Does Literally Carrying A Cross Spread The Gospel?

‘Deeds, not creeds’ brings a connotation with it that Christians’ actions carry more weight than their verbalized beliefs.  An older, more popular version is the out of context quote of Francis of Assisi – Preach the gospel always, if necessary use words. (Some question whether he really said it or not.)

There is some wisdom in these ideas, but as stand alone ideologies they don’t actual proclaim the gospel. They do more to show the effect of the gospel in changing lives. People do still need to hear the gospel.

This brings me to the CNN video story below of Tobias Steinmetz. For three months he has been walking across the country carrying an eight-foot, 40-pound, wooden cross. There is a caption in the video under his name that reads ‘Gospel Walker’.

But there is no gospel nor mention of Jesus in the video.

To be fair, it is not known what CNN may have cut out of the video. The larger point, however, is that even while carrying around an eight foot cross the gospel is not readily apparent. Christians can adorn t-shirts, hats, bracelets, bumper stickers, etc. with the Christianized designs they want, but it’s still no substitute for verbally sharing the gospel.

Transcript here.

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in Church Issues,Culture,theology

{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Christiane August 12, 2010 at 6:06 pm

It must be a lot harder for the Gospel to be spread ‘without words’. But somehow that silent witness is given gravitas in a world so weary of noise and busy-ness.

I think of Lottie Moon giving away her food to her beloved Chinese people, and dying from the effects of starvation. She was living the Gospel, and I think this is called ‘living loud’.
And I think of the visible broken bared feet of Mother Theresa, as she lay on her funeral pallet.
And of the gentle kindness of a non-verbal Down Syndrome child bringing a toy to a stretcher-bound resident in a group home, caring for someone even less fortunate than himself.
There are moments we are told in Scripture, that we may know God ‘in silence’.

As for the Cross, who knows how the Holy Spirit will use that silent witness ?
I’m not betting against the Spirit. I’ve seen too much to do that.

2 Dave Miller August 12, 2010 at 6:55 pm

No, carrying a literal cross does not communicate the gospel, but marching around a piece of land six times for six days and seventh time on the seventh day is a guarantee that God will answer your prayers.

3 Nathan White August 12, 2010 at 8:02 pm
4 Mark August 12, 2010 at 10:55 pm

Christiane,

While I appreciate the sentiment you are expressing, none of those things are the gospel. A kind Buddhist could do as much.

5 Mark August 12, 2010 at 10:56 pm

Dave,

I traced my eyes around your comment seven times before answering. And I still have nothing to say.

6 Mark August 12, 2010 at 11:00 pm

Nathan,

Thanks for the link, bro. Many comments to read.

7 Victoria August 13, 2010 at 11:25 am

I must say that this is not new at all . A man named Arthur Blessitt carried a cross all over the world. He ended up divorcing his wife and leaving his children to marry a woman he met while carrying the cross around Britain. In his case it was a real detriment to the Gospel. He should have been at home with his wife and 7 kids-one of them was handicapped.

It just seems to me that the sensational never does anything but hinder the cause of Christ

8 Dave Miller August 14, 2010 at 5:31 pm

It won’t do any good unless you do it once a day for six days, then seven times on the seventh day. The Bible is VERY clear on that, isn’t it?

Henry Blackaby was right when he said, “methods don’t work, God works.”

9 CrossWalk2010 November 2, 2013 at 10:26 pm

I try my best to share the Gospel and I hope to be more Christ-like, but I miss it…alot.

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