I was listening to the radio today whilst driving and the station that I was tuned to had a big discussion on some atheist group who were petitioning to have crosses removed from – what sounded like – places of worship and burial or memorial sites to do with the military.
The radio station was arguing – rather feisty – how unfair it was that atheists only had a problem with Christians and Jews (by the sound of it) and how Christians should fight back for their right to have the crosses and Jesus statues displayed where they’ve been for (in some cases) as long as sixty years – some erected by war veterans.
And while I was listening to them fighting over displaying crosses or not, and the idea of religious freedom I wondered to myself how Jesus dealt with people who opposed Him and His teachings when He was on earth. Rather than choose a side in the argument I was left wondering:
Here were Christians fighting with others about a cross:
“Don’t you touch that cross, I’m warning you!
It is my right to have a cross! This is (wherever) and I can have a cross if I want one!
Why don’t you go pick on some other religion instead?”
Now imagine Christians fighting – kicking and screaming – determined to act like Christians,
“I will not take offense, I don’t care what you say or do about it!
It is my right to be kind and if you don’t like it, look the other way.
I will not only think of myself!
Let me go, I want to be - have to be - patient!
Let me have my self control, darn it!!
I will have long suffering and humility even if it kills me!
I refuse to be irritable or touchy or hold a grudge; I don’t care if you pay me!
Come on people! Sign a petition; let’s stand together!”
Just imagine what kind of world we would have lived in if that is what Christians ‘fought’ for instead.
I was challenged with a few questions to ponder today after listening to that show…
is the motive? Is it really about
Christ or do people sometimes get caught up in fights, each for his own rights? In this case, yes, the cross is a powerful
symbol of what Christ did, but it is still just a symbol – made of wood or
stone. If I knocked someone over the head with it, it does not have the power
to win someone for Christ. It would leave me standing and them unconscious, but that is about as far as it goes. Jesus is not
hanging on the cross anymore. He has risen and the very same resurrection power
of Christ is available to every reborn child of God when the Spirit of God
dwells on the inside of you. No atheist can stop that! Shouldn't we perhaps be
more concerned that God use that power for higher purposes of eternal value,
like saving lost souls who are ready
to be harvested?
- Do you need a cross – or a Jesus pin, a fish sticker, a halo, etc. - for someone to realize that you love the Lord? Shouldn't we be bearing more visible fruit of the Spirit and leave God to change the hearts of man? After all, one day every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that Christ is Lord – not because any human makes them, but because God says so. (Romans 14:11)
- How many souls are lost while we spend time fighting over which building who worships in? You can worship God in a field under a tree with no cross in sight and it doesn’t stop His presence or His miracle working power! Is it possible that we can fight over things disguised as Christian causes, and all the while miss the whole plot? What if that was just a clever strategy of the devil to tie up a few Christians’ time and energy (and even money) so that they don’t get to share God’s love with someone who really needs it? How clever that would be for the enemy and how sad for Christians.
Romans 14:17 says, For, after all, the important thing for us as Christians is not what we eat or drink but stirring up goodness and peace and joy from the Holy Spirit. If you let Christ be Lord in these affairs, God will be glad; and so will others. In this way aim for harmony in the church and try to build each other up. Don’t undo the work of God for a chunk of meat. In other words, consider what is more important.
Peter says (1 Peter 2:7) Yes, He is very precious to you who believe; and to those who reject Him, well – “The same Stone that was rejected by the builders has become the Cornerstone, the most honoured and important part of the building,” And the Scriptures also say, “He is the Stone that some will stumble over, and the Rock that will make them fall,” They will stumble because they will not listen to God’s Word, nor obey it, and so this punishment must follow – that they will fall.
As far back as the story of creation there have been those who have rejected Christ. That is still true today. In fact, the way I understand the Bible, it is not going to change till judgement day, but thank God - sincerely - that the Word of God still stands forever! Just because some reject Him doesn't change the fact that He is still the Cornerstone. Nothing changes that.
The point of my post is not saying keep a cross or remove a cross. I’m saying God is not a man. His eternal perspective by far exceeds our earthly, temporary natured ones. Instead of trying to align others with our ‘Christian” opinion, maybe we should spend more time as Christians aligning our opinions and our lives with those of Christ; that our lives will draw all men unto Him.
Jesus said the harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. (Matthew 9:37) What do you think? Are we, the workers, missing the Christ plot in a dying world?