Author Topic: Does the cross in a "coexist" bumper sticker proclaim anything Christian?  (Read 3903 times)

Harry Edmon

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Re: Does the cross in a "coexist" bumper sticker proclaim anything Christian?
« Reply #30 on: February 08, 2013, 03:29:22 PM »
There are so many people wearing crosses as decorations it has almost become meaningless.   I'm beginning to think that a crucifix may be a better symbol to witness to our culture.   A simple cross can be "pretty" and generic.  Jesus hanging on a cross dying may drive home the point to some that there is no neutrality in your belief about Jesus Christ.
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Harvey_Mozolak

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Re: Does the cross in a "coexist" bumper sticker proclaim anything Christian?
« Reply #31 on: February 08, 2013, 04:20:31 PM »

I think your point has great validity.  In my present parish in existence for a very long time, I brought in a crucifix and laid it on the altar, always had one there (one good Roman canon law or liturgical must-do).  It is the only crucifix in the whole place (outside of also the ones I have in my office.)  I go to that Christian craft store that closes on Sunday to give witness to its bearings, Hobby Lobby, and they have an aisle full of crosses, each one more interesting and cosmeticized than the next, may be a hundred different ones there or more... not a crucifix among them or one that hints at the one who hung (like maybe a XP or INS or something)... oh yes, a dove or two, (who was not crucified).  Harvey Mozolak

There are so many people wearing crosses as decorations it has almost become meaningless.   I'm beginning to think that a crucifix may be a better symbol to witness to our culture.   A simple cross can be "pretty" and generic.  Jesus hanging on a cross dying may drive home the point to some that there is no neutrality in your belief about Jesus Christ.
Harvey S. Mozolak
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Jay Michael

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Re: Does the cross in a "coexist" bumper sticker proclaim anything Christian?
« Reply #32 on: February 08, 2013, 05:30:00 PM »
I realize that his name may be anathema to some here, but on Paul McCain's facebook page about a year ago he posted what the COEXIST symbols mean.  All of them are opposed, some more than others, to the cross.  The cross was thrown in at the end because COEXIS is not a word. 

Islam is not friendly to Christianity.
Judaism is not friendly to Christianity.
Taoism, the Yin-Yang symbol, Hinduism, Buddhism, Sikhism, -ism, are at best, mildly tolerant of Christianity.

Christianity speaks absolute truth.  My bumper sticker would be TTTTTTT.

Christianity needs to get over it narcissitic tendencies.  Some people will not like you.  Deal with it, have a drink, and move on.  Don't fixate on them.  Point the ones that do like you to the cross and all that it is.

Jeremy
And when we are not friendly to them, we have become just like them, in spite of the fact that Jesus commanded us to love our enemies and pray for our persecutors.
Was Christ "friendly" in the eyes of the world when he said "Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me."?  Since God is Love, the answer is yes.  It is God who defines friendliness and love, not the sinful world.


As I posted elsewhere Jesus did not say, "knowledge of me is the way"or "belief in me is the way." Everyone who has a relationship with the Father has it through Jesus. If Gad saves a Tibetan Buddhist monk, it's because if Jesus.
Perhaps clarification is needed.

A former Tibetan Buddhist monk can be saved because he fears, loves and trusts in God above all things can and will be saved through Jesus.
A Tibetan Buddhist monk who has not renounced his Buddhist faith is still under the wrath of God.

Brian Stoffregen

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Re: Does the cross in a "coexist" bumper sticker proclaim anything Christian?
« Reply #33 on: February 08, 2013, 05:52:38 PM »
I realize that his name may be anathema to some here, but on Paul McCain's facebook page about a year ago he posted what the COEXIST symbols mean.  All of them are opposed, some more than others, to the cross.  The cross was thrown in at the end because COEXIS is not a word. 

Islam is not friendly to Christianity.
Judaism is not friendly to Christianity.
Taoism, the Yin-Yang symbol, Hinduism, Buddhism, Sikhism, -ism, are at best, mildly tolerant of Christianity.

