Friday, March 02, 2012

Cross-bearing in the US

“In a land of freedom and prosperity, the Biblical concept of cross-bearing is easily lost. We find it easy to become attached to our possessions, to love a good reputation, to relish the satisfaction of ease and pleasure. The cross of Jesus certainly does not call us to create loss, shame, or persecution, but it stands all contrary to worldly gain, worldly praise, and worldly pleasure. Persecution is never pleasant, but it has never been such a threat to the existence of the church as the world's smile, the world's goods, and the world's pleasures have been; and that church in freedom whose cross is but a sentimental emblem will surely fall prey to the friendship of the world.

“There are lands where the blood of cross-bearing flows freely. Should that arm of hatred and persecution ever extend to our land, it would likely find the church at large woefully un-Christlike in its response. Now is the time to hold up the cross in its entirely. Whether the world holds us in shame or superficial honor, whether it inflicts suffering or is tolerant, whether it takes our possessions or tempts us with affluence and pleasure, the church must be moved by none of these things. She must embrace the cross of her Lord with joy and with the willingness to withstand either hatred or flirtation, to suffer trial or temptation. This is her delight, her calling, and her ethical standard.”—Love and Nonresistance, page 80

<idle musing>
Amen! Deuteronomy warns the Israelites against forgetting YHWH when they prosper. Would that we hearkened here in the U.S.!
</idle musing>

2 comments:

Joel and Renee said...

Here is our cross:
http://www.christianbook.com/comfort-olive-wood-cross-small/pd/033601X?item_code=WW&netp_id=621719&event=ESRCG&view=details

A cross like that doesn't kill you.

Hebrews 12:4 In your struggle against sin you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood.

jps said...

Sadly, you are too correct...it's smooth, too, so you won't even get a splinter :(

James