Would You Pick Up Your Cross and Walk?

“If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake, and for the sake of the gospel, will save it.” (Mark 8:34-35)

This is what taking up your cross looks like. As many as 1000 or more White Supremacists, and “alt-right” protestors, armed and well organized. Maybe a few hundred or less clergy from all walks of religion and faith, spit on, ridiculed, insulted, hit with tear gas and urine-filled balloons.

We (white evangelical Christians) want to believe that taking up our cross invites us—expects us actually—into the realm of persecution. And make no mistake, these people in Charlottesville endured persecution. But this persecution came at the hands of other so-called “Christians.”  This persecution came from our own. This persecution came from us.

We (white evangelical Christians) need to acknowledge that our legacy, our history, our very cultural makeup, consists, at least in some small measure, of white pride, of white privilege, of racism, of nationalism, of the ugly underbelly of humanity that is present in all of us.

We can overcome this ugliness. But overcoming does not equate to denial of its existence, nor does it equate to fingerpointing at the other side and screaming, “Well, they’re doing it too!”

This is not an “us vs. them”. This is not about “them”. This is us.

Taking up our cross and standing arm in arm with our brothers and sisters, with our neighbors, our poor neighbors, our black neighbors, our Native American neighbors, our Muslim neighbors, our gay neighbors, our immigrant neighbors.

THIS is what taking up our cross looks like, because when we take up ours, we take up theirs as well.

Here are two well spoken essays from two Christian writers who were there, who stood with their neighbors, who took up their crosses,

And walked.

From Brian McLaren: What I saw in Charlottesville

And, from Lisa Harper via Ann Voskamp: Would I Pick Up My Cross 

Related post: Persecution…Comes With the Job?

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