Balance

There is a man in Pennsylvania who built a lighted, 24-foot cross on his front lawn as a public display of his belief in Jesus Christ.  And, not surprisingly, some of the neighbors want him to take it down.

This same man in Pennsylvania was also told by the local borough council that he was lacking the proper building permit to raise the structure.

He is apparently now seeking that permit.

But, he has stated that he will not take down the cross, no matter what the outcome of his permit application. He seems to believe that he must resist in the name of his devotion to God.  And that leads me to this observation:  public Gospel proclamation must be carefully planned and executed, a proper balance of confrontation and civility.

We could have a hearty debate over the merits of displaying a 24-foot cross as a means of evangelism or Gospel declaration, but I am more concerned with the whole process.  You, and I, and Carl Behr of Pennsylvania must publicly declare the Gospel of Jesus Christ, but we must do it properly and carefully…and legally (until the time comes when declaration itself becomes illegal).  Or, as Jesus put it, we must be “wise as serpents and innocent as doves.”

So, if you decide you should erect a 24-foot cross on your front lawn, get the proper permit.  Then you will be blameless.  Or, better yet, just live out the fruit of the Spirit, “against such things there is no law.”

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5 thoughts on “Balance

  1. So true. Remember the quote from Rahm Emmanuel, former white house chief of staff, “never waste a good crisis.”

    We fall into a trap of being RE-active instead of PRO-active. In my job I put out secular fires all day long! I am constantly asking people, “why did you wait till now to tell me about this?” The answers I get are often times amusing as well as disheartening.

    Would our neighbors complain about a 24 foot cross if we had spent the last 10 years LIVING a christian life? Would we need a 24 foot cross at all, if we had been living a christian life?

    We LJ & I moved to our new house, one of the neighbors come over to talk. This is a man that I only know very casually. During that conversation, he mentioned something he did over the weekend. He immediately followed that up by saying…”I know you wouldn’t do that b/c you are a christian.”

    Talk about getting a big head. It really made me feel good that someone in the community knew of our character.

    Take some time TODAY to be pro-active and you will not have to spend as much time being re-active!

    LM

    • I’m leaning toward not needing the cross at all….but at least put it up legally, and take it down if you find out it is illegal until you can get the proper permit.

      And you are right about the important issue of being pro-active. If we love people enough they will be more forgiving, anyway. And, if not, then we will still be blessed for being persecuted for doing good.

  2. I am not into the physical labor it would take to simply erect the thing. It would not “cross” my mind. I am into the the things “against which there is no law.”

  3. We accomplish no good if what we do is offensive to those we hope to reach and teach. The “in your face” approach creates more enemies than friends. Our lives should earn us the attention of those who need what Jesus offers. Jesus was among the people as one who serves.

    • I can’t help but think of Acts 2 where we are told that the early churched loved so much that they enjoyed the favor of all the people. It’s not such a far-fetched idea.

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