Holly T. Ashley

Oh, did I type that outloud?

Statues, Symbols, and the Cross.

As I shake my head in disbelief and total embarrassment while watching countless cowardly mayors and governors allow the lawless mobs tear down statues of our American history – I am disgusted. We all learn from history. Good history and bad history. It all happened and from it we all learn what is good about this country and what was bad. God has ordained this by using both the Old Testament tragedies and the New Testament atrocities – right along with the victories, warnings, and revelations.

Statues are just symbols; they have no real, inherent qualities in and of themselves, but only serve to remind us from where we come – and how to move forward. They are temporal reminders that should be used to guide others to realize how evil man’s heart can be when there is no fear of the Lord.

The more I watch the craziness the more I pity those who are pulling them down because they will not erase our past, and their message only serves to remind us of how depraved the human heart really is.

Just as the South has their flag… America has its statues… Christians have a symbol.

And it is a horrific symbol. It is a symbol of both humiliation and exaltation. It is a symbol that has eternal value and eternal consequence. It is a symbol that represents what miserable, unworthy, God hating rebels we are.

This symbol is the Cross of Christ.

We are so totally depraved that it took the Son of God, who willingly left heaven to come to our rescue. He humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. in Paul’s day it was an instrument of death, it was the cruelest and most agonizing means of execution ever devised.  It was designed not just to kill, but to degrade and humiliate. 

And I proudly wear it.

Not because of the horror that it represents – but because of the redemption, restoration, and salvation that came from it. The promise given to those who repent and believe – Not because of what we did – but because of what He did in that horrible, wretched, humiliating act of grace.

Symbols, statues, and monuments of America indeed have their place in our society – In our world – at the battlegrounds: It is why Christians pilgrimage to Jerusalem and walk to Golgotha, why American’s travel to Germany, Poland, France – in remembrance of all those by whom we are the home of the free – because of the brave that have paved the way for our liberation from oppression.

Yet, here we are, feigning oppression in a land with the greatest opportunities and greatest history of blessings ever to grace the planet – and we want to tear it down.  

 So, here is a reality check: Indeed, there are groups – Two groups to be exact.

Those who believe and trust in Jesus Christ, Lord of lords and King of kings – and those who do not.

There is but ONE race – the Human race. The sinful, condemned to eternal death in hell, human race. We all belong to one race/one blood, the human race, and news alert: the only thing we deserve is death, hell, and condemnation.

None of us are good, no not one. None of us are victims, we are all the problem.

Why, because we don’t fear God. We do not teach what it means to live life in “the fear of the Lord.” It is evident in our children, our families, communities, governments – and to our greatest detriment – in our churches everywhere and we have seen the effects played out in our streets for the past decade –

And now we come to the ultimate display of this sinfulness: destruction of symbolic reminders, destruction of property, values, morals, and the evil people who allow it to happen.

Bearing false witness, is a sin – As a matter of fact, for those who have (obviously) forgotten – it is one of the 10 commandments and goes with the “golden rule” in how we are to treat our “neighbor”… Today, that command is broken when you call the world around you racist, because they do not agree with your victimization attitudes and beliefs.

America is not a racist society, the confederate flag does not promote, dignify, or condone in anyway – shape – or form – slavery/white supremacy/or discrimination. That ended. It is over. It is a flag – and just as every single state in the union has a flag – The south has a special flag that represents a group of states – Their own special symbol of a place they refer to as “Ole Dixie.”

We have learned that we have but ONE, SINGLE, race – that is, the human race, and the Bible tells us that this ONE race has two distinct groups: good and evil – The Bible warns us about those who are violent and wicked – and commands us not to ever call evil good or good evil.

There are bad people everywhere – and in every profession. It happens.

We have stood in the midst of Sheriff Deputies who refused to make an arrest even after the offender destroyed the family home and chased after the victim with a knife. The deputy actually said (out loud): “I’m not going to make an arrest – I wasn’t here. How do I know you didn’t stage this?”

I had a mayor tell me recently that civil standby’s were a “waste of time and resources” and he was not going to permit his officers to help us – even though 85% of homicides occur when a victim tries to leave her abuser.

We have had District Attorney’s refuse to prosecute third, fourth, fifth time offenders!

We have had magistrates refuse to grant orders of protection.

We have witnessed judges fail to enforce orders of protection when violated – or issue the mandatory (state law) required jail time for offenders.

We have stood with officers in courtrooms to beg judges for arrest warrants – yet we have been refused.

We have sat in courtrooms and listened as defense attorneys reveal the protected addresses of victims in a hearing where the offender was in attendance.

News flash! That is how life in a fallen world, full of fallen, sinful, evil people, who do not fear the LORD, operate.

Sometimes people, systems, and programs DO NOT WORK – Even after “reforming” them.

For years, we (at Cross Strength Ministries and Redemption Domestic Violence Services) have advocated for service provider professionals to work with police officers in cases of domestic violence, sexual assault, and mental health calls – But do not make any assumptions – Until that day whereby we are allowed to carry a lethal weapon, make an arrest, and prosecute the criminal – We will not advocate for anyone going on that scene without an armed police officer! If you are so stupid to think a social worker has the means, experience, or expertise to do that – you obviously have not been listening to those of us in the field, or you are truly a self-righteous moron.

