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.”