Tear down all the statues

As Jesus started on his way, a man ran up to him and fell on his knees before him. “Good teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?” “Why do you call me good?” Jesus answered. “No one is good-- except God alone.” (Mark 10:17-18)

In the wake of George Floyd’s death in May of 2020 and the Black Lives Matter protests of the past few years, one ongoing result has been the evaluation of statues, buildings, roads, and even holidays named after historical figures. In our capital city of Hartford, a statue of Christopher Columbus that had stood for 94 years was removed one month after Floyd’s death. In my hometown of Windsor, the statue of John Mason, the town’s founder, was vandalized. The statue, which had been erected in 1889, commemorated “the heroic achievement of Major John Mason and his comrades, who near this spot in 1637, overthrew the Pequot Indians and preserved the settlements from destruction.” Despite plans by the historical society to relocate the statue to a museum, it has yet to happen.
john-mason-statue-july-2020-400x736   lincoln
No one, it seems, is safe from the reckoning. Columbus Day was renamed to Indigenous People’s Day. Statues of individuals associated with the southern confederacy, like Robert E. Lee, Stonewall Jackson, and Jefferson Davis, were removed. Around the country came cries to take the names of people like Abraham Lincoln and Thomas Jefferson off schools and buildings and to tear down their statues because of their problematic history with Black or indigenous people.

As this process of re-evaluating historical figures continues, Jesus’ words, spoken to the rich young ruler in Mark 10:18 are being proved true: “No one is good – except God alone.” With these words, Jesus challenged this young man who had addressed him as “good teacher” to recognize that either he was correct in calling Jesus “good” because He was God in the flesh, or to give up the term “good” as a description.

The truth is that maybe it isn’t such a bad thing to tear down all the statues and remove all the names of historical figures from the buildings. As Jesus told us, every human being is “problematic.” We are all capable of achieving noble things while also committing atrocities. Martin Luther King Jr. courageously fought for civil rights while also reportedly having multiple affairs. His namesake, Martin Luther stood up to the injustices of the Catholic Church while displaying some awful anti-Semitism. Dig deeper on the lives of Mother Teresa, Billy Graham, or anyone else you admire, and you will find moral failings. And trust me, if you spend a few days with me, you will find plenty of reasons not to erect a statue in my name.

No one is good but God alone. Take the people in your life and in our history off of their pedestals and see them for who they are: men and women created in God’s image, capable of great things, but also broken by sin, and therefore capable of horrendous acts as well. And then transfer your worship to Jesus, the only one who deserves it, and put your hope in Him.

Posted in
Tagged with ,

No Comments






1 Corinthians 10 1 Thessalonians 5 2 Corinthians 13:5 2 Timothy 4 Abundant Life Adoption Affirmation American cullture America Anonymity Anthropology Anxiety Apologetics Approval Arguments Atheism Baptism Barnabas Battle Be still Bible Study Bible reading Bible study fellowship Bible Billy Graham Bob Pierce Bonhoeffer Books Breath Prayer Brennan Manning Brian Fearon Bronx Busyness C.S. Lewis Cape Coast Castle Central African Republic Character Charles Spurgeon Charleston Cheap grace Christian media Christian privilege Christian publishing Christmas Church growth Church life Church College Commitment Communication Community Compassion Competition Confidence Contentment Coronavirus Counseling Courage Cove Service Cowardice Craig Wolfram Critical Race Theory Criticism Cross Culture D.L. Moody Daniel David Death Deborah Despair Discernment Discipleship Distractions Division E.M Bounds Easter Ebenzer Ecuador Edward Kimball Election Elisabeth Elliot Enabling Encouragement Endurance Envy Ephesians Eternal life Eternity Evaluation Evangelism Faith False Teachers Fame Family Fasting Father Fear Fellowship Footwashing Forgiveness Francis Chan Freedom Friendship Gaia McDermott Gates George Mueller Gift exchange Gino Marozzi Giving Glory God's character God's faithfulness God's goodness God's leading God's love God's plan God's presence God's sovereignty God's wrath God\'s faithfulness God\'s love God\'s sovereignty God Good Samaritan Gospel Grace Grief Haiti Handel's Messiah Happiness Hartford City Mission Healing Heaven Hebrews 11 Hell History Holiness Hollywood Holy Spirit Home Hope Horatio Spafford Hospitality Houston Human rights Humility Hypocrisy Identity Ideologies Idols Immanuel In memory of Information overload Injustice Insecurity Integrity Intimacy Isaiah 9 Israel JI Packer Jeremiah 29:11 Jeremiah 8:11 Jesus' death Jesus' love Jesus\' love Jesus Job Joe Barone John 8 Jordan Perterson Joseph Joshua Joy Judgement Judges Justice Kanye West Kingdom of God Knowing God Lamentations Lament Las Vegas Leadership Leaf by Niggle Lent Les Miserables Lessons learned Longing Lord's Prayer Love Lynne Pleau Mark 10:21 Mark Driscoll Marketing Memorial Day Men's conference Mercy Mike Yaconelli Ministry Missions Money Moralistic Therapeutic Deism Moses Music Nancy Butler New Year's New life NewLife Old Testament Opinions Optimism Order Orlando Outreach Parenting Passion of the Christ Passion Pastoral care Pastoral ministry Pentecost Peru Phil Vaglica Philip Yancey Philippians 4:13 Play Pokemon Go Politics Poverty Power Prayer Preaching Pride Month Pride Prison ministry Progress Prophecy Prophet Prosperity Gospel Proverbs 14:4 Proverbs Psalm 13 Psalm 46:10 Psalm 46 Psalm 51 Public Speaking Purpose R.C Sproul Reflection Relationship with God Relationships Relativism Relevance Reputation Rest Resurrection Rev 2:4 Revival Rich young ruler Righteousness Romantic love Ron Luce Running Sabbath Sacrifice Salvation Same-sex marriage Samuel Sanctification Satan Saul Seculosity Self-Image Self-Worth Service Sex Trafficking Sex Shirley Prey Signifigance Silence Sin Smartphones Social justice Songs of Ascent Spiritual Disciplines Spiritual Gifts Spiritual Warfare Spiritual growth Statues Stories Street Church Stress Success Suffering Suicide Sunday School Survivor Syria Technology Teen Mania Thanksgiving The Hartford project The Ragman The Sound of freedom The Underground The Valley of Vision Tim Keller Titanic Tolkienn Tozer Trauma Trust Truth Uconn basketball Unanswered Prayer Unity Uvalde Valley of Vision Vows Williams Syndrome Wisdom Work Worry Worship Zechariah accountability accusation addiction bitterness cancel culture child trafficking confession conflict cool devotion disillusionment divorce emotions evil evolution faithfulness foster care glory days gratitude idolatry influences listening marriage nostalgia pastor perspective problem of Evil prodigal son purity of heart racism recovery redemption relevant repentance story temptation the one Jesus loves time management trials tribalism violence vision