I was wondering the other day about what happened to the Jesus Army. Well, apparently nothing happened to them; they’re still around, at least according to their website, though they’re not so much in evidence on the streets. I have seriously mixed feelings about the Jesus People: on the one hand, they do seem sincere and they do some good stuff; on the other hand they indulge in what is now called ‘Christ-napping’ – picking homeless people up off the streets and taking them to church, presumably with the sweetener of a meal or hot drink.
I really disapprove of these tactics: if you want to help homeless people then just help them. Feed them, offer hot drinks, clothing, whatever – but don’t make going to church a condition of having this stuff. Don’t make them tick a box (or a pew) before they can get the help; because that sucks. Just offer the help; be the church – and then maybe they’ll want to join. Maybe not, but at least you’ll have done something worthwhile. Sound Cafe works on this principle, and so does Tomatoes. It’s like St Francis said: ‘Talk about God all the time: use words if you must.’
So anyway – my thought for the day is this: that the sculpture of the homeless Jesus should be called ‘Christ, Napping’.
Not bad eh?
PS And here are the Jesus People, if you want to look them up: