the Mouth & More Lightning in the Hand is to be admired. Jesus would just love it. T.Y. dandelion.

Mike M (8)
Tuesday July 8, 2014, 4:56 am
I am sure the uppity Christians will have a problem because they see themselves as gods

Ulane V (48)
Tuesday July 8, 2014, 5:04 am
Good one, makes people think more about their fellow humans in need and what christianity should be about: helping others and sharing.

Birgit W (160)
Tuesday July 8, 2014, 5:38 am
This is so typical of some people to just phone the police if they see a homeless person because they are being concerned about the safety of their neighborhood.
Why aren't they being concerned about suffering and homeless person? Where is compassion?
I love what the church did. It helps to open peoples mind, and it is teaching people to show compassion to our suffering people.

Winn Adams (179)
Tuesday July 8, 2014, 5:58 am
I see nothing wrong with this. It sparks discussion and debate and maybe just maybe something good, healthy and positive will come from it.

Margaret Goodman (243)
Tuesday July 8, 2014, 6:30 am
I think that this sculpture is an effective tickling of the moral conscience.

It's interesting that the same woman who called the police because she thought that this homeless person threatened the safety of her neighborhood also wanted a statue of Jesus protecting the homeless. My personal theology is that God/Jesus/Allah/.. protects the needy through the actions of ordinary human beings.

Cynthia Davis (340)
Tuesday July 8, 2014, 6:58 am
Simply put...I like it.

JL A (281)
Tuesday July 8, 2014, 8:48 am
I'd love to see such a statue in every US city

P A (117)
Tuesday July 8, 2014, 10:03 am
Mathew 8.20 "Foxes have dens and birds have nests but the son of man has no place to lay his head" - Amen! Excellent sculpture and there should be more of them - each with a text to quell the stupid and hypocrites....

There is a joke in the excellent book "Rolling in the Aisles" by Murray Watts - a man says he wouldn't join the Church as it was full of hypocrites - to be faced with a reply by a vicar/priest/pastor "Why don't you join?" said he "There's always room for one more!" - Ouch!

Ben O (131)
Tuesday July 8, 2014, 10:05 am
I give You Johnny Cash; "My own, personal Jesus..."

Joanne Dixon (37)
Tuesday July 8, 2014, 1:59 pm
I was going to quote the Fox and bird verse ... but TomCat (and Pat A) got there first. But why isn't EVERY Christian referencing this verse? Jesus WAS homeless! He SAID SO! I might add that the homeless are also the "least of these" that "Whatsoever you have done unto the least of these, you have done it unto me." Anyone who calls him or herself a Christian and is offended by this statue needs to sit down and have a long talk with Jesus and learn what He is really about (but pay no attention to that man behind the curtain.)

Joanne Dixon (37)
Tuesday July 8, 2014, 2:10 pm
Also ""Jesus is not a vagrant, Jesus is not a helpless person who needs our help," [Cindy Castano Swannack] said, "We need someone who is capable of meeting our needs, not someone who is also needy."

No, Cindy, you don't get to tell God what you need. HE will tell YOU what you need. And apparently you need a vagrant really, really bad.

Past Member (0)
Tuesday July 8, 2014, 2:27 pm
As an Atheist well i take this with a grain of salt--many emotions can be felt by most looking at it. Thanks

Lois Jordan (63)
Tuesday July 8, 2014, 2:46 pm
Noted w/many thanks for posting, Dandelion. Although I was raised Catholic, I denounced religion long ago. But, this IS The Very Jesus I was taught about as a child. Actually brought a couple tears to my eyes....

Theresa Robinson (79)
Tuesday July 8, 2014, 4:26 pm

Jill P (64)
Tuesday July 8, 2014, 7:52 pm
The sculpture was inspired by Mathew 25. Here is part of that passage.
Mathew 25: 35-40
35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’

37 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’

40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’

Besides, maybe those offended need to really read the Bible. Jesus WAS homeless. He wandered from town to town spreading his teachings of compassion. He slept on the ground taught his lessons outside NOT in temples. He didn't live at home and left each morning to go to work. He was basically a nomad to spread his teachings.

