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Auckland church billboard calls for Jesus 'to come out'

Published: 12:32PM Monday December 17, 2012 Source: ONE News

  • Auckland's St Matthew-in-the-City church unveils new billboard (Source: ONE News)
    Auckland's St Matthew-in-the-City church unveils new billboard - Source: ONE News

Auckland's St Matthew-in-the-City church has once again made a move to grab people's attention with a controversial billboard.

Its latest billboard is aimed at the debate around traditional Christian beliefs, and is focused on the sexual orientation of Jesus.

The billboard depicts a picture of the Baby Jesus in a crib with the words "It's Christmas - time for Jesus to come out."

The baby is surrounded by a rainbow halo, in an obvious reference to the colours of the LGBT flag.

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St Matthew's clergy Rev Glynn Cardy and Rev Clay Nelson said the billboard invites discussion and debate.

"Some scholars have tried to make the case that he might have been gay," said Nelson. "But it is all conjecture. Maybe gay, maybe not. Does it matter?"

Cardy said that he hoped the billboard would draw attention to the debate on gay marriage.

"There is almost nothing in the record of his teachings about sexuality while there is plenty about the perils of being rich," he said.

"Certainly he always supported the marginalised in society."

Last year, St Matthew's erected a billboard depicted the Mary holding a pregnancy test.

The billboard was quickly vandalised, with around 100 Catholics marching through central Auckland in protest.

While during Easter 2010, the church featured a billboard a cartoon of a bearded Jesus nailed to the cross with the caption: "Well this sucks. I wonder if they'll remember anything I said."

The church said it meant to entice people to think about their fundamental Christian belief and commitment and is not aimed at the Christian traditionalists.