THAT OFFENSIVE RUGGED CROSS:

DONOVAN SMITH’S SOLILOQUY

Photo cover

What more do I want from life? Absolutely nothing. I am rich, I am smart and I am happy. Yet I am told to go to the Cross. What is the big deal about this Cross? Isn’t it just something made of wood or some form of jewellery that people put around their necks? Why should I bother with the Cross when it is nothing more than a violent instrument of hate? After all wasn’t it used during the Crusade to kill people? Wasn’t it used by the Ku Klux Klan to intimidate and kill black people? Isn’t it used by the Conservative Right in America as an instrument of hate against immigrants, single parents and the poor? Some priests have even sexually abused children on the Cross.

**Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen.***

It is all foolishness. The other day, an illiterate man who I met on the train told me that I had to turn to the Cross in order to be saved. What nonsense — did I tell him I was in danger? What is this world turning into? A man who can barely read and write is advising someone who can memorise Plato’s Apology by heart and has two PhD’s what to do. If there is anyone who needs the Cross, it is him and definitely not me; I have houses, cars, clothes and friends in high places.

** But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty ***

[Donovan picks up a plaque and reads the inscription — Humanitarian Of The Year 2014] I am a good man. Everyone loves me and I love everybody. I ran two marathons this year and raised £7,000 for charity. I finance church projects and I am sponsoring five kids through school. Next year, I will be climbing Mount Kilimanjaro to raise funds for eight orphanages in Kenya. Infact I plan donating half of my wealth to charitable causes during my lifetime. Why on earth do I need the Cross, when my kindness is sufficient?

*** But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags***

[Picks up the Financial Times and reads]

“Christmas Comes Early For Consumers — Black Friday has fundamentally changed the shape of Christmas trade and this year’s festive shopping trend is set to be even more pronounced as retailers slash prices in the run-up to Christmas.”

Black Friday is the greatest import we’ve got from America. There is so much to look forward to — first Black Friday, then Cyber Monday, then Christmas day, then Boxing Day sales and New Year Sales. I love everything about the Christmas season — Christmas shopping, Christmas decoration, Christmas trees, Christmas pudding, Christmas jumpers, Christmas lighting, Christmas turkey, Christmas presents, Christmas cards and Christmas crackers. [Scratches head] I still don’t get the relevance of the word “Christ” in Christmas, shouldn’t it be renamed ShoppingMas or EnjoymentMas? The government needs to replace the Good Friday holiday with Black Friday, as this will help retailers smooth their sales throughout the year.

[Opens fridge, takes a can of Heineken beer and picks up his son’s Nativity play colouring book from the floor]

This Christmas story is nothing more than a fairy tale. How can Jesus be the Son of God when God never married? How can God come down from heaven, enter a virgin’s womb and still be in heaven and earth at the same time? Jesus was not even born on December 25th because it would have been too cold for the shepherds to be watching their flocks at night during the winter.

[Sips his beer] The other day I was told that some cinema houses refused to allow the Cross-bearers to advertise the Lord’s Prayer. That was a wise move because if I happened to be at the movies and saw an advert about the Lord’s Prayer, I would have walked out and sued the cinema house. I don’t mind watching adverts about cars, insurance, coca-cola or the army but don’t show me an advert about Christ’s prayer. Cross-bearers need to understand that the Christmas season is all about being happy and not about spoiling our fun with some prayers or talk about Christ.

*** The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” (which means “God with us”) ***

[Switches on the television and listens to the newscaster]

We have some breaking news from Mexico. According to Reuters, at least 140 people were killed in landslides in the city of Puebla. Heavy rains flooded streets and triggered four separate landslides, sweeping away hillside homes in poor neighbourhoods. Around two hundred people are reported missing.

Friedrich Nietzsche was spot on when he said God is dead. If God is alive as the Cross-bearers suggest, why does he allow all these bad things to happen? Couldn’t he have stopped the landslide from killing these innocent people? Where was God when my neighbour died in a plane crash? Where was God when the Twin Towers was struck? Where was God when the terrorists attacked Paris? Where was God when Boko Haram kidnapped those girls in Nigeria? Where was God when Serena failed to complete the career Grand Slam at the US Open? Yet someone will tell me that God is good all the time.

**A few theologians are trying to say that God is dead. And I’ve been asking them about it because it disturbs me to know that God died and I didn’t have a chance to attend the funeral. They haven’t been able to tell me yet the date of his death. They haven’t been able to tell me yet who the coroner was that pronounced him dead.***

[Logs on to Guardian website and reads a passage from an article titled ’Dying for Christianity: millions at risk amid rise in persecution across the globe’]

“Whatever the real figures the scale is enormous. From Syria, Iraq, Iran and Egypt to North Korea, China, Vietnam and Laos, from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka to Indonesia, Malaysia, Burma, from Cuba, Colombia and Mexico to Eritrea, Nigeria and Sudan, Christians face serious violations of religious freedom.”

Well, they have themselves to blame. I can’t understand how some people can be so obstinate. Things will be easy for them if they just stop talking about this Cross. They need to realise that people get offended whenever they are told that the path to salvation is through the Cross of Calvary.