Christianity speaks absolute truth.  My bumper sticker would be TTTTTTT.

Christianity needs to get over it narcissitic tendencies.  Some people will not like you.  Deal with it, have a drink, and move on.  Don't fixate on them.  Point the ones that do like you to the cross and all that it is.

Jeremy
And when we are not friendly to them, we have become just like them, in spite of the fact that Jesus commanded us to love our enemies and pray for our persecutors.
Was Christ "friendly" in the eyes of the world when he said "Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me."?  Since God is Love, the answer is yes.  It is God who defines friendliness and love, not the sinful world.


As I posted elsewhere Jesus did not say, "knowledge of me is the way"or "belief in me is the way." Everyone who has a relationship with the Father has it through Jesus. If Gad saves a Tibetan Buddhist monk, it's because if Jesus.
Perhaps clarification is needed.

A former Tibetan Buddhist monk can be saved because he fears, loves and trusts in God above all things can and will be saved through Jesus.
A Tibetan Buddhist monk who has not renounced his Buddhist faith is still under the wrath of God.


From this answer, his salvation depends on something that he does.


From this answer, I'm not saved because I know that I do not fear, love, and trust in God above all things. Occasionally, I do; but more often than not I am trusting something else besides God. For instance, I try to never leave home on a trip without extra clothes and money or credit cards. I do not travel "lightly" as Jesus commanded his disciples when he sent them out. Essentially, I confess, I trust my abilities to take care of myself on a trip more than I trust God to provide for me. How do you travel? With a suitcase and cash and credit cards or without?
"The church … had made us like ill-taught piano students; we play our songs, but we never really hear them, because our main concern is not to make music, but but to avoid some flub that will get us in dutch." [Robert Capon, _Between Noon and Three_, p. 148]

Ken.McGuire

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Re: Does the cross in a "coexist" bumper sticker proclaim anything Christian?
« Reply #34 on: February 09, 2013, 12:28:57 PM »
In Charles Porterfield Krauth's Conservative Reformation, when discussing the necessity of Baptism, he finds a distinction between "absolute" and "ordinary" necessity, and quotes Gerhard against Bellarmine about this on pg 560.  Then on 563-564, he speaks of the salvation of infants born of pagans...

"On the more difficult question, whether infants born out of the Church are saved, many of our old divines, of the strictest school, have maintained, as we have already seen, that it would be harsh and cruel to give over, absolutely, to condemnation, the infants of pagans, for the lack of that which it was impossible for them to have. This view has been defended at large, by Dannhauer, Hulsemann, Scherzer, J. A. Osiander, Wagner, Musæus, Spener, and very many others. Some of our best theologians, who have not considered the argument on either side as decisive, have suspended their judgment in the case, as did Gerhard, Calixtus, Meisner, Baldwin, Bechman, and others. HUNNIUS, whom Gerhard quotes approvingly, makes the statement of this middle view, in these words: “That the infants of pagans are saved, outside of the Church, is a matter on which the silence of Scripture forbids us to pronounce with assurance on the one side, yet I would not dare to affirm, on the other, that those little ones, without distinction, are lost.

“For, 1. Since God desires the death of none, absolutely, it cannot rightly be supposed that he takes pleasure in the death of these little ones. 2. Christ died for them also. 3. They are necessarily excluded from the use of the Sacraments. Nor will God visit the children with eternal death, on account of the impiety of the parents. Ezek. xviii. We commit them, therefore, to the decision of God.”

COTTA approves of the most hopeful view of their condition, and argues for it — “1. From the infinite pity of God. 2. The extent of the benefits wrought by Christ. 3. The analogy of faith — no one absolutely reprobated, but actual unbelief alone condemns. 4. Not the absence, but the contempt of Baptism condemns. 5. God can operate in an extraordinary way. 6. Though original sin, in itself, merits damnation, and is a sufficient cause of it, yet it is not (because of God’s infinite goodness) an adequate cause of the actual infliction of that condemnation.” " -- Krauth, C. P. (1872). The Conservative Reformation and its Theology (563–564). J.B. Lippincott & Co.

