Cities, Crosses, and Lawsuits

Think about for a second a person strolling down a road carrying a cross necklace. He have to be a Christian, proper? Now think about this man shouting racist and sexist issues to passersby as he walks down that road carrying a cross necklace. Can we nonetheless suppose that he’s a Christian? We could assume he isn’t as a result of he doesn’t resemble Jesus in anyway on this second. After all, followers of Jesus conform to Christs likeness to various levels, however this transient train of the creativeness helps to focus on the distinction between kind and substance.

Now think about for a second a metropolis primarily populated by Christians. This metropolis has a publicly owned water tower and on prime of it’s a cross that’s superbly alighted at evening. It truly is a beautiful cross and it carries a variety of that means for most of the folks within the metropolis. This metropolis and this cross do exist in actual life, and I’ve some ideas about them.

Again in 2015, the Freedom From Faith Basis (FRFF) found the cross. This group had efficiently sued many cities to take away non secular imagery from public property and sought to do the identical on this metropolis. The difficulty is, they’d no authorized standing and had not been capable of finding any metropolis residents to file the lawsuit on their behalf. Fairly the alternative occurred.

Over 1,400 small picket crosses quickly appeared on entrance lawns all through town, a powerful show of solidarity in opposition to the FFRF. Metropolis officers have been quoted in newspapers stating that they might not be eradicating the cross. Town provides authorized the explanation why it needn’t take away the cross and so they could also be fairly correct, however I need to give attention to the response of this metropolis in mild of the instructions of Christ.

Within the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus instructs his followers in how to reply to enemies, making a plain reference to lawsuits:

You could have heard that it was stated, Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth. However I inform you, don’t resist an evil particular person. If anybody slaps you on the best cheek, flip to them the opposite cheek additionally. And if anybody needs to sue you and take your shirt, hand over your coat as effectively. If anybody forces you to go one mile, go along with them two miles. Give to the one who asks you, and don’t flip away from the one who needs to borrow from you. (Matthew 5:3842)

READ: The America The place I Wish to Reside

There’s some apparent dissonance between the instructions of Christ and the response of this metropolis. The FFRF sought to sue town and, as a substitute of handing over the cross, town dug in its heels and strongly resisted them publicly. The mayor stated, “I’m not going to respond to a leftist, liberal foundation that wants to tell me what is appropriate.” However what in the event that they as a substitute responded to Christ who tells his followers what is suitable? What would possibly it seem like if a metropolis populated primarily by Christians obeyed the instructions of Christ on this occasion?

I suggest {that a} extra Christ-like factor for a metropolis like this to do on this scenario could be to take away the cross, mail it to the FFRF, full with a letter of blessing, and buy lunch for his or her workplace employees. The letter would counsel to them that the cross on the water was one thing actually treasured for all of the residents of town, however obeying the instructions of Christ was probably the most treasured factor of all. The letter would say that town can solely reply in love and kindness to everybody, even the FFRF.

Paul, in his letter to the Romans, stated one thing similar to Jesus:

Don’t repay anybody evil for evil. Watch out to do what is true within the eyes of everybody. Whether it is attainable, so far as it will depend on you, reside at peace with everybody. Don’t take revenge, my expensive associates, however go away room for Gods wrath, for it’s written: It’s mine to avenge; I’ll repay, says the Lord. Quite the opposite:In case your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he’s thirsty, give him one thing to drink. In doing this, you’ll heap burning coals on his head. (Romans 12:1720, emphasis added)

Burning coals is a logo of judgment within the Outdated Testomony (Psalm 140:10). By not resisting and by blessing the FFRF, town would enact the idea that vengeance belongs solely to God and that our solely half to play is to bless and love our enemies.


Leave a Reply