In the much reported case of Trunk v. City of San Diego this week, a Korean War Veterans Memorial’s cross was held by an appellate court to be unconstitutional. And on various radio and television stations I’ve heard these words, “take down the cross!” Whether it was in public protest over the senselessness of removing a memorial cross from Mt. Soledad that has stood in honor of our fallen heroes since 1954 or in victory over removing yet another religious symbol from the public arena, the words rang out, “take down that cross.”
As Christians, we quickly cry out over the rapid deterioration of faith in our country and decry the secular forces at work all around. It’s easy to do. Issue a sound bite. Stand up for your faith. Rail against the nameless faceless forces moving the nation to a society without a moral compass or faith-based perspective. Heck, we can even pat ourselves on the back for being outspoken Christians standing up regardless of what persecution we might endure (because we’re all just so surrounded by those who would stone us for saying I wish they’d leave that cross up………..).
Yet quietly, in our homes, in our hearts, in our heads, we voluntarily take down the cross without any appellate court mandate. The crosses being removed from sea to shining sea are just as visible as the one standing twenty-nine feet tall in La Jolla. And I dare say those crosses being attacked and destroyed one by one have far greater implications for this country than that cross ever has. We need to buy that new car or new shoes or new gadget so there wasn’t enough money in the budget for missions this year. We are SO accomplished that we proudly tout what all we are capable of on our own. We stop caring what filters by our eyes, and encamps in our minds, from the television, computer, and movie screens. Lies. Lust. Laziness. Is the Lord anywhere still to be found? Wasn’t the cross removed from millions of places long before this case was ever heard by a judge? Where’s the outcry?
Not only are we to be a shining light, a shining cross, a town on a hill (Matt. 5:14-16), but we are to take UP our cross and follow Him. (Matt. 10:38, 16:24) I searched, but nowhere in Scripture could I find “take down your cross…….” Maybe if we, if I, spent less time focused on crosses elsewhere and instead focused more on the cross that should be standing high on my hill, I would see change in my community, our nation, this world, one by one by one.
13 “You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.
14 “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.