Jesus Needs New PR

Jesus Needs New PR

This guy loves the cross of Jesus more than you do!

Does Joshua Sarhan love Jesus’s cross more than you? Maybe…

Do you have a big wooden cross with a wheel on it? Huh?

Are you wheeling your cross all across America to remind people that they need Jesus? Well, are you?!

Does your cross come with an iPod? What do you think he’s listening to? Piper? Warren? Katy Perry’s ‘California Gurls’?!

Do people sign their names to your cross?

Are you from Arkansas?

Do strangers walk next to your cross?! Do they offer to help you carry it?

So in all seriousness… what are your thoughts about these kinds of “missions”? Helpful? Pointless? Waste of time? Needed?

Would love to know what you think!

Josh’s story/mission found here.

Comments read comments(26)
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leanna jackson

posted June 6, 2010 at 11:19 am

lame. jesus’ cross didn’t have a wheel, for starters, and i think anyone that ministry is intended to reach is just going to find it obnoxious. i just hope he went in with good intentions, for his sake.

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posted June 6, 2010 at 11:28 am

It sounds like a great way to reach the already converted.

Christian will be all “hey, that’s cool! What a great outreach!”

Whereas non-believers will be scratching their heads and asking “Why’s that idiot dragging a cross around? And how does he make a living at it?”

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Steve H.

posted June 6, 2010 at 11:40 am

Thing is, this guy is a rip-off of Keith Wheeler, who’s been doing this around the world since 1985.

Personally, I think it’s a waste of time and energy. No doubt it means something to the person doing the carrying (I am a big proponent of pilgrimage, as it were), but as far as having far-reaching and sustainable effects on actual people with real questions about life and faith, I’m not convinced.

But I would guess he’s in pretty good shape! Perhaps this could be a new class at “God’s Gym”?

I kid.

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MostlyVeganMama AKA SleeplessInSimi

posted June 6, 2010 at 11:42 am

I think what ever brings a person piece of mind or joy is good.

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Sanuk D

posted June 6, 2010 at 11:50 am

I was in Target the other day and saw a 4th of July bikini which incorporated elements of the American flag. I’m all for string bikinis, and I’m all for the American flag. I’m not sure that the two can be combined to show respect for one’s country. Just like an American flag-bikini clad woman, this cross bearer will get my attention if not my respect. The question, of course, is to whom our attention really should be focused. I’ve been much more moved by my evangelical neighbors who are trying to set up sustainable water projects in Africa than the folks whose “ministries” seem much more aimed at getting airtime on Larry King.

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posted June 6, 2010 at 11:59 am

I know a guy who does that from time to time. He also feeds the homeless every week. When I say he feeds the homeless, I mean that literally. He does all the cooking. People have made donations to buy the food. He’s a great guy, really loves Jesus. He is a servant.

Any-who, I’m not sure what the impact of him carrying a cross is.

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posted June 6, 2010 at 12:12 pm

I think these things are more about the effect on the bearer than on the public. Whether they realize it or not.

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    Matthew Paul Turner

    posted June 6, 2010 at 3:17 pm

    Great observation. And I think you’re probably correct.

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yisrael grimes

posted June 6, 2010 at 12:39 pm

I agree with vegas710. I’m not sure about the outreach potential but I also don’t want to down other peoples convictions. if it reaches 1 person it will be worth it. Now what I’m really wanting to know is… Can he sell ad space? I could see how this would be good ad for Nike or maybe yellow wood or something. Not a good ad for an oil or gas company. hmmm. maybe I should look into this marketing more.

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yisrael grimes

posted June 6, 2010 at 12:40 pm

oh yeah, I think he’s listening to jay-z by the way.

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Carole Turner

posted June 6, 2010 at 1:50 pm

I think it’s pretty cool. No harm in it and starts conversation, I dig that kinda stuff.

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Matt C

posted June 6, 2010 at 1:55 pm

Dude, you know I love this site but sometimes you come across too sarcastic and seems like you attack things that others are doing that benefit the Kingdom. This would be one of those times. I don’t see anything wrong with this, and some of the stories I’ve heard from other folks that do this same thing are simply incredible.

