‘Homeless Jesus’ Statue Gets New North Carolina Home, But Controversy Follows

Epigraph:

It is not righteousness that you turn your faces to the East or the West, but truly righteous is he who believes in Allah and the Last Day and the angels and the Book and the Prophets, and spends his money for love of Him, on the kindred and the orphans and the needy and the wayfarer and those who ask for charity, and for ransoming the captives; and who observes Prayer and pays the Zakat; and those who fulfill their promise when they have made one, and the patient in poverty and afflictions and the steadfast in time of war; it is these who have proved truthful and it is these who are the God-fearing.  (Al Quran 2:178)

Homeless-Jesus-Statue-In-North-Carolina

Source: WCNC.com

‘Homeless Jesus’ Statue Gets New North Carolina Home At St. Alban’s Episcopal Church, But Controversy Follows

This ‘Homeless Jesus‘ statue has found a home after similar works were rejected from cathedrals in New York and Canada, but not all are welcoming it with open arms. The moving work by Timothy P. Schmalz has provoked diverse responses since being installed at St. Alban’s Episcopal Church in Davidson, N.C.

Rev. Doctor David E. Buck, the church rector, sees it as an evocative combination of beauty, art, and religion. “It’s Jesus representing the most marginalized of society,” he told NBC Charlotte. “We’re reminded of what our ultimate calling is as Christians, as people of faith, to do what we can individually and systematically to eliminate homelessness. Part of a faith commitment is to care or the needy.”

However, others think it is in poor taste. Cindy Castano Swannack called the police the first time she drove by the realistic bronze statue, explaining to NBC Charlotte, “I was concerned for the safety of the neighborhood.” She protested, “Jesus is not a vagrant, Jesus is not a helpless person who needs our help.”

A plaque next to the sculpture reveals that it is displayed in memory of Kate MacIntyre, who died from cancer in 2007. The sculpture was inspired by the verse Matthew 25:40, “Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.”

Schmalz’s website explains, “Inspired by Matthew: 25, this sculpture is a representation that suggests Christ is with the most marginalized in our society. The Christ figure is shrouded in a blanket the only indication that it is Jesus is the visible wounds on the feet. The life-size version of the work has enough room that someone is able to sit on the bench.”

Pope Francis was moved by the work when Schmalz presented it to him at the Vatican, praying over it and blessing it. The pope has made addressing the plight of the poor and needy a hallmark of his papacy.

Church member Chuck Dillman said, “if you’ve been through what I’ve been through,” telling NBC Charlotte that it brought him closer to God. Buck added, “I can’t understand why anyone wouldn’t want this.”

Shmalz told The Catholic Register that the sculpture was inspired, in part, by a homeless man that he saw lying on the ground before Christmas in 2011. He recounted that poignant moment during a previous interview with The Huffington Post, commenting, “My instinctive thought was, that is Jesus Christ. I just saw Jesus.”

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Additional Reading

Two Hundred Verses about Compassionate Living in the Quran

How Islam has Influenced Christian understanding of God

Christian Professor From Iowa College Says Jesus was a Muslim

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5 replies

  1. It’s amazing how this website is so close to the truth of Christianity. The only stumbling block here is the desire or fixation on trying to prove wrong the eternal Love of Almighty God. Jesus is the Son of God, He even says so in the Bible and if you believe that He was a prophet then you must believe He told the truth (John 14:8-11). A prophet that lies about other things is really not much of a prophet is he? Search the Bible for the number of times He claimed to be God, not an anointed rabbi or prophet but The Son of God.

  2. Dear Joseph Mafofo, please note that Jesus called himself son of man, much more than son of God. I am not sure if he called himself son of God in Bible. He rather called God his own father and the father of all others. Please try to understand if that is right. He called God his father. Did he call himself as the son of God?
    I am surprised how many fathers he had. He is called son of God. He is called son of David a.s. Jesus is well known to the world as the son of Joseph the carpenter.
    Okay, let us agree that Jesus was son of God and begotten son of God and only begotten son of God… can you please explain how he was begotten? with reference to the Begetting of Issac and Jacob mentioned in the first verse of first chapter of the first book of gospel i.e. Mathew. How was Jesus begotten?
    Son and Father cannot exist at the same time all the time. Father has to precede the son.
    So God the Father was present before Jesus a.s. These are the things that you should please explain to me. Thank you. I love Jesus and his mother and his true disciples. I believe all the teachings and works of Jesus were perfect according to his time. He was sent by God so he was a messenger of God. He was supported by the Holy Ghost (Holy Spirit).

  3. Dear Ghulam Sarwar, sorry I hadn’t seen this response. The Bible indeed speaks of Jesus as the only begotten Son of God and the Jews understood it as such and that is why He was crucified. The Son coexisting with the Father is one of the mysteries of Almighty God, please look at John 1:1 to understand the oneness of Father and Son. Please also look at John 14:9 where Phillip asks Jesus to show them the Father and He says if you have seen me then you have seen the Father.
    The Fatherhood of Almighty God to His Son, the eternal Word is eternal. Coexistant and co-eternal, yet the Father is not the Son and the Son is not the Father; two persons united by the Holy Spirit who is the third person of the Trinity. To those with faith no explanation beyond this is necessary, to those without faith no explanation will suffice.

  4. The Jews thought he was most blasphemous person alive for claiming to be God’s only begotten Son. Remember Almighty God is pure Spirit and to beget a Son requires no mother in spirit as in the flesh. Please read Matthew 3:17 where the voice of God is heard as He proclaims Jesus His only Son and He commands people to hear him.

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