Holly T. Ashley, MS

These offenders, bad cops, bad justices, bad attorneys, bad politicians, are no different than the murder, the racist, or the entitled rioter. They all have the same common denominator: They do not fear God.

They look to themselves for self-sufficiency, self-government, and self-rule. Because they do not fear God, they have no integrity or ethics because there is no moral absolute and therefore no integrity, no ethics, no values – and without a love of God there is never any love for a neighbor.

All they have is their own manufactured, self-indulgent, self-absorbed, self-righteous, “wisdom.” Their god is themselves and they have been programmed by an indoctrinating system to “look out for #1.”

When the relationship between God and man is severed or compromised by man’s wicked heart-felt desire to “be like God,” it is only a matter of time before any shred of ethical and moral integrity will die.

And died it has.

I mourn, grieve and am angered by what happened to George Floyd and I have stood with those who have called out for the hammer of justice to be swung swiftly and with great power – and now that it has – and justice is coming – I can stand tall knowing that I fought the good fight – and this time, we won

And I also stand ready for the next time – Because I know it will happen again.

I do understand that and so should you – People are evil – and they quickly forget how wicked they can be.  

But we have reminders – monuments, statues, and symbols; an American history, a Bible that not only reminds us – but continues to warn us!

So why do we keep using the same methods and strategies we have always used to battle it? Why is it not working? Why is there no real reform?

Because people are attempting to attack ethical and moral problems without facing the principle that the fear of God is the only soil out of which godly living and stable ethics can grow.

God is the moral absolute.

 “And the way of peace they have not known. There is no fear of God in their eyes” (Romans 3:17-18).

America’s problem is that most of humanity does not fear God and it shows in their attitudes and actions. What a person believes, drives their attitudes. The individual’s attitudes reflect their thought processes. Those thoughts and their processes determine the person’s perceptions of themselves, others, God, the world around them – well, frankly everything – and then they act on those perceptions. Today’s society believes, thinks, perceives – that they deserve everything they want. What is worse is when the squeaky-wheel of entitlement reaches into the weak and vulnerable and convinces them (by intimidation, coercion, gas-lighting, guilt, shame, etc.) that they too have to agree – or they are “racist.” That message is the same message that I have heard from every abuser I have ever encountered.  

Holly T. Ashley, MS

There are many vulnerable people. Here in America especially. They have a distorted view of Christ, His attributes, His holiness, and His righteous judgement. They become weak and unstable because they “believe” in a god that is not of the Bible. They believe this because the gospel of Christ has not been preached from the pulpit, taught by the church – Nor is it practiced in the home.

When you do not know what you believe or why you believe it – it is easy to be “tossed to and fro, like the waves of the sea.”

Therefore, once again it is time to call for all God-Fearing men of EVERY nation, EVERY color, and EVERY creed to rise up, have courage and stand in the gap.

Today is the day of salvation. Today is the day to take action.

We are called to be angry, and do not sin.

It is time to get angry.

Eric Conn writes:

From the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and violent men take it by force. (Matthew 11:12) 

Jesus said John was not soft, malakos (effeminate) but was hard. He was a man of holy violence, filled with zeal for God’s house just as Jesus was (Matt. 11:8). He was a hard man because he boldly called men to repentance. He was a wilderness warrior willing to die for the truth. He spared not the rulers or religious leaders, and for this was rewarded with a bloody beheading…

Elijah boldly defamed and mocked the idols of Baal. He stood up to a wicked king and ministered compassionately to widows. Phinehas drove a spear through the guts of an idolater. The Spirit-filled Samson waged bloody war against the Philistines, burning their fields with tail-tied foxes and tearing down their temple with his own brawny hands.

David, the man after God’s own heart, cut the head off a giant, slew his ten thousands, and killed bears and lions with his own fists. He was fiercely violent in both his aggression, his impassioned dance of worship, and his gentleness to the crippled outcasts. 

No doubt the American church today would label that kind of impassioned masculinity as toxic. And yet Jesus commends it and models it Himself. As it turns out, the heroic, masculine God of the Old Testament is not the villain of the New. 

Eric Conn: https://ericconn.com/violent-men

We need God-Fearing men to stand before these opposing masses with an open Bible and the uncompromising message of Jesus Christ and Him crucified. Standing in the gap with nothing to help us or defend us except the gospel and the God who has promised to work through it.

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom (Pr. 1:2). This godly wisdom is explained in James 3:17, “But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere.”

Throughout the Bible we learn that purification comes through fire and sometimes peace is only achieved through a holy and righteous war.

We call upon the warriors, embedded with the wisdom of the Spirit.

Now that is a wisdom, I know can fix our issues – And, it is only found at the foot of the Cross.

To Him be the glory, honor, and blessing forever.

  • Pastor David Ashley, MAA; MDiv
    • with Holly T. Ashley, MS

One comment on “Statues, Symbols, and the Cross.

  1. Pingback: Statues, Symbols, and the Cross. — Holly T. Ashley | ARLIN REPORT……………….walking this path together

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