But far be it from me to boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. Galatians 6:14
Audrey Jarvis is a 19-year-old student who attends Sonoma State University. She is also a student in the news. Jarvis probably considers that last bit of information about her to be a dubious distinction.
This is Jarvis' story: like many Christians she wears a cross on a necklace around her neck.
For Jarvis, that cross is not just a piece of jewelry. It is a symbol of the Savior's sacrifice and the sacrifice He made to save her soul. That's why, when Jarvis was working at a school-sponsored orientation fair, she became upset when her supervisor asked her to remove the cross.
She was told, "The chancellor has a policy against wearing religious items."
Jarvis was upset at the request, but that doesn't mean she was intimidated. She kept wearing that cross. Then, a little while later, the supervisor asked her a second time to take off, or hide, her cross. This time he gave her a more complete explanation: the cross "might offend others, it might make incoming students feel unwelcome ...."
Well, I can tell you there was one student who was offended.
The student who was offended was Jarvis. She was so upset at this violation of her Christian and civil rights she left the orientation. Her upset didn't go away. That's why, later on, she ended up filing a "religious accommodation request" with the university.
Now I don't know what the final outcome of that request will be. I do know this: in a preliminary response to Jarvis' action a spokesman for Sonoma State said, "It's possible that political correctness got out of hand."
That's quite an admission. It is an admission the school has made because when a single student of conscience was pushed, she decided she was not going to be ashamed of the cross of Christ, and she pushed back.
Audrey Jarvis pushed back respectfully, legally and sincerely.
She has provided an example that can serve as a lesson to us all. When the world wants to minimize the redemptive work of the Savior, when the forces of darkness want to push Jesus back into His tomb and set a seal upon the stone, when enemies of the cross demand we deny the importance of the cross, we have no other choice but to take a stand.
Respectfully, legally, sincerely, we need to take a stand and let the world know we are prepared to boast in the cross of Christ, which is God's way to rescue lost souls.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, be with all those who are being persecuted because they love the cross. Whether that persecution comes in threats, violence or intimidation, may Jesus' followers be fully prepared to stand by their Savior who shed His blood so they might be saved. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries