The Loving Response of The Great Passion Play to the Vandalization of Christ of the Ozarks

On the night of July 8, a pro-abortion group suspended a 45-foot banner containing a repulsive message across the Christ of the Ozarks statue

EUREKA SPRINGS, AR – Nestled in the Ozark Mountains, Eureka Springs’ streets are lined with Victorian homes and buildings hugging cliff sides, one-of-a-kind shops, fine dining, art galleries, bed & breakfasts, cabins, and much more.

Photo by James Hill, Flickr, (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Eureka Springs is a National Historic Site that has been called the ‘Stairstep Town’ because of its steep terrain and the winding, up-and-down paths of its streets and walkways. Many buildings have street-level entrances on multiple floors. The city was built around natural springs. It has been said that no two streets meet at a right angle.

I have been visited Eureka Springs many times, and it is undoubtedly one of my favorite towns in America. As fascinating as the town itself is, Eureka Springs has a special place in my heart because it is home to the Great Passion Play, a ‘Holy Land Tour,’ a Bible museum, and the 65-foot-tall Christ of the Ozarks statue that stands on a ridge overlooking the city.

On the night of July 8, a pro-abortion group suspended a 45-foot banner containing a repulsive message across the statue, stretching from one arm to the other.

This is the point in the story at which those to whom the damage was done express their outrage at the vandalism. However – and this is the point of my story – that is not how the management of the statue (the Great Passion Play) chose to respond.

It was no secret to anyone who had hung the banner with its message, so it would have been no surprise had The Great Passion Play responded with disgust and threats of retribution. You know, the kind of “eye for an eye” thing that we Christians sometimes forget is a part of the Sermon on the Mount that displeases our Lord.

Here a portion of the message that Kent Butler, Director of Operations for the Great Passion Play, sent to the activist group.

“We wanted to acknowledge and give notice of the 45′ drop cloth to be used in our mission trip program (

“You trespassed on our property and hung this drop cloth from the Christ of the Ozarks memorial statue and put your lives at risk as well as the people’s lives who took it down. You used our statue to further your platform, but we are thankful for the opportunity to share our mission. The Passion Play is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to lifting up the miraculous life, sacrificial death, burial, and ultimately the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

“We pray those who hung this banner are able to come and see Jesus hung on the cross in a production that has been seen by over 8 million people now. Performances are on Tuesdays, Fridays, and Saturday nights through the end of October. Security is now stationed overnight at the Christ of the Ozarks as well. We will not accept additional donations from your organization.”

Butler explained to reporters that his organization exists to lift up Jesus. While the activists sought to make more people aware of their cause, they have unwittingly brought Jesus into the headlines in another example of the Lord turning what men intended for evil to be used for good.

Ponder the Christ-like response from the Great Passion Play staff. Pray that we all would represent our Lord and Savior in like manner. He didn’t call us to protest. He sent us to proclaim.

Read more news on Non Profit Organizations and Abortion on Missions Box.

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