In the light of how AP 4 speaks as Faith as what receives the promise of Christ, I hesitate to use any language that could possibly mean that Faith is meritorious in itself.  I have also learned to try to avoid language that limits what God can do.   If/when we run into this hypothetical Tibetan Buddhist, we most certainly should share the wonderfully good news about what God is doing for the world in Christ and the peace we get by trusting in this promise.  We can and should trust that this Word does not return to God empty, even when it seems to, to our mortal eyes.  But our lack of understanding exactly how the Holy Spirit is working in others makes me hesitate to say who will and will not be "in".

I will fiercely condemn any teaching that "It doesn't matter what you believe."  But it is not safe to limit our Lord's action, since He has done wonderously marvelously crazy things to bring me into the fold.

SDG
Ken McGuire

Terry W Culler

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Re: Does the cross in a "coexist" bumper sticker proclaim anything Christian?
« Reply #35 on: February 09, 2013, 12:41:58 PM »
No, George, it is evil


The "coexist" bumper sticker is silly.
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Brian Stoffregen

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Re: Does the cross in a "coexist" bumper sticker proclaim anything Christian?
« Reply #36 on: February 09, 2013, 03:33:19 PM »
In Charles Porterfield Krauth's Conservative Reformation, when discussing the necessity of Baptism, he finds a distinction between "absolute" and "ordinary" necessity, and quotes Gerhard against Bellarmine about this on pg 560.  Then on 563-564, he speaks of the salvation of infants born of pagans...

"On the more difficult question, whether infants born out of the Church are saved, many of our old divines, of the strictest school, have maintained, as we have already seen, that it would be harsh and cruel to give over, absolutely, to condemnation, the infants of pagans, for the lack of that which it was impossible for them to have. This view has been defended at large, by Dannhauer, Hulsemann, Scherzer, J. A. Osiander, Wagner, Musæus, Spener, and very many others. Some of our best theologians, who have not considered the argument on either side as decisive, have suspended their judgment in the case, as did Gerhard, Calixtus, Meisner, Baldwin, Bechman, and others. HUNNIUS, whom Gerhard quotes approvingly, makes the statement of this middle view, in these words: “That the infants of pagans are saved, outside of the Church, is a matter on which the silence of Scripture forbids us to pronounce with assurance on the one side, yet I would not dare to affirm, on the other, that those little ones, without distinction, are lost.

“For, 1. Since God desires the death of none, absolutely, it cannot rightly be supposed that he takes pleasure in the death of these little ones. 2. Christ died for them also. 3. They are necessarily excluded from the use of the Sacraments. Nor will God visit the children with eternal death, on account of the impiety of the parents. Ezek. xviii. We commit them, therefore, to the decision of God.”

COTTA approves of the most hopeful view of their condition, and argues for it — “1. From the infinite pity of God. 2. The extent of the benefits wrought by Christ. 3. The analogy of faith — no one absolutely reprobated, but actual unbelief alone condemns. 4. Not the absence, but the contempt of Baptism condemns. 5. God can operate in an extraordinary way. 6. Though original sin, in itself, merits damnation, and is a sufficient cause of it, yet it is not (because of God’s infinite goodness) an adequate cause of the actual infliction of that condemnation.” " -- Krauth, C. P. (1872). The Conservative Reformation and its Theology (563–564). J.B. Lippincott & Co.

In the light of how AP 4 speaks as Faith as what receives the promise of Christ, I hesitate to use any language that could possibly mean that Faith is meritorious in itself.  I have also learned to try to avoid language that limits what God can do.   If/when we run into this hypothetical Tibetan Buddhist, we most certainly should share the wonderfully good news about what God is doing for the world in Christ and the peace we get by trusting in this promise.  We can and should trust that this Word does not return to God empty, even when it seems to, to our mortal eyes.  But our lack of understanding exactly how the Holy Spirit is working in others makes me hesitate to say who will and will not be "in".

I will fiercely condemn any teaching that "It doesn't matter what you believe."  But it is not safe to limit our Lord's action, since He has done wonderously marvelously crazy things to bring me into the fold.


