Iconoclasm & Confederate Monuments: History Repeats Itself.

Iconoclasm

There is no condemnation for those in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:1).  The ongoing condemnation of ancestors of Confederates and monuments to their dead is as antithetical to the Doctrines of Grace as any affront to Christianity. Yet, it is Christians who use race baiting tactics to destroy historical monuments throughout this land.  In an effort to combat those in the past whom they, Christians, see as having been on the wrong side of history they casually forget how often Christians have used their zeal to find themselves on the wrong side of history.  The artistic grace of monuments and what they represent should be enough to cause sincere Christians, those of them who seek to destroy monuments, to pause.  Our own history as Christians reveals a past complete with indiscriminate indiscretion to participate in Iconoclasm. The Bible is true when it states, “There is nothing new under the sun.” (Ecclesiastes 1:9) “What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun.”

Iconoclasm is the social belief in the importance of the destruction of icons and other images or monuments, most frequently for religious or political reasons. People who engage in or support iconoclasm are called iconoclasts, a term that has come to be figuratively applied to any individual who challenges cherished beliefs or venerated institutions on the grounds that they are erroneous.  

In fact, 8th century orthodox Christians gave the world “Image Smashing.” In an effort to protect monotheism, Christians became the first to destroy art for religious political reasons.  I marvel at the fact that it is Christians and not pagans who march to do the same today as if they do not know that it is Christ who purifies the hearts of men.  No removal of monuments or destruction of art will ever do that. Quite the contrary, for it would be better to be reminded of the things that one does not like instead of wiping these things from memory. Those who seek to destroy someone else’s monuments will inevitably bring destruction upon their own.  

God does not sleep.  There is no point in history or time that God fell asleep.  These Iconoclastic Christians forget that He redeems men from each generation throughout the course of history to his own pleasure and no erasures from history satisfies anyone but ourselves as we consider our brothers and sisters less than ourselves. And perhaps this is where the so-called Christian of today makes his greatest error in his quest to remove Confederate monuments. It is here that the enemy of our faith gains great pleasure. It is his quest to have moral authority over his fellow man.  My friends, This is a great evil and an affront to the Christian faith. Those who seek to participate in this image destroying behavior seek to elevate themselves morally over those who oppose them. In doing this, only the enemy and his children receive glory. For it is not the path of Grace but one of law. It is better to sit down and eat with your brother in Christ even if it means you represent different parts of history than it is to bash each other in the name of Christ. Martin Luther King Jr. said, “One day the sons of slaves and sons of slaveowners will sit down and eat and fellowship at the table of brotherly love.” He did not say that they would not be the sons of slaves and slaveowners. I’m afraid that Christians today have aligned themselves so much with the world that they are not able to see even the greater light that Christ shines for us in the paths to take. It’s not the broad paths by which we walk with everyone regardless of their creeds. It is the narrow paths that only a few shall find and these are the paths that we should pursue.  Yet, we fight darkness with darkness and do not represent the bright light of Grace in a dark world.  

Now, you tell me!  Which would be to the betterment of the glory of God and shine the greater light into darkness?  To see the ones who are historical maligned to embrace their own identity in Christ as brothers and sisters, who fellowship at the same table, while marveling at different monuments or those who sit at different tables and fight for the destruction of each others? It is obvious even unto the most wicked sinner which would give a better testimony to the glory of God. Yet the pride of man will not allow him to succumb to the Holy Spirit. For the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak (Matthew 24:16). Man must prove himself right in his own eyes in the destruction of others even at the detriment to the cross while at the same time thinking he is doing the cross some great service. God forbid!  It is no more than superficial Christianity at best and poor discipleship at worse.  

I took upon myself to meet my Christian brother in Alabama to visit both Civil Rights and Confederate monuments to the Glory of God as we embraced and shared each other’s history in friendship and in love without malice towards each other’s past. This is the way of the cross of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  This is my desire for future generations. Come Lord Jesus, come. 

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