Wednesday, November 16, 2016

A symbol of oppression and hate. . .

How long did you think it would take?  How long before someone would deem a crucifix to be an offensive symbol, a symbol filled with hate that cannot be tolerated in public?  

This article tells about the University of Wisconsin/La Crosse which has instituted a “bias/hate” reporting system on campus.  Students may anonymously report things they find offensive. Some of the things reported have been as serious as a professor wearing a sombrero using a fake Mexican accent.  Another was as offensive as a student blog piece about life on campus as a white student.  Other incidents reported such things as faculty “laughing inappropriately” at a college meeting.  Small stuff, right?  But there was more.  One reported a crucifix because the cross was “a symbol of oppression and hate of the LBGT+ community.”  A college ministry of Campus Crusade for Christ was reported for a poster which featured a cross that the student deemed a symbol of oppression and hate toward the LBGT+ community.

What is disturbing is not simply that someone found a crucifix offensive.  It is offensive to those who do not believe in sin.  At least the people reporting knew what the crucifix meant.  The crucifix testifies to sin and its seriousness, to death sin's consequence, and to the only One who has the righteousness to satisfy the law for all, the blood to cleanse the sins of the world, and the death strong enough to kill death once for all.  No, what is most disturbing is when a campus community becomes a police community in which everyone sees the rules through the lens of their own feelings and is empowered to report the offense and offender to enforce the righteousness of those those feelings.

All of this happens in an area long considered the homeland of Lutheranism.  LaCrosse is an area
once called home by many of the folks in my own congregation.  I would expect that many of those students came from Lutheran and Roman Catholic homes where the crucifix should be no stranger.  Finally, the ultimate irony is that the crucifix is a symbol of resentment and hate not from God but from those who rejected His creative and moral will and purpose and the Son whom He sent to save us all.  Were you there when they crucified my Lord?

I wish that all of this was simple silliness.  But it is not.  It will not go away unless confronted.  We are in for a rough ride, to be sure.  Make sure our witness does not fade and our courage does not falter.  We are in but not of the world.  We belong to the Lord.  We are destined for eternity.  Until then, we cannot give in and allow the real forces of hate and oppression to silence our witness or empty our hope.

1 comment:

Cliff said...

Yes, Pastor we are indeed in for a rough ride and more than ever we need the Hand (grace) of God to guide us through the difficult days ahead.

I am currently reading a book called "It is dangerous to believe" by Mary Eberstadt which chronicles the vitriol directed toward believers.