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    Matthew Paul Turner

    posted June 6, 2010 at 3:24 pm

    Matt, sorry this post hit you wrong. I wasn’t trying to make fun of what Joshua was doing as much as trying to point the questions back at the rest of us. Sure, parts of the questions are snarky, but I was hoping they asked more about our personal “crosses” than about Josh’s actual cross. My hope was to find out what people thought of these kinds of experiences. I wrote it fast and perhaps I should have spent more time on it. Thanks for being honest.

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    posted June 6, 2010 at 4:02 pm

    Matt, I think the real question is whether or not this benefits the Kingdom and that, IMO, is always a good thing to ask. I’m not sure that this gentleman isn’t a little off-track. To me, it reeks of someone looking for atonement when it’s already been offered for free. At worst it brings to mind graven images. People who are not believers are not typically swayed by people pulling strange stunts. It may not be doing wrong like you said but I doubt it’s doing much good either. It’s important to use our resources wisely.

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posted June 6, 2010 at 3:30 pm

The guy walks across the country carrying a cross and all people do is pick on him because it has a wheel. Jeepers.

I might question the effectiveness of this outreach, and in fact I doubt there’s a massive revival along every highway he travels, but I’d wager it’s more effective than what I did for Jesus since I walked out of church this afternoon: ate my mother-in-law’s pot roast and watched some show on HGTV about rich white people buying more house than they’ll ever need. Way to advance the Kingdom, eh? Later on, I will probably watch Sunday Night Baseball. For Jesus, of course.

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    posted June 6, 2010 at 6:29 pm

    I agree with Matt C and Jesse’s points. While the efficacy of Joshua’s chosen activity might be open to question, there’s no denying that he got off his couch to make a public statement about his faith. His method is a great deal more visible than my odd blog post, shared meal or couple of hours youth leadership each week each week.

    In a world saturated with 20 second attention spans, hi-tech trickery and slick slogans, perhaps we do need a man bearing a cross to stop folk in there tracks or capture people’s interest – before us authentic folk can swoop in and seal the salvation deal? While it is not my way of doing things, I am in no position to judge the validity or impact of this guy’s actions.

    I believe that we should keep in mind that reaching out to folk, testifying, doing Kingdom work – whatever we call what we’re called to do – is a team effort. We are part of a ‘relay team’ passing the baton and as such may only rarely see folk we helped start cross the line. Joshua’s journey may well sow a seed in someone’s soul that’ll lie fallow for months or years until another nourishes it to grow and blossom.

    Arthur Stace is a good example of this kind of missional activity and a man who never really knew the extent to which he was successful but continued all the same.

    Whether we agree with their methods or not, let us at least acknowledge the efforts of those like Joshua and Arthur who have the conviction to at least try regardless of the likelihood of ‘failure’.

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Joe Crenshaw

posted June 6, 2010 at 3:42 pm

I understand both sides of this issue

1. Making a Statement of CHRIST to get folks to think about the Cross and what it means, we don’t know what long term consequences good or bad this may have.

2. Why do we as Christians who want to share our faith, go about it so many times in the wrong way? I was the master of “mis guided” attempts to share the gospel with people and in fact the most long term and significant influences I have are when I am real with people about my faults, my fears, my doubt.

Passing out tracts, toting around crosses on wheels, holding up JESUS signs on the corner, wearing JESUS/GOD t-shirts with catchy slogans and other attempts I call,”Bumper sticker Christianity” overall doesn’t have that lasting impact that deep connection that people are looking for in CHRIST JESUS or that we should be teaching.

The richness of the gospel can’t be limited to t-shirts and stamps, we must have a living faith, i.e. not be hypocrites, we must be honest about our sins and doubts, i.e. not phony self righteous superman, we must seek GOD and love him and show others his grace, in our lifestyles first and in words second.

