Tag Archives: reconciliation

Why I Wear a Cross, Visibly

A number of months ago, I decided to start wearing my cross in a visible manner. Meaning, for years I’ve worn one, but under my shirt. Now, at work I wear it outside my shirt, but under my tie. The rest of the time, it’s outside of whatever casual shirt I’m wearing that day.

There were a number of factors that went into this decision. I have a friend who until a few months ago worked mentoring men recently released from prison. He always wore his cross on his chest. I also read an article about clergy wearing the collar in public and how it consciously affects the person wearing it and the one the people who see clergy wearing one.

I also reflected on my own response to seeing people wearing a cross openly. Granted there are many situations where it is fairly obvious the cross isn’t intended as a display for religious reasons but as a fashion statement, a trinket worn with other symbols: a heart, a star, a yin and yang, and maybe a unicorn. In those times when I saw someone wearing one in a serious way, I did perceive that person differently. Was their behavior out of line in my mind, or were they kindhearted and gentle?

In the United States, and most “Western” countries generally, there does not exist a distinct method of dress for Christians. In more predominately Eastern Orthodox counties the women may be veiled or wear a head covering of some kind. Additionally, in predominately Muslim countries, the Christians generally live in close proximity to one another. They are then distinguished by how they don’t look and behave like the majority religion’s adherents.

So I tried wearing it outside my shirt. I discovered I am quite conscious of it. It triggers an immediate sense of “dear Lord help me!” My Lord and Savior died on a cross. Because of that atoning sacrifice, He was resurrected and ascended into heaven. He has called me to himself, relieved me of my burden of sin and set me free to live in and through Him. I am one of his ambassadors of reconciliation (2 Cor. 5 18-21). For me then, it focuses my mind on how I behave.

At the same time I am aware of a stereotype. The sneering, judgmental usually old person typecast in movies as the bigoted or hypocritical “christian”. Nearly always there’s a large cross either worn around the neck or placed someplace prominently in the home. This person is cold and callous. This person usually appears to have ice water running through their veins rather than any sort of life giving red blood. I certainly don’t want to be this person nor do I wish to be associated with them in anyone’s mind.

So, as I thought about it, I realized I have no control over how others see me. And just because I have a particular stereotype stuck in my head doesn’t mean others have the same imagery floating around in their skulls. So I went with wearing it on the outside. It helps me to live in a manner worthy of the gospel (Philippians 1:27). There is a phrase used commonly in Anglican circles, usually around whether to go to confession with a priest (I tried finding the origin of the phrase and was unsuccessful): “all may, some should, none must.” So, for me, this is a I should. If it stirs me this much to desire to act in a manner of the upward calling, then I shall.

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Day 12: True Peace

The concept of posting a blog every day for 30 days is proving very difficult. My post yesterday really needed to be edited more. I may have wedded a couple of themes into one. 

So, I’m thinking I should write and think on the more serious ones and hold them until they are ready and then keep doing regular posts on simpler issues.

Some Reflection 

The events of the past few days in Charlottesville are illuminating. Like shining a light into the dark corner of a garage, we are finding some things we wanted. 

And other things we wish hadn’t seen:

  • We have white supremacist marching around with tiki torches and inciting violence. 
  • A feckless media who seem only too happy to pour gasoline on this fire and fan to flame more passion. 
  • Certain counter protesters inciting violence as well. 
  • A president who hems and haws about clearly condemning white nationalism and white supremacy. 

I’m sorry, but these tiki torch guys needed meme posts of them with bunny ears and pigs noses and the like, you know the snapchat filter stuff. I’m thinking in how to handle them strategically. They needed to be derided and made fun of, instead Antifa showed up and provoked them. Bullies like these white supremacists need to be starved of oxygen (a point I’ve made about Trump in the past) and be treated as the small minority they are. Their social media footprint appears to outweigh their numerical size. They should be called the white tweetbot supremacists. 
Then we have the morally repugnant man-child who used his car as a weapon to murder and maim. This is the temper tantrum of a boy who never became a man. A passion induced frenzy: a pounding on the floor and screaming like toddler, “This is mmmyyyyyy country!!!!”. 

FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT: Let Us Be Self-Controlled 

Let us react like grown ups. Punishment is both right and necessary for the man-child. We as Christians should pray for his tortured and twisted soul. And those involved carry tiki torches. And for the souls of those who think mob violence is the proper response to the white supremacists. 

Let us be champions of peace, not capitulation, but True Peace. The peace of Christ. Let us preach and proclaim the Good News: the debt of Sin has been paid, come and find Reconciliation in Christ. 

Soli Deo Gloria 

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