Things are getting out of hand. The notion of “making someone else feel comfortable” has become, in many cases, a denial of one’s faith.
Take San Domenico School in San Anselmo, California — the oldest Catholic school in California. It recently hid, removed, or gave away a number of its religious statues in an effort to be more “inclusive.” Some prospective families apparently had concerns about the numerous Catholic figures displayed around the school.
That’s right — a Catholic school is trying to be less Catholic in order to make non-Catholics more comfortable. The story has made national headlines and drawn parallels to the removal of Confederate statues. The school also has reportedly changed its curriculum, colors, logo and uniform.
The Daily Wire reported that Kim Pipki, whose daughter attended San Domenico in the past, recalled the removal of the statue of baby Jesus and the Virgin Mary as “particularly contentious.”
“The one main statue that has everyone fired up is the baby Jesus and Mary one,” said Pipki. “It was at the center of the primary school courtyard … People were shocked that the statues were pitched in the basement.”
As Christians, regardless of denomination, we are called to share the good news of Jesus Christ and His saving grace. It is a call to be consecrated — set apart — not to be better than others but to live differently and to live with forgiveness. That forgiveness comes with the responsibility to tell others how they, too, can be forgiven.
Jesus preached on the Sermon on the Mount, comparing His followers to salt and light. He said, “You are the salt of the earth. But what good is salt if it has lost its flavor? Can you make it salty again? It will be thrown out and trampled underfoot as worthless. You are the light of the world — like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden. No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house” (Matthew 5:13-15).
The light of the world shines out, piercing the darkness and revealing sin. Jesus as God’s one and only Son came to save the world — and He calls out to the lost. This revelation brings conviction and truth, and offers the opportunity to be redeemed. That can be uncomfortable for those in darkness. But there must be an acknowledgment of the need for a savior.
People should respect others who disagree in matters of faith or who hold different religious beliefs. Yet that cannot be at the cost of denying Christ and who we are as Christians. Jesus gave Himself up for us, taking on our sin, our punishment, out of love, compassion and mercy. And our response to that love should be no less than complete devotion.
In Matthew 10, Jesus is preparing to send His disciples out as missionaries. He is reassuring them, instructing them, and warning them. He said in verses 33 and 34, “Everyone who acknowledges me publicly here on earth, I will also acknowledge before my Father in heaven. But everyone who denies me here on earth, I will also deny before my Father in heaven.”
The price of denial is the rejection of Jesus. That is certainly a detrimental price to pay. Additionally, it is not only a renunciation of one’s own faith; it is the theft of someone else’s chance to have a spiritual awakening.
We are called to be salt and light. And we lose all spiritual value if we cannot honor that call.
Katie Nations, married for 15 years, is a working mother of three young children. She lives in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.
(photo credit, homepage and article images: Nheyob)