When I write my skits, I sometimes come up with far-out and funny ideas that make a point with hyperbole, and I don’t expect that one would ever see a similar situation take place. But I recently found this article online that proved me wrong!
One of the most extreme was a skit about a person who hauls around a cardboard image of Jesus, to depict how people are attached to certain Hollywood images without really knowing the Lord in a personal relationship. You can read more about that script, written in 2005, here: “The Guy With The Cardboard Christ.”
Okay, here is the article where something similar happened in 2006; be warned, however, that the writer seems to be coming from a belief system with a more legalistic view, similar to a Jehovah’s Witness.
A CARDBOARD CHRIST
By Paul Proctor
December 13, 2006
Click here to read original article: NewsWithViews.com
The Des Moines Register reported in its December 10th edition, that teenagers from Lamoni United Methodist Church recently took a life-size cardboard cutout of “Jesus” and rolled it through the Jordan Creek Town Center in West Des Moines on a two-wheeled cart and into the movie theater on their way to see “The Nativity Story.”
The Register’s Religion Editor, Shirley Ragsdale, reported the triumphal entry this way:
“As they took turns pushing the cardboard Jesus on a two-wheeled handcart through the mall’s festive decorations and Christmas music, the faces of the shoppers around them registered surprise and curiosity. Chatter at the food court quieted when the kids pushed Jesus by. Kiosk shopkeepers asked what was going on.
One older man burdened with shopping bags was so fascinated, he nearly blundered into a glittering Christmas tree.
“The cardboard Jesus is an exercise in living their faith and ‘taking Jesus Christ with them everywhere,'” said the Rev. Steve McElroy.
Earlier this year, McElroy had talked to about 20 middle school and high school students in his church about the challenge in living as a Christian.
The discussion became more real when the pastor showed up with the cardboard cutout and asked the youth group if they would take Jesus with them any time they were together.
“It’s one thing taking Jesus around local places. It’s more difficult to be a public Christian when you’re hauling him through the mall crowded with shoppers,” Pastor McElroy said. “It’s a good test.”
“It’s a chance to show people we are Christians and we’re not embarrassed about it,” said Agnes Ansong, 16, of Lamoni.
“We want people to know what we believe in and that we take the Christmas season seriously.” McElroy said.
They want people to know they believe in what, cardboard? Well, these kids may “take the Christmas season seriously,” but obviously their pastor doesn’t take the Son of God or His Word too seriously.
“Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me;” – Exodus 20:4-5
Have our convictions gone on Christmas vacation? What part of “Thou shalt not” is so hard for today’s pastor to grasp? And who says we are we to take Jesus anywhere? Did He not command us to follow Him – which begs the question: Who is in control of the relationship here?
“Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.” – Matthew 16:24
It’s yet another example of absolute truth being sidelined by a pragmatic pastor teaching his youth that the end justifies the means – that love is a license to do whatever you feel is effective, as long as it’s for Jesus – even when the Lord Himself says “Thou shalt not.”
I mean, while angry Christian activists busy themselves year after year foolishly fighting for the ridiculous right to set up their plastic Jesus displays – what I like to call “Naiveté Scenes” – they ignore the very thing we were commanded by Jesus to do: Hear, obey and proclaim His Word – and in doing so, exchange Divine instruction for Christian idolatry!
Now I don’t really blame the kids here because, according to the Register, their pastor is the one who told them to do it – and obviously their parents aren’t anymore discerning than the pastor or they would have refused their participation – but consider what they’re really being taught by this egregious exercise.
Whether the pastor knows it or not, these kids are learning a cardboard christ-likeness – how to mutely make your way through a materialistic world without uttering a single saving word of truth or bearing witness to a living Christ with a changed heart and a renewed mind. Is there a more perfect illustration of today’s “evangelism” than kids pushing a lifeless prop around the mall for spectacle? How Pastor McElroy translates that into “an exercise in living their faith,” Ill never know.
“Woe unto you…,hypocrites! for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves.” – Matthew 23:15
While martyrs are persecuted, imprisoned, tortured and killed around the world for faithfully proclaiming the Gospel and refusing to deny Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior, this is what Christians are courageously promoting and defending here in America and other affluent areas of the world: Jesus Dolls, cardboard Christs, Nativity Scenes, Christmas Trees and the right to hear “Merry Christmas” instead of “Happy Holidays” from the cashier at Wal-Mart. What’s next – outraged believers rioting in the streets over liberal legislation brazenly banning the manufacture, distribution and sale of fruitcake?
-End of article-
And I thought the idea was too outlandish to be real! Anyway, it’s a popular script on the site, and I hope you perform it at your church… but don’t act it out in real life!