Jill P (64)
Tuesday July 8, 2014, 7:55 pm
BTW I find that more comforting than him "standing over the homeless". It makes him more accessible and understanding to be a part of the experience. Rather than standing aside and separate. It shows more compassion to get in the trenches with the rest.

Eternal Gardener (734)
Tuesday July 8, 2014, 8:04 pm
Edith, you've said it!

christine s (344)
Tuesday July 8, 2014, 8:17 pm
I think Jesus would be sad to see people against the statue ---he is holding up a mirror (there but for the grace of God go I ).

Diane K (134)
Tuesday July 8, 2014, 8:51 pm
Interesting that people would take offense by Jesus lying on a bench, but aren't offended by the sight of Jesus nailed to a cross. Thanks

Joanne Dixon (37)
Tuesday July 8, 2014, 9:07 pm
Returned to read more comments, flagged spammer and profile.

Maria Teresa Schollhorn (42)
Wednesday July 9, 2014, 2:23 am
Noted. Thank you for sharing.

Sheryl G (359)
Wednesday July 9, 2014, 8:10 am
Good point Diane K. and thank you to the others who also commented.

Maria Mahyorova (17)
Thursday July 10, 2014, 1:58 pm
I like it. There was a song.. I don't remember the author.. "What if God was one of us? just like someone, one of us"

. (0)
Thursday July 10, 2014, 6:03 pm
You know what? I do not see why this is bad. Did God not say in the Bible,"whenever you did it to the least of these,you did it unto me." When people asked,"When did we see you hungry and feed you,naked and clothed you...." This so-called "Christian" sounds like the long list of people who claim to be such,but are anything but.

Gene Jacobson (287)
Friday July 11, 2014, 11:00 am
"Swannack says it’s an inappropriate message and wrong for the neighborhood. She wishes it showed Jesus standing over the homeless protecting them."

Well, wasn't he? By choice, perhaps, but he had a mission and gave it all he had. It isn't an inappropriate message at all. She can wish all she likes but the fact is there is NO one standing over the homeless and protecting them or there would not be refugee's and starving children the world over. There would not be a faction in this country wanting to eliminate the social safety net which DOES stand over the needy and protect them, most especially children. You may believe whatever you wish, but the fact is, no one stands for protecting those who cannot protect themselves but us. And we're failing. Christ may come again and fix it all, but until that happens, WE stand in his stead and that is an entirely appropriate message and sculpture. It reflects the truth which I know makes some uncomfortable, and well it should, because if not us, then who does protect those who need it most?

Gene Jacobson (287)
Friday July 11, 2014, 11:08 am
For Maria. There are a couple versions of this out there, I like this one best. What If God Was One of Us by Joan Osborne. :^)

randy lee (17)
Sunday July 13, 2014, 8:27 pm
They say that a picture is worth a thousand words. Well, this got all of us talking about something we probably rarely talk about. I think the church is pure genius for coming up with this idea. Maybe it will make people think twice about turning away when they see a homeless person. You never know, one of them may be Jesus waiting to see what you will do.

Gina Caracci (219)
Sunday July 20, 2014, 3:03 pm
like most of the above, I was struck by the stupidity of that woman with no compassion for the man but was worried about the safety of the neighborhood...give me a break

Jesus would rather be homeless than rich...Im sure hes quite PISSED off at the hypocrites who claim to be Christians creating and blocking laws that hurt those that need it the most

That staue needs to be placed EVERYWHERE

Judith Hand (55)
Tuesday July 29, 2014, 4:17 pm
Noted, shared. I don't know if I would've recognized the sculpture as a homeless person on the bench without the camera getting up very close and then pointing out the nail holes in the feet. That's more about art than anything else. I love the concept, though. It's embarrassing, as a Christian, to hear folks questioning its "appropriateness". Oh, come on, y'all! Bravo to the Vicar, especially as his church is sometimes the more conservative branch of the faith. Jesus was never the one who needed help? He allowed himself to be shunned, beaten to a pulp and to be crucified, in part to experience the worst that we might experience on this earth rather than to be a distant God. Nope, kudos to the sculptor and the church who accepted the statue!
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