More displays of Religious Arrogance

I wrote a while back of my distaste for the “I LOVE JESUS” signs around my neighborhood. And I have tried a few times to snap a picture of another blatant statement of religious arrogance with no luck. Mostly because I would have to take it at night & would have to stop on the side of the road in order for the picture to turn out half-way decent. And that opportunity has just not arisen. So I will do my best to simply explain it.

It’s approximately half-way on my trip home every day from work. Three wooden crosses, I’m guessing around eight feet tall – the middle one standing slightly taller that the two on either side, stand on a hill facing the East bound traffic of Rte 13. And the best part of all, they’re completely covered with several strings of mini white Christmas lights!

365 nights a year, the people of Southern Illinois are told, “Merry Christmas – Jesus Died!”… huh?

I will admit that over the years I have had my issues with the symbolism of the cross itself, felling as if some Christians worship the symbol more than the guy that was on it. Or, why would I want to advertise my relationship with Christ by wearing or displaying a miniature version of the instrument of his torture & death? Just seems morbid to me. I have come to grips with it to some extent, but then all of a sudden this glowing reminder appears atop a grassy hill, slapping me in the face every day as I head home from a long day’s work.

When I get past the creepiness of the whole situation, it’s still just a big version of the purple signs. “Look at me. See what a good Christian I am? I placed giant illuminated crosses in my yard! And now I have to mow around them.”

2 thoughts on “More displays of Religious Arrogance

  1. You’ve probably heard the apocryphal story of the woman at the jewelry counter who wants to buy a cross necklace and tells the salesperson, “but I don’t want one of those with the little man on it.”

    Well, the “I Love Jesus” signs are a bit less creepy than the lit up roadside cross thing. At least the signs have a simple, straightforward message.

    My biggest problem with the pervasiveness of the cross is that it is no longer shocking to us. It is so commonplace that it loses its scandalous message. We as a culture are so desensitized to the image of the cross that we fail to see it for the bloody wreck that it is.

    I’m all for visible expressions of the Christian faith, even crosses and “I Love Jesus” signs. Yet I agree with you that Christians should engage in expressions of faith with a sense of humble gratitude rather than superiority or arrogance.

  2. I would have much less against the signs if they said, “Jesus Loves You” instead of “I Love Jesus”. The former is a visible expression of faith – the latter is a visible expression of ownership of something that I have & you don’t – and I think that’s wrong.

    As a long-time Christian who has fallen in & out of love with visible expressions (remember, I was the nerd in high school wearing the Christian t-shirts, carrying a bible & wearing big crosses around my neck) I have to say that for the last several years I have come to the conclusion that it’s much harder & more important to express my faith with my life & how I live it instead of with mass-marketed merchandise & symbols that have lost their meanings. I want to challenge myself to make people see me as a Christian without having to advertise myself as such. I still have crosses & crucifixes around my house & in my truck, but they’re for me. They’re to remind me of Jesus’ sacrifice & how I should respond to it – not to say, “look at me, I’m a Christian.”

    I guess to some extent I have problems with it all because of how many outwardly expressive “Christians” act. For example, an active member of our church recently told our Dad after church, while wearing a Jesus t-shirt & a large cross around his neck, that he hopes that every member of our congregation that didn’t do the silly hand-motions to a praise chorus burns in Hell.

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