The other day we were able to view the following short film
Symbol: Should We Still Fear the Swastika? Films On Demand. Films Media Group, 2010. Web. 22 Dec. 2014. <http://digital.films.com/PortalPlaylists.aspx?aid=7967&xtid=44870>.
and it depicted the conflict over the swastika symbol embedded in a Roman Catholic Church in St. Cloud Minn. The we read the following story
62 Nebraska Pastors Sign Anti-Racism Statement Calling White Supremacy ‘Blatantly Sinful’
And while white supremacy (or any supremacy) is wrong believers need to be careful in these types of actions. For the symbol issue, the swastika has enjoyed thousands of years of peaceful meanings applied to it yet far to many people get caught up in the 20th century application applied to it by the Nazis. In that video, the Rabbi and a few others claim that the swastika was forever corrupted by the Nazi use of that symbol and that it can never stand for anything good. But the problem with that view is that those people are letting their own personal views distort their perception of the swastika, it isn’t the symbol that is influencing them in any way. Despite all the education concerning the swastika’s history and use they will not get down off their pedestal and accept the fact that the swastika is not restricted to only the 20th century and the Nazis.
Having lived in a country where the swastika is prevalent and on almost every corner due to the Korean Buddhist use of the symbol, we take a more relaxed view of the symbol because the 20th century meaning never made it to Korea shores. The Nazis did not make it that far east. We are well aware of what Hitler and the other Nazis did but their actions do not make the symbol guilty nor the use of it evil or representing hate. If the swastika represents anything in the 21st century. other than the applied meanings from the Hindu, Buddhist and Navajo worlds, then it is a reminder of the depravity of humanity without Christ and how low men and women will go when letting evil lead them to sin.
The swastika did not tell Hitler and the other Nazis to use it for their despicable agenda. It is an innocent victim in that portion of 20th century history not an active participant. It should no more be considered evil than the buildings that were used to torture so many prisoners.Evil is not done by symbols or structures, that activity is the sole domain of humans and the devil. Symbols are the innocent bystanders used to further an evil agenda that brings destruction on other human beings.
AS for the latter article on the statement signed by 52 pastors, their statement is fair at best and does not go far enough in promoting Christianity but is far too broad in nature. That broadness allows for other sinful actions to take place in the name of God or goodness or equality and so on. Yes Neo-Nazism is not a biblical teaching and should not be adopted nor supported by believers in Christ but so is Black Lives Matter as that ideology promotes the superiority of one group of people over other people of color (white included). Such statements in their naive thinking sound good but in reality are far from the biblical message that Jesus brought.
As a group, we hope that racial inequality along with other sins would be eliminated by our churches working together,” said Martin.
AS an example, if one is going to teach that supremacy is wrong then they must teach that the idea of race is wrong as well for the Bible does not teach that there are 4 different human races. It only teaches that there is 1. If pastors and believers are going to talk about what is right and wrong then they need t make sure their complete message is correct or they are just wasting everybody’s time with their public rhetoric. They sound like they are just being political and trying to look good to those around them in hopes of getting more seats filled in their churches.
The only side pastors, church leaders and believers are to take is Christ’s side and making statements like those 52 pastors is not taking his side at all but the politically correct side which is also not included in biblical teaching. You cannot represent Christ when you do not represent his side and his views but distort his perspective by compromising it with secular teaching or looking political.
What point this all brings us to is that it is wrong to remove old signs or symbols, just because a few people distort the value and meaning of a particular symbol. Yes the stars and bars are included in this as they are not a symbol of hatred or slavery but a reminder of what humans do to others when they do not correctly follow Christ (so many modern believers also do not follow Christ correctly).. Part of the problem in these type of issues is that believers are not properly biblically educated to be involved in these issues let alone comment upon them. Christians are to lead others to Christ’s ways not to a mixture of Christ and the secular world.
This means that tearing down old symbols or statues is not a Christian thing to do or to support. The Christian thing to do is bring the truth to the issue and show how people need to think instead of trying to agree with them and let them have their sinful way. Slavery was a human choice not a symbols decree. Adding sin to sin is not doing what is right and tearing out old symbols, placing upon them your own subjective perspectives is adding sin to sin. it is not promoting Christ or his love but just changing who is getting the love and who is getting the hatred.
Christians need to think first then act by following the Holy Spirit to the truth so that they then can lead others to the truth and this is the actual truth not someone’s personal belief that it is truth. Christ’s view is often different from the world’s and his human followers’ ideas.