The Offense of the Cross
Dr. J. Vernon McGee
And I, brethren, if I yet preach circumcision, why do I yet suffer persecution? Then is the offense of the cross ceased. (Galatians 5:11)
The symbol of Christianity is the cross; it is the badge of the church. The "fraternity pin" for believers in Christ is the cross. It is the identification tag of faith. It is the emblem for Christ today; it is the passport for tomorrow. It is identified with the cause of Christ as is nothing else in this present day.
The cross has actually become popular in this modern world, too. Charity organizations and honor fraternities have adopted it to enhance the value of their groups, as evidenced in the names of Red Cross, Blue Cross, White Cross, Victorian Cross, Croix de Guerre, and Maltese Cross.
Even the church today uses the cross as if there were no odium attached to it. Many church buildings are built in the shape of a cross. A congregation of almost any persuasion sings lustily and blandly:
In the cross of Christ I glory.
Tow'ring o'er the wrecks of time;
All the light of sacred story
Gathers 'round its head sublime.
- "In the Cross of Christ I Glory," words by John Bowring
The content of the gospel is no longer contained in the symbol of the cross. Much use has cheapened it; it has been abused and made commonplace. The meaning of the cross has been watered down to the extent that it is meaningless. Churches that deny the efficacy of the blood are generally the ones that have the largest crosses. The cross appears in the queerest places. It is often displayed in lodge rooms, undertakers' parlors, and knife-and-fork clubs.
After a ministers' retreat near Santa Monica, California, three of us drove over to Wilshire Boulevard for a sandwich. As we entered one of the familiar drive-in places in that area, a car¬hop approached us. She was wearing about her neck the largest cross that I have ever seen. The cross was jet black against her white uniform, which e ...
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