Friday, August 30, 2013

red cross, quebec and the cross.

So I don't know if this bothers me, or if I just find it very curious.

Most countries have a red cross society and some countries have red crescent societies. I had no idea until I went to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) HQ in Geneva. Lots of Muslim countries have adopted the red crescent because they believe that the red cross is promoting Christianity and wanted their own symbol (though it isn't really? I don't think the red cross is or ever was a faith-based organization). And now the ICRC they have introduced a religiously neutral symbol - the red crystal (though personally crystals remind me of gypsies and fortune tellers.. tarot and other crazy things, but whatever hahaha).

And in Quebec they are trying to ban all religious symbols in public service. I don't know if this was a weird backwards attack on burkas by banning all symbols or if they are just really anti-religion and want to affirm that you shouldn't impose your beliefs on others.. either way, it was unsettling, though the motion hasn't pass yet. I also find it interesting because all I ever learned in elementary/middle/high school history is that Quebec was historically a largely Catholic province. Not sure what other people learn in history, but I was in french immersion.. we learned a lot about Nouvelle-France, haha.

Quebec worries me. When I think of evangelism and think of people who don't know Jesus, my mind automatically goes to India and I think of the injustices of the caste system. I don't know if it's because I've read a lot about India and heard a lot of missionaries talk about India, or what. But then I realize that it's both worldwide and locally that people don't know Jesus. Churches in Quebec are being transformed into community centres because nobody wants to go to church anymore. That makes me cry. I want to plant myself in these other communities. And obviously I do know that there are people who don't know Christ all over.. I see it in my own family. But as Matt Chandler so eloquently puts it, I need to be where I am and take it seriously if my heart really does ache for those who don't know Christ.

Anyway. I wonder what the cross really means to me. It's gotta be more than a symbol or a piece of jewelry that I wear. I can't just carry my bible around for show. If they took away the symbols of my faith, what would I have? Well, I would still have the cross. I would still have Jesus. I would still have my faith. This song, one of my faves.

All this makes me think of China and their thriving but dangerous underground churches and the like. So yes, it bothers me a lot that people will fight any kind of religious expression, but I know that God works regardless.

Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful. -Hebrews 10:23