Giles Fraser is at it again, this time speaking about the recent furorÃ© in the UK over British Airways banning an employee from wearing a small cross at work.
Here the transcript of his 5 minutes on Thought for the Day this morning.
He sums up like this…
Given all of this, Christians urgently need to offer a better account of the cross than simply that it’s a badge of identity. And amongst the first things that must be said is that the cross is actually God’s act of solidarity with the disgraced and the powerless. The real battle for the cross has nothing whatsoever to do with jewellery.
Among the first things?
I know that I don’t have a doctorate like Dr Fraser but I don’t remember the Bible saying that the prime message of the cross was actually “God’s act of solidarity with the disgraced and the powerless”. Rather the Apostle (who, granted, didn’t have a doctorate so he doesn’t know as much as Fraser) says:
Ephesians 2:14 For [Christ] is our peace, the one who made both groups [Jew and Gentile] into one and who destroyed the middle wall of partition, the hostility, 15 when he nullified in his flesh the law of commandments in decrees. He did this to create in himself one new man out of two, thus making peace, 16 and to reconcile them both in one body to God through the cross, by which the hostility has been killed.
Colossians 2:13 And even though you were dead in your transgressions and in the uncircumcision of your flesh, he nevertheless made you alive with him, having forgiven all your transgressions. 14 He has destroyed what was against us, a certificate of indebtedness expressed in decrees opposed to us. He has taken it away by nailing it to the cross.
The cross was about sin, Giles. Not about the “poor and oppressed” but about sin. Tragic that a clergyman should point listeners to a dead place instead. On the cross Jesus didn’t “express solidarity”, He actually saved people. He didn’ t just sign a petition, He signed a death penalty against himself.
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I know that I don’t have a doctorate like Dr Fraser but I don’t remember the Bible saying that the prime message of the cross was actually “God’s act of solidarity with the disgraced and the powerless”.
Exactly. This fellow would get along famously with my bishop. Because when one doesn’t treat sin, justification, hell, or eternal life seriously, all that is left is to make the downtrodden feel a bit better in this life.