A Memorial Forever - Answering Trump's Question of How Far Do We Go?
|Robert E. Lee Statue removed|
And Joshua said to them, “Pass on before the ark of the your God into the midst of the Jordan, and take up each of you a stone upon his shoulder, according to the number of the tribes of the people of Israel, that this may be a sign among you. When your children ask in time to come, ‘What do those stones mean to you?’ then you shall tell them that the waters of the Jordan were cut off before the ark of the covenant of the . When it passed over the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan were cut off. So these stones shall be to the people of Israel a memorial forever.”
We heard the president of the United States referring to the removal of the Robert E. Lee statue in Charlottesville Va,
"So this week it's Robert E. Lee," "I notice that Stonewall Jackson's coming down," he added, referring to another famous Confederate commander.
"I wonder: Is it George Washington next week, and is it Thomas Jefferson the week after?" Trump said. "You know, you really do have to ask yourself — where does it stop?"
We can often forget history and rewrite it in our mind. We have many museums around the world used to perserve history and to tell the story of its people. God also knows that we can also forget what he has done for us as well. In Deutornomy 6:12 Moses says to the children of Israel “be careful that you do not forget the LORD, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.”
Monuments and memorials are used to help us remember our past so that we don't repeat the bad things and/or remember the great things. The argument we are hearing on both sides, as these statues of confederate generals and symbols that are coming down all around the country, is do we erase history when we remove such symbols of hate and division.
One side of the argument questions, If we remove these statues are we going to remove the ones of George Washington and other men who owned slaves? That's a valid question to ask although many would argue them as false equivalences.
I remember each summer we would take a trip to Memphis Tennessee and I would always be reminded of where I was and the history of that city when we would drive down roads named Auction St. or Plantation Avenue. I would argue that all of these things are reminders of our country's uncomfortable past.
Scripture points to the fact that God always sets up memorials as reminders to generations to come to be reminded of what God had done for them.
Here's the difference. These monuments around our country are not reminders of what God has done but they are reminders of how evil and depraved man is when we marred the image of God in others. There are memorials and monuments though, that I believe are reminders of God's transformative power. When we see the Statue of Liberty, we are reminded of the quote:
“Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me,I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”