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Y Was D Statue Of Jesus Burnt By Thunder If Truly He Is D Lod?

Solid Rock Church's King of Kings monument struck by lightning.

Updated 4:25 PM Tuesday, June 15, 2010

MONROE — Charred remnants remained this morning, June 15, of the large Jesus statue iconic to Interstate 75 that was destroyed following an apparent lightning strike during a thunderstorm late Monday night.

The Lawrence Bishop Music Theater at Solid Rock Church on Union Road endured smoke damage, according to officials. Damages to the King of Kings statue and the theater were estimated to be around $700,000, said Monroe Fire Chief Mark Neu.

No one was injured in the blaze.

The smell of smoke surrounded the area of the statue’s charred frame, and the pond in front of it appeared murky, witnesses said.

Keith Lewis of Middletown showed up at the church just after 7 a.m. with a camera in hand to take some shots of the remains. His wife, Stephanie, sent him.

“It has been a landmark in this area for a long time,” Lewis said. “She said she wanted picture of what was left.”

A guitarist, Lewis said he has learned to play comedian Heywood Banks’ song about the statue, “Big Butter Jesus,” and has also had his picture taking in front with his hands in the air.

Was the statue an oddity or inspiration to Lewis?

“Really a little of both,” he said, noting he doesn’t believe the nicknames were meant with any disrespect. “Kind of do hope they rebuild it.”

Neu has called a news conference for 10 a.m. today at the church. He and Police Lt. Brian Curlis said officials have been swamped with calls from media across the Tri-State this morning about the blaze.

Neu said indications are lightning struck the right hand of the statue. 911 calls received by Monroe and Warren County dispatchers confirm witnesses saw the hand on fire first.

“It was fully involved when our guys got there,” Neu said. Firefighters were dispatched at 11:16 p.m. and were on the scene at 11:22 p.m.

The church was not damaged, but audio equipment housed in the music theater was damaged, Neu said.

“They had a lot of expensive audio equipment that was lost,” he said.

Earlier this morning and late Monday night, motorists were stopped along the highway and along Union Road in Monroe to watch the 62-foot King of Kings statue burn. The fire was reported at 11:15 p.m. Monday, June 14. Within minutes, all that was left was the steel frame of the statue at the church.

Church member Cassie Browning, 27, of Dayton, said she was driving north on I-75 on her way back from Tennessee when she and her family saw smoke and noticed the statue missing. “It meant so much to so many people,” Browning said. “The statue can be destroyed and gone, but Jesus can’t be.”

The fire spread to the attic area of the church’s adjacent amphitheater. There were no injuries, said Neu, who spoke just before 2:30 a.m. to media at the scene. It was a “hot fire,” he said, which made it more difficult to battle, but it was extinguished within about an hour.

In the late evening and early morning hours, social media sites such as Facebook fueled interest and onlookers: the curious, the incredulous and still others who just wanted to poke a little fun at the situation.

“God struck God, I like the irony. Jesus struck Jesus,” said Dawn Smith, 25, of Hamilton, who was among those standing outside the vehicles along Union Road. “I had to see it. What else are you going to do on a Monday night?”

Since its completion in 2004, the statue, which appeared to come out of a pond in front of the nondenominational megachurch, was known by multiple nicknames, including “Touchdown Jesus” because the arms and hands were raised upward. It also was known as “Big Butter Jesus” after comedian Heywood Banks referred to it as such and created a song about the statue, which he performed on radio’s popular “The Bob and Tom Show.”

The statue was constructed of wood and styrofoam over a steel framework that was anchored in concrete and covered with a fiberglass mat and resin exterior, according to the church. It was slated to undergo renovations this summer.

Also gathered along Union Road were Franklin twins and storm chasers Levi and Seth Walsh, who said they were out in the thunderstorm when they heard about the fire through a Facebook update.

“It sent goosebumps through my whole body because I am a believer,” said Levi Walsh, 29. “Of all the things that could have been struck, I just think that that would be protected. , It’s something that’s not supposed to happen, Jesus burning,” he said. “I had to see it with my own eyes.”

“I can’t believe Jesus was struck,” said his brother, who noted the giant Hustler Hollywood sign for the adult store across the street was untouched. “It’s the last thing I expected to happen.”

Whether jostled by the incident, or ready to call out zingers, all agreed the statue is what makes that stretch of I-75 in front of the church special.

“It’s a landmark, so it’s going to make the drive different,” said Josh Bartram, 18, of Middletown.

Because the fire was sparked by lightning, Neu said there will be no further investigation.

Also lost in the fire was audio equipment stored in the attic that Neu said was to be used for a Fourth of July event at the church. No damage estimate will be available until 10 a.m. today, said Neu, who added that church leaders indicated to him they planned to replace and rebuild all that was lost in the fire.

Crews responded from Monroe, Middletown, Liberty Twp., Deerfield Twp. and Trenton, according to dispatchers.

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4 answers

alimat is an arabic fool, thinking an image represents something, for your information, even the bible frowns at images and statues, i don't know why some denominations have now taken it upon themselves to do such statues.

sorry alimat, ignorance is much in islam. i understand.

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alimat 2's reasoning is one of the things that makes Islam susceptible to easy hijack by clueless and ignorant extremists.

The toddler-level reasoning that some object/book/painting/building personifies a prophet or even God is unfortunate.

It is this kind of barbarian-friendly way of thinking that has resulted in the loss of lives of thousands at the hands of Muslim extremists whenever they view some action (on an inanimate object) as an insult to Islam.

A typical ignorant Muslim in northern Nigeria will kill you if you burn a piece of paper with Arabic inscriptions. Why? The fool, who is half-educated in a parochial aspect of Arabic calligraphy/writing, assumes that the act of burning that piece of paper (it doesn't even have to be the Qu'ran) is an insult to Allah, hence you must be killed.

The cases of Mrs. Oluwatoyin Oluwaseesin and Mr. Gideon Akaluka come to mind.

To these ignorant Muslims, killing somebody when an object (e.g., the Qu'ran) is destroyed (no matter how it was destroyed or the circumstance that led to the destruction) is an appropriate response, otherwise it would seem as if Mohammed (or Allah) is weak. Mohammed/Allah's strength must be shown/expressed/demonstrated my the mindless slaughter of all who are implicated in desecrating an object linked to either Mohammed or Allah.

It is this weak but dangerous logic that untiring ignoramuses like alimat 2 want Christians to subscribe to. That is, to show that Christ is the Son of God, we must not tolerate the destruction of an object linked to Him, but must act! How? Kill somebody!

However, Christians do not subscribe to killing people when any object linked to Christ is destroyed, whether by man or by nature.

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^^ Who is asleep if not the one who denies the Lordship of the Christ?

In answer to your question, the statue is not Jesus neither is it a true representation of Him. Where did you see Him or of what likeness is He. Blond hair, brown hair, black hair? Wide nose or the thin nose of the stereotyped white man? What was His complexion. Anyway, even if it were a good representation, it is written "thou shalt make NO graven images" so the people who made that statue were in error and not following Biblical standards or directives. So why should God protect their "Sin"?

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Its high time u all wake frm ur sleep

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