I try to avoid stepping on too many toes, but today I might be crushing a whole foot.
With that said… here we go.
While driving around your town, have you ever seen a person dressed as Jesus walking up and down a well-trafficked thoroughfare with a cross on his shoulder? When you see this person do you think, “Wow. That guy is really spreading the word of Jesus!”, or do you think, “What a nut job.”?
I tend to think the latter.
Here are three reasons why I’m not a fan of this type of “ministry”:
1. It dumbs down what Jesus actually went through. I’ve seen everything from a guy in blue jeans and a high school cross country sweatshirt to a dude decked out in a complete Jesus-themed costume carrying crosses in public spaces. Both types of “cross carriers” make me roll my eyes. You see, to believe in Jesus is to believe that He was beaten within an inch of His life and then forced to carry a heavy, wooden cross up a hill; a cross that He would be nailed to and hung up for all to see. From what we can gather by studying the ancient texts, He never wore a pair of New Balance, the cross wasn’t made of balsa wood, and His blood wasn’t a mixture of corn syrup and red food coloring.
2. It’s heavy handed. Listen, I’m all about sharing our faith but I think there are certain ways we should go about it. Some people like to lay their witness on sloppy and thick, and I’m not a fan of this method. I’m not saying it doesn’t work, but I don’t know that it’s the best method. Dressing up like Jesus seems like a “sloppy and thick” method of witnessing. It’s overdramatic and specifically targets the emotions. I think our faith should be a healthy balance of knowledge and emotion, but when our faith is entirely based on emotions we are setting ourselves up for failure. An emotional foundation of faith is a shaky foundation to say the least.
3. It makes people feel like they gotta treat this guy like Jesus. He’s not Jesus. He’s just a guy who has a family and a mortgage and a car payment. He can’t perform miracles. He can’t save your soul. If you give him money you will only encourage him. If he comes into your restaurant and you charge him for the glass of iced tea he orders, you are not a bad person. Because he’s not Jesus. He’s just a guy.
What are your thoughts regarding cross-carrying street preachers?