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posted by Kris Martens June 13, 2008
Device for rooting out evil

I think it’s ironic & hilarious that the most well-known ‘church’ in the city is planted upside down in a mound of dirt in Coal Harbour.  If you haven’t yet seen this urban artwork, it’s worth a look.  You’ll find it waterfront in Coal Harbour - overlooking Stanley Park.  

It’s entitled ‘Device for Rooting out Evil’ and is slated for removal due to protests (presumably from ‘christians’).  UPDATE (the 'device' was sadly removed at the end of summer).

While I understand its potential offensiveness to Christians - I have to admit I thought it was a thought provoking display that elicited a response - exactly what art is supposed to do.   As someone dedicated to planting a Christ-centred, Gospel-centred church in the city - and someone also wary of the danger of ‘religion’ - an upside-down church building isn’t exactly a bad concept.  Maybe the church is backwards in this city.  Maybe the church is the best device to root out evil.  Maybe the church needs to get itself more connected to the city - more rooted in Christ & His word - but more involved in the affairs of the city and the Gospel response to each.  Maybe the institutional church does need to rethink & recommit itself to the Gospel - which for some is a radically different direction.  

So - I say keep the upside down church.  Sure - it may be intended to show the irrelevance of the ‘church’ of yesteryear - but maybe it more accurately shows what the church can become.  An organic group of disciples who follow Jesus.  Who are forgiven for their stained pasts - and don’t hide behind stained glass.  Who are willing to get their hearts involved & their hands dirty with cultural reformation & spiritual revival.  Who are willing to get their knees dirty from praying hard over our city.  

Maybe such a ‘church’ could be a ‘device for rooting out evil’.  In fact - I think that’s exactly what the church should be.  

I am now a fan of urban art but a greater fan of Jesus.