JESUS didn’t do any “gimmicks” neither did the apostles and gimmicks and t-shirts won’t sustain you in the long run, relationship, truth and GOD’S grace will.


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derek jacks

posted June 6, 2010 at 4:29 pm

Not sure why there are negative comments about this guy. Reeks of judgment to me. It is a neat story. Almost as neat as Dan Merchant and his bumper sticker suit. But neat, nevertheless.

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    posted June 6, 2010 at 5:19 pm

    Just questioning the effectiveness of his mission. Not judging him as a person. There’s a big difference.

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      derek jacks

      posted June 6, 2010 at 8:31 pm

      We will never know the effectiveness of his mission. That is the point. Effectiveness does not necessarily equate to professions of faith. Encouraging believers is important as well. I don’t know why he does this, but people have their reasons.

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SJ Wright

posted June 6, 2010 at 4:57 pm

We have cliche t-shirt and different slogans of this bumper sticker Bible sayings. I am a Gospel magician I have nifty little tricks. These are all gimmicks. Who says gimmicks are bad. They aren’t the truth they aren’t the way. However, they are door openers. They open conversations to what is really important. My magic revolves around the truth of Jesus, not Jesus around my magic. Jesus and the disciples had gimmicks. They used miracles to reveal the Kingdom of God. Healing a few people did only help a little but they listened to what the truth is. Gimmicks open doors where normally if we randomly said something to some one without any little opener we would be cut off and the door would be shut. The cross that this guy carries around opens doors more than if he was just walking around by himself.

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posted June 6, 2010 at 5:02 pm

Hmmm. I appreciate the guts in getting out to do something like this. The problem is I’m not sure that many of the people who see it would have (or go looking for)the knowledge needed for it to make sense. Without accurate knowledge of what it meant for Jesus to carry and die on a cross, it is likely to be see as just an oddity and give people an odd impression of Christians.

Could be worse. I’ve seen people carry crosses in city parades. I don’t think they considered that the fact the the parade also included marching bands and clowns might dull their message a bit.

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posted June 6, 2010 at 7:36 pm

It’s being busy at being lazy. Jesus called us to preach the gospel, not pretend to carry a cross. The foolishness of carrying a cross doesn’t bring salvation to the lost, the foolishness of preaching does. More power to him for doing it, but it is not effective to the lost. If anything, it brings a smile to the face of fellow Christians who see him, and brings a honk his way as they pass and wave.

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posted June 6, 2010 at 8:36 pm

Maybe if he did something useful with it. I don’t know, rescue kittens from trees. Help children escape burning buildings. Prop up collapsing houses. Guy got an idea in his head and went with it. So he’s probably a little crazy. Who isn’t? Looks like he wants to do some good though. Help him find some good use for his prop.

…if you removed the wheel, could it be a weight-bearing beam for a free innercity medical clinic?

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posted June 7, 2010 at 7:48 am

I “get” what this guy (and others like him) is trying to do. I know awesome, Godly men in my hometown that have carried crosses up and down busy roadways, and it’s a great way to draw attention to yourself and the cross. I’m sure a lot of people think this guy is a nut job, but there are probably a few folks who are moved by the display.

I do have a bit of a problem with these kinds of displays, though. I mean, Jesus was arrested and had an unfair trial. Then he was beaten mercilessly and sentenced to death on the cross. Then he had to carry that cross up a hill while people jeered and spat at Him.

He didn’t have sunglasses and a ball hat.
He didn’t have comfortable shoes and protective gloves.
He didn’t have a backpack with tasty treats and bedding.
He didn’t have a wheel on his cross to help it move more easily.
And he certainly wasn’t rocking an iPod.

Maybe I’m nitpicking, but I think that sometimes we sacrifice reverence for Christ in our attempts to spread His message.

– Wes

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posted June 7, 2010 at 10:18 am

As long as he isn’t hurting anyone or mean-spirited, I don’t see the problem. It’s like someone else said, if he reaches just one person, then it’s worth it.

Do I think it’s a little cheesy? Yes. But who am I to say it’s wrong?

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