[Reads on]

Other forces driving persecution include authoritarian regimes restricting the activities of particular faith groups, tensions between groups coming into contact as a result of migration and displacement, and declining tolerance and pluralism in some parts of the world. Christian leaders this week protested against a campaign to remove Crosses from churches in eastern China.”

Oh give me a break. Christians have been in the business of persecuting others for centuries. Wasn’t slave trade justified by Christians? It is time for governments around the world to abolish this annoying Cross forever. How can my debt be redeemed as a result of Christ’s suffering and death on the Cross? And nobody should tell me that the Cross can set me free because I was never a slave. It also makes no sense that one man can come to earth and his shameful death on a Cross could save mankind. Why did Jesus die for me when I did not ask him to? Since the Cross is nothing more than an ugly piece of wreckage that represents a horrible death, I am not surprised that Cross-bearers are usually poor, weak, unintelligible people who have no hope in this world. They turn to the Cross to compensate for their inadequacies. These Cross-bearers are the most despicable of people. I know one Christian client who is a liar; look at our Prime Minister who claims to be a Christian, yet he hates the poor; the Bishop at the church near my house is a racist and just listen to the hate coming out from Tyson Fury’s mouth — why then should I pay any attention to the Cross?

*** And whoever does not carry their Cross and follow me cannot be my disciple ***

I can take any insult thrown at me. Call me a fool, insult my wife, spit on my children, slap my face, gossip behind my back; even support Sharapova instead of Serena Williams — I will take it with a smile. But one thing I will not tolerate is anybody telling me that my salvation is hinged on a Cross.

[Yawns] I’m tired. I better get some rest before Sally and the kids’ gets back from swimming classes.

[Donovan falls into a trance and sees a large wooden Cross with a brightly lit inscription “Alpha & Omega.” Standing beside the Cross is a man clothed in a long robe and with a golden sash around his chest. He has a crown, his eyes are like blazing fire and his feet are like polished bronze refined in a furnace. A voice that thunders like a mighty ocean says:]

“Donovan my friend, it is I AM — the Alpha and Omega; the King of Kings and Lord of Lords; the First and the Last; the one who is, and who was, and who is to come. I have heard your complaint and I feel your pain, but you have got it all wrong. When my father and I created the world, it was good. We created a peaceful world with no pain, no tears and no suffering. At the beginning of time, we gave mankind the free will to choose between good and evil. Unfortunately, mankind chose not to follow the path we set forth. Since then, the world became corrupted. However, despite these sufferings, I still feel the world’s pain.

Because the relationship between God and the human race was broken when mankind disobeyed us in the Garden of Eden, I had to come to earth to restore the relationship. Donovan, it doesn’t matter whether or not I was born on the 25th of December. What matters is that I came to set the captives free, heal the broken hearted and restore the broken relationship between mankind and God. My birth cannot be separated from my death on the Cross of Calvary and resurrection.

Through my death and resurrection, God made salvation freely available to all who believe. I don’t require you to do any work to earn your salvation as I have paid the ultimate price with my life. It is by Grace that men and women are saved. The Cross is a demonstration of the ultimate form of love in which God gave his only son in sacrifice for the sin of mankind.

You wonder how can I be in heaven and earth at the same time and how can God have a son and not have a wife or how can a virgin give birth to a child. The problem with your thinking is that you are limiting me to human reasoning. With the human race, this may seem impossible, but with God, all things are possible. I am limitless and beyond comprehension. You misunderstand the purpose of Cross. The Cross is not a violent instrument or a piece of wreckage that represents a horrible death as you allege. Even though my body was pierced, crushed, punished and wounded on the Cross, there was a reason why it had to be that way. I was pierced for your transgression, I was crushed for your sins, I was punished so that you can have peace and I was wounded to bring you physical and spiritual healing. The Cross is like a bridge where the vertical part of it symbolises the distance between God and mankind as a result of sin. The horizontal part symbolises the fathers outstretched arms which reaches out to the human race through his Son’s death on the Cross thereby closing the gap between God and mankind.

You are right in saying that some of my followers have been involved in some of the world’s greatest atrocities like slavery, genocide and child abuse. Some have even gone as far as using my name to commit these crimes. Those who do such things are not following my teachings. Donovan, not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven. The evil deeds of those who profess to follow me should not be used as an excuse to turn away from the Cross. If you read the Scriptures, you will appreciate that I stand for justice, mercy and faithfulness.

I know you are searching for the truth. I know you are searching for answers. I know there is a vacuum in your life, which you have tried to fill with your busy and hedonistic lifestyle. Donovan, please stop trying to save yourself; I have done it for you. Come to the Cross and I will give you rest.

Selah.

@Alatenumo

25 December 2015

“The Cross makes moral and immoral persons go to heaven by the same road; the Cross makes rich and poor enter heaven by the same door; the Cross makes the philosopher and peasant walk on the same highway of holiness; the Cross procures the same crown for the poor creature with one talent that the man with ten talents will receive” Charles Spurgeon

Photo Source

Writer and social critic

Writer and social critic