Saturday, April 25, 2009

Foolishness and Fear

Yesterday on Fox and Friends there was a report about a school asking a church to cover up the crosses in its Sanctuary for an upcoming High School graduation. The church said it would not, so the ACLU was suing the school so it would have to hold graduation ceremonies elsewhere.

Ends up this isn’t something new. I tried to find this story on line and when searching for it I found this same kind of story in Florida from 2005.

On April 14 of this year President Obama gave an economics speech at Georgetown University. Prior to his arrival – and at the White House’s request – the cross and IHS were covered up. IHS is a centuries old monogram for the name of Jesus Christ.
The platform in Gaston Hall
Before President Obama spoke the cross and IHS were covered with a piece of plywood painted black.

Philippians 3:18 - Show Context
For I have often told you, and now say again with tears, that many live as enemies of the cross of Christ.

The point of this blog is the "why" behind this, but as a side note I must say how completely disappointed I am that our Catholic brothers would bow to this request.

Here is the opening statement of their on-line policy for use of Gaston Hall.

GASTON HALL POLICIES EXTERNAL (non-Georgetown University) organizations or individuals may rent the facilities, subject to availability, if:
* the event does not conflict with similar campus activity
* the event is appropriate to the ambiance of the facility
* the event is appropriate to the educational mission of Georgetown University
* the event is not in conflict with Georgetown University standards as a Roman Catholic institution (emphasis mine)
Gaston Hall is used for many non-religious activies. Below is a picture of a panel discussion on U.S. - Russian relationship and energy. Notice how the cross is NOT covered up.

I would hope one of the standards of a Roman Catholic institution would be to declare the message of Jesus Christ and the cross.
Georgetown should not have agreed to cover up the cross. President Obama should choose a secular place for his speeches if he is offended by - or afraid to offend others - by the cross. (Of course since almost all of the schools in the founding years of our nation were Christian in nature most will have Christian symbols in very prominent places.)

So why is the cross so offensive?
Why is the world afraid of the cross?

Because it declares many things.

The cross declares that we are sinners in need of a Savior. Americans don’t like to be reminded that they are sinners. We like to blame others for anything wrong in our lives. The cross makes each of us admit “I have sinned.”

The cross declares that Jesus Christ is the only way of Salvation. The payment for our sins was made through Jesus Christ. It is only through faith in Him that our sins are forgiven – that we find peace with God.
Colossians 1:20 - Show Context
and to reconcile everything to Himself through Him by making peace through the blood of His cross -- whether things on earth or things in heaven.

The cross shows Jesus’ demand on our lives.
Matthew 16:24 - Show Context
Then Jesus said to His disciples, "If anyone wants to come with Me, he must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow Me.

The cross seems foolish to the world and they don’t see why the cross is a big deal to those who are followers of Jesus Christ.
1Corinthians 1:18 - Show Context
For to those who are perishing the message of the cross is foolishness, but to us who are being saved it is God's power.

It’s perhaps easy to criticize Georgetown and President Obama for covering the cross, so let me help make you a little uncomfortable.
How have you covered the cross this week? I don’t mean literally. Each of us, probably every day in one way or another, “cover the cross” by what we say, where we go, what we do… We deny the power of the cross in our lives. We ignore the call to “take up our cross” and follow Him. (OK, this is the point where you preach your own sermon to yourself as the Holy Spirit shows you things in your own life.) (I can’t do everything for you.)

Go out now and live a life that doesn’t deny (cover up) the cross. Live through and because of the power of the cross.

Another angle.
Here is a quote from a blogger, Joseph Speranzella, that brings some excellent insite. Wish I had thought of this first.
"Those who call themselves Christian do not mock God. They are obligated to remember that the Holy Martyrs too were asked to "cover up the Cross". They declined knowing that he who denies God on earth will be denied by the Father in heaven. The Church has counted the cost of true belief and there is no political correctness in the blood of the martyrs."
see the full article here Excellent post.

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