From the Pastor
Anthropologists tell us you can understand a culture by interpreting its symbols. The cross is the key symbol of the Christian Worldview. It simultaneously captures God’s love for us, in that he sent his Son to die for us. Jesus so loved us that he willingly endured the shame of the cross and separation from his father, so that he might make atonement possible between God and humanity. The cross captures the sense of sacrifice love sometimes demands. It captures the willingness to submit oneself to God’s will not our own. It brilliantly holds in place the tension between love and justice. Only a cheap superficial love can try to cancel out injustice – and it attempts to do so by overlooking wrong. Whereas the cross affirms that justice matters – sin demands a high price and affirms that love prevails – when the judge takes the judgement upon himself and pays that price with his life.
Our culture is in the process of trading that rich, sophisticated, mature, cross shaped symbol of love for a substitute – a rainbow. A new symbol with a new definition of love. Love becomes accepting that the other knows what is best for themselves, respecting that choice, and empowering them to seek self-fulfilment as they follow their dreams.
These are two competing definitions of love. Of course there is some overlap. Jesus was not one to force himself on others, he let others choOse their own path. He detests hypocritical judgementalism. Both paths value the freedom to set and follow a moral compass.
For me, the emergence of a new symbol – a rainbow, which displaces the old symbol – the cross, is evidence that our culture has its own new definition of love. I’ll stick with the cross.