Here is an interesting story. A guy puts up a 6 foot cross in his front yard, and all hell breaks loose. His neighbour, it seems, is ready to launch a secular jihad against the guy, and the local officials do not quite know what to do. This is how the media is reporting the incident:
“Chadstone resident Shane Pye was shocked to see a 2m wooden crucifix materialise outside his neighbour’s housing commission flat this week. But Leonard Thuraisingham, a devout Christian, refuses to remove the structure. Mr Pye, who lives in a rear flat at the Aloomba St address, said he was not consulted about the cross, which stands beside a shared driveway.
“He has complained to the Office of Housing, and the dispute now threatens to end a close friendship. ‘I am not against religion. I just do not want it shoved down my throat and that is what it’s going to do every time I walk out the front of my yard,’ Mr Pye said. ‘I just believe it has to come down’.”
It is not necessarily my intention here to weigh into the merits or otherwise of placing a large cross in one’s front yard. But I am interested in the strong reaction this activity has provoked. Why is it that whenever there is something overtly Christian occurring in the public arena, people seem to go bonkers?
There would be zillions of assorted things placed in zillions of front yards all around the world, yet most don’t seem to attract much attention. Surely there would be statues of Buddha or Krishna, or totem poles, or Shinto shrines, or all sorts of objects, whether religious in nature or not.
But stick something specifically Christian out there in public and people start spitting chips. Why is that? Is there some sort of bias against Christianity? It certainly seems that way. And given the biblical worldview, this is not surprising. Do the forces of darkness give a rip about other religions and beliefs?
Not at all. In fact, in a very real sense they are behind these other worldviews and ideologies. They are happy for people to get excited about animism, or shamanism, or secular humanism, or New Age beliefs, or reincarnation, or Marxism, or Gaia worship, or astral projection – anything but biblical Christianity.
As stated, I am not really concerned about defending this particular activity. But I am certainly interested in the double standards of all this. People have all sorts of idiotic, or obscene, or perverse, or annoying things in their front yards. These usually do not make the headlines however, unless especially grotesque or controversial.
But leave it to a secular media and an indignant population to get uptight about a rather innocuous wooden cross in full public view. I guess it is what the cross represents that is really so troubling. Deep down people may realise that the cross has something to do with the death of Jesus, and that that has something to do with our sins.
Paul reminds us that the cross does not go down well with those who do not know Christ. He said: “we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles” (1 Cor 1:23). Indeed, “the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God” (1 Cor 1:18).
Whether this particular cross stays or goes is not so important. But what people do with that cross at Calvary 2000 years ago is vitally important. If this front yard cross reminds a few people about what that other cross accomplished on their behalf so long ago, it may be worthwhile for it to be there a bit longer.