But we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. For the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men. 1 Corinthians 1:23-25
For want of a better term, I have labeled this week "Circus Week." In the last ten days Daily Devotion readers have inundated me with ideas they think would make a good devotion. I agree. But why call it Circus Week? The title comes from a layperson who said, "In many places the church isn't Christ's Church ... it is a circus." Next week the devotions return to our regular style. Pastor Klaus
The fourth and final act in Circus Week is in Lancashire, England. There our destination is the Christian Salt & Light Coffee House run by Mr. Jamie Murray.
Along with serving up a cup of java, Murray also shares the Word of God. Using a DVD program called the "Watchword Bible," a projector runs through the entire New Testament, throwing each verse up on a screen at the back of the café.
On September 19th, police officers came to the café and said he had to stop displaying the Bible texts because they were a breach of Section 5 of the Public Order Act. The police didn't say what texts were offensive, but Murray knows there had been a complaint that some of the Scripture had been "insulting" and "homophobic."
To those kinds of charges Murray replies, "I'm not here to insult or offend anyone, but the Bible is the Bible. We're always being told that we're a tolerant and diverse nation. Yet the very thing that gave us those values -- Christianity -- is being sidelined."
As near as I can tell, Murray is supposed to censor Scripture because some find it offensive.
I'm not surprised. It was the same way when Paul wrote to the Christians at Corinth. Already in the opening days of the church, Paul had some run-ins with those people who thought the message of the cross was foolishness and a stumbling block.
Most of them would have preferred Paul be more circumspect with what he said and what sins he condemned. It was a request Paul couldn't honor. He said he had to keep preaching Christ crucified.
Murray has said much the same thing. To a reporter he spoke for many Christians when he commented: "I'm not looking to make a name for myself. I'd rather be quietly getting on with running my café. But there comes a time when you have to say enough is enough." I agree. If Circus Week has shown us anything, it ought to be that Christians need to stand fast in the Word and their faith in a Savior who died and rose that they might live.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, we live in a world which wishes to silence the Savior's story of salvation. May we be prepared to give our witness to His sacrifice and blood-bought victory. May we proclaim Christ crucified and risen wherever we can, whenever we can, to whomever we can. This I pray in the Savior's Name. Amen.
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries