What's that tank doing up above? Hanging out in some church's youth room. A church in Ohio has giant models of war craft and military symbols installed in their children/youth space to attract kids and perhaps play on the theme of "spiritual warfare." Setting aside the unlikelihood of children making the metaphorical leap from real tanks and guns to "spiritual warfare," do I even need to say why theologically this is so very, very wrong? I'll let this commenter from the Church Relevance blog do it for me:
This sickens and saddens me that weapons and the military (things that control and kill) are being turned into things of worship. Sorry to be the one that thinks this is wrong after all the “gee isn’t this cool” comments, but please really, what message is this sending to the kids and the community? Not the same as the one Jesus asked [us] to share.
Then there's this one:
Maybe one of the tremendous things that has gotten lost in the push for relevancy and “cool media” has been the theological reflection that goes into our structures and presentations. It is highly dangerous, theologically, to push out such a strong militaristic theme…especially to deeply impressionable children. We are left to wonder about how long the conversation was about the theological implications of creating this kind of space. Now I’m not suggesting we need to go back to the medieval times of gothic architecture, but I do believe our church spaces deserve honest, and careful reflection. I think we’ve lost that in our push for capturing the cool.
See more images and discussion here. Your thoughts?