The forgotten cross

The mere mention of the cross causes a whole series of images to flash through our minds. We picture rugged wooden beams fastened together and standing upon a hill. Christ is nailed to it. With his death, the gifts of forgiveness and becoming a child of God were extended to all. His cross made possible our conversion.

There is, however, another cross involved in conversion. Jesus told the crowds that this second cross is also necessary for those desiring to follow him. “If anyone wants to become my follower, he must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me” (Mark 8:34, NET).

This cross is not made of wood. There are no nails, Roman or otherwise. Nevertheless, this cross is real. This cross involves the death of self to begin to live for God. Continue reading “The forgotten cross”

Transforming Churches

by Barry Newton From fiction to the church, history exudes examples of those who have sought to impose their own will by transforming what exists into how their own imagination thought it should be. In Mark Twain’s “The Man That Corrupted Hadleyburg,” a mysterious stranger became consumed with discovering a perfect scheme for reshaping Hadleyburg’s reputation, that it might fall into the mire of disgrace. Through guile, he infected their pillars of society with a successful cancerous plot. In a galaxy far away, Trekies will remember how Captain Kirk’s son in “The Search for Spock” had succumbed to pride and … Continue reading Transforming Churches