Does he say anything about the fate of infants who die before being baptized?


I was able to get a woman back into the Lutheran church after years of staying away because a Lutheran pastor told her that her infant who died before being baptized was condemned to hell. I don't think many Lutheran pastors would say that today. However, if we believe in the possibility that God can save infants without baptism and without their knowledge of Jesus (or the Bible or the Small Catechism); that opens the possibility that God can save a Tibetan monk without baptism or the knowledge of Jesus.
"The church … had made us like ill-taught piano students; we play our songs, but we never really hear them, because our main concern is not to make music, but but to avoid some flub that will get us in dutch." [Robert Capon, _Between Noon and Three_, p. 148]

Brian Stoffregen

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Re: Does the cross in a "coexist" bumper sticker proclaim anything Christian?
« Reply #37 on: February 09, 2013, 03:35:18 PM »
No, George, it is evil


The "coexist" bumper sticker is silly.


No, I believe that Muslims who are trying to kill Christians who are trying to kill Jews who are trying to kill Muslims, etc. is evil. Coexisting is good. Loving our neighbors (even those of other religions) as ourselves is good. Doing to members of those other religions as we would want them to do to us is good.
"The church … had made us like ill-taught piano students; we play our songs, but we never really hear them, because our main concern is not to make music, but but to avoid some flub that will get us in dutch." [Robert Capon, _Between Noon and Three_, p. 148]

Terry W Culler

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Re: Does the cross in a "coexist" bumper sticker proclaim anything Christian?
« Reply #38 on: February 09, 2013, 04:11:32 PM »
All religions which deny the true Triune God are false and all falsehood is from the devil.  It is evil
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Charles_Austin

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Re: Does the cross in a "coexist" bumper sticker proclaim anything Christian?
« Reply #39 on: February 09, 2013, 04:17:46 PM »
Pastor Culler writes:
All religions which deny the true Triune God are false and all falsehood is from the devil.  It is evil
I comment:
"Religions" do not live next door or serve on our town councils and school boards and in the state assemblies and in the Senate and House of Representatives. But people who believe in those religions do.
So what, Pastor Culler, do you do with regard to the Muslim or Sikh living next door or on your local school board? He is, by your assessment, guided by the devil and has committed his spiritual life to that which is evil.
What do you do when he speaks up at a town meeting, or when the neighborhood gathers to celebrate July Fourth? (Did I mention that he is an American citizen?) 

D. Engebretson

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Re: Does the cross in a "coexist" bumper sticker proclaim anything Christian?
« Reply #40 on: February 09, 2013, 04:50:44 PM »
However, if we believe in the possibility that God can save infants without baptism and without their knowledge of Jesus (or the Bible or the Small Catechism); that opens the possibility that God can save a Tibetan monk without baptism or the knowledge of Jesus.

I would be careful about going too far beyond what God has revealed.  We know that Baptism saves as a means of grace (1 Peter 3:21).  We know that those who hear the Word of Jesus and believe Him have eternal life (John 3:16; 5:25).  We know that Jesus is the only "way" and that no one comes to the Father except through Him (John 14:6).  We know that there is salvation in no one else and that there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we might be saved, except that of Jesus (Acts 4:12).  This we know.  It has been revealed.  The salvation of someone apart from the means of grace that reveals Jesus and brings us the gift of salvation in Him has not been revealed.  Thus, we wouldn't even assume the salvation of a "Tibetan monk without baptism or the knowledge of Jesus."  How can we?  Where in revealed Holy Scripture are we told anything in a clear and unambiguous way that would lead us to make such a conclusion? 
Pastor Don Engebretson
St. Peter Lutheran Church of Polar (Antigo) WI

Charles_Austin

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Re: Does the cross in a "coexist" bumper sticker proclaim anything Christian?
« Reply #41 on: February 09, 2013, 04:53:15 PM »
I'll say it again. If somehow a Tibetan monk gets to heaven, it is Jesus who got him there.

