This photo so clearly shows Christianity at its worse … a burnt KKK cross … and Christianity at its best … MLK gently removing it.
As Christians, we need to be aware of both legacies. The Cross burning legacy knows a long history … the Inquisition, Slavery, Segregation, Apartheid, Westboro Baptist and “God hates fags.” It is ugly, judgmental, self righteous, violent, argumentative. Its danger stems largely from the religious language it employs as a patina to cover over ego, an ego more concerned with rightness than with compassion, with rules more than grace. It burns crosses in yards in Jesus’ name …..
That is why I think it so necessary that Christ embodied God’s life … that Christ was the very incarnation of It. One cannot looks at the actions of Christ and see Him ever burning anything, ever proclaiming “God hates ….”, ever targeting an outlier group. The group clearly most likely to feel His upset and disappointment were actually not the outliers but those comfortably in positions of powers. Those who saw themselves as guardians of righteousness were quickly and disruptively called to question that very paradigm.
Blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and dish, and then the outside also will be clean. (Matt. 23)
Maybe it is time for us to pull, figuratively, a few burning crosses out of yards, not to fashion them in turn into our own swords, but as a way to stand witness to Christianity as God intended.