Ken.McGuire

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Re: Does the cross in a "coexist" bumper sticker proclaim anything Christian?
« Reply #42 on: February 09, 2013, 05:11:57 PM »

Does he say anything about the fate of infants who die before being baptized?

Yes...


4. Are unbaptized infants saved?
How touchingly and consolingly Luther wrote upon this topic is known to all admirers of his writings. Bugenhagen, in the admirable Treatise already referred to, which is incorporated in Luther’s Works, and was issued with a Preface by him, shows at large that neither to infants nor adults is the necessity of Baptism absolute. “Rather should we believe that the prayers of pious parents, or of the Church, are graciously heard, and that these children are received by God into His favor and eternal life.”

On the whole dark question of the relation of the heathen world to salvation, the early writers of our Church generally observe a wise caution. Yet even in the school of the most rigid orthodoxy we find the breathings of tender hope. “It is false,” says Mentzer, “that original sin in infants out of the Church is an adequate cause of reprobation; for men are never said in Scripture to be reprobated on that account solely. But as faith alone justifies and saves, so also, as Luther says, unbelief alone condemns.”

Ægidius Hunnius, whom Gerhard pronounced the most admirable of the theologians of his period, and of whom another great writer affirms, that by universal consent he holds the third place of merit after Luther, says: “I would not dare to affirm that the little children of heathen, without distinction, are lost, for God desireth not the death of any — Christ died for them also,” etc.

Our Church, then, does not teach that Baptism “is necessarily and unavoidably attended by spiritual regeneration,’ but holds that a man may be baptized, and remain then and forever in the gall of bitterness, and in the bonds of iniquity, and therefore holds as heartily and fully as the Platform, “that Baptism in adults does not necessarily effect or secure their regeneration.”

----Krauth, C. P. (1872). The Conservative Reformation and its Theology (561–562). J.B. Lippincott & Co.

George Erdner

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Re: Does the cross in a "coexist" bumper sticker proclaim anything Christian?
« Reply #43 on: February 09, 2013, 06:18:02 PM »
No, George, it is evil


The "coexist" bumper sticker is silly.


Perhaps that, too. Being silly doesn't prevent something from being evil. However, I don't usually give mere symbols  credit for being evil. As I see it, evil requires deliberate intent to be evil. I have trouble considering the misguided fools who attempt to do what they think is good, but fail in the process, as evil. Foolish, yes. Misguided, yes. Evil, I'm not so sure.


The devil is the author of all lies, but I don't see errors as always being the same as lies.

Brian Stoffregen

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Re: Does the cross in a "coexist" bumper sticker proclaim anything Christian?
« Reply #44 on: February 09, 2013, 06:37:07 PM »
However, if we believe in the possibility that God can save infants without baptism and without their knowledge of Jesus (or the Bible or the Small Catechism); that opens the possibility that God can save a Tibetan monk without baptism or the knowledge of Jesus.

I would be careful about going too far beyond what God has revealed.  We know that Baptism saves as a means of grace (1 Peter 3:21).  We know that those who hear the Word of Jesus and believe Him have eternal life (John 3:16; 5:25).  We know that Jesus is the only "way" and that no one comes to the Father except through Him (John 14:6).  We know that there is salvation in no one else and that there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we might be saved, except that of Jesus (Acts 4:12).  This we know.  It has been revealed.  The salvation of someone apart from the means of grace that reveals Jesus and brings us the gift of salvation in Him has not been revealed.  Thus, we wouldn't even assume the salvation of a "Tibetan monk without baptism or the knowledge of Jesus."  How can we?  Where in revealed Holy Scripture are we told anything in a clear and unambiguous way that would lead us to make such a conclusion?


I did not say that the Tebetan Monk is saved, but there is that possibility. Does your interpretation of those biblical texts then assume that anyone who has not met one or more of those criteria must be condemned - or is it a mystery about which scripture is silent?
"The church … had made us like ill-taught piano students; we play our songs, but we never really hear them, because our main concern is not to make music, but but to avoid some flub that will get us in dutch." [Robert Capon, _Between Noon and Three_, p. 148]