Gary: This week’s item is from Make It Count magazine, a publication of Youth for Christ: “It is important that you pray for your campus with other Christians, and when you pray, ask Jesus to come to your school. You may want to follow up, ‘See you at the pole,’ with some affirmations of God’s presence at your school. Here are some ideas on how to do that:
“Plant silver crosses. Meet with the group early some morning and go to various spots around your campus and pray. At some point during the prayer, take a small silver cross and push it into the ground, surrendering that spot to God’s control for His will to be done. Some places you may want to consider are the football field, the flagpole, perimeters of the property, athletic fields, outside the main doors, and the parking lots. (To order a silver cross, call [and here a number is listed], or visit our website.)
“Campus Prayer Walk: Meet early some Saturday morning early this Fall to pray and walk the grounds of your campus. As you walk the campus, stop in different strategic points and ask God to bless your school. Ask Him to visit your school, and bring students and faculty to a deeper knowledge and understanding of who Jesus is. Also, pray and ask God for safety and protection of your school.
“Several weeks after the Columbine shooting in Littleton, Colorado, the Christian students at Arapaho High School met at 6:45 AM to anoint their school with oil over the doors and windows as a prayer and plea that God would protect their school from violence. In the Bible, oil was used to set something apart from the world for God.”
Tom: Dave, there are some good things in here, and we want to acknowledge that, but this an example of what we’ve been talking about. This has moved from biblical prayer and biblical ideas, really, to occultism.
Dave: Well, they probably don’t realize it and…
Tom: I’m sure they don’t, and that’s our concern. That’s why we’re doing these programs.
Dave: These are sincere people, but the idea is being given that somehow a silver cross has power if it’s buried in strategic places. Why not a gold cross? Or why not a wooden cross? Or a plastic cross? I mean, what kind of a cross does it have to be? How large must it be? And how deep must you bury it? and so forth.
Tom: If you’re going to do the one, you have to think about the other, because this is a technique that seems to demand a response, right?
Dave: Now, if you say, “Well, it doesn’t really matter, just so it’s a cross,” why doesn’t God tell us about this? If this is going to…
Tom: In His Word…
Dave: That’s right…
Tom: …because some claim He’s telling them to do these things.
Dave: Why doesn’t He tell us in His Word? Why don’t we read of this practice ever being accomplished? Now, we read of some of the early supposed Christians, and let’s give them the benefit of the doubt and hope they really were, who were gathering pieces, they said, of the original cross upon which Christ died. And so popular do they become that one author, writing way back in that time, said you could find enough pieces of the “original cross” to build a cathedral.
But what was the point? What Jesus did on the cross was He died for our sins. That’s what benefits mankind. Not the shape of it. And not burying this thing… When Jesus said, “Take up the cross and follow Me,” He didn’t mean “Pick up the literal cross.” He meant, “Deny yourself, and acknowledge that I’m dying in your place….”
Tom: Right, so, …
Dave: … so crucified with Me. Right. So, we’re getting the idea that there’s some magic to the cross. And then, I’m going to walk around… Well, that’s…thank God that they want to pray for their school.
Dave: But to think that if I walk around it, that will give some power to my prayer that it wouldn’t have if I just prayed at home in my closet. The Bible talks about praying in the closet. It talks about praying in Jesus’s name to the Father…
Tom: And you don’t have to take “closet” literally, do you?
Dave: Right. No, you don’t. Or anointing the windows and doors with oil. It has absolutely no benefit whatsoever.
Tom: Dave, I can give you a quick example. At one of our local high schools, young people picked up on this, and they went around anointing the windows and doors with oil, and, to the anger of the janitors, who couldn’t get this stuff off to the point that they almost removed the organization from the school. So, not only are they not doing something biblically, but they’re not thinking this through. They’re on kind of a spiritual ride here that’s not scriptural.
Dave: Tom, if we went to 1 John 3, it says, “We know that we receive of Him the things that we ask, because we obey him.” We please Him and we keep His commandments. So, it’s when my life is in accord with God—He hears the prayers of a righteous man, the scripture tells us. That’s what they need to concentrate upon. Let our lives count for the Lord. Let’s deny ourselves. Let us be crucified with Christ and live as He would have us live, and then we’ll find ourselves in His will and praying for His will, and we can be the instruments of His will. But to think you can do it by anointing doors and windows with oil and putting crosses in the ground—it’s a tragedy that young people are being led astray in this way.
Tom: And our encouragement is to youth pastors and others who, to them, this seems like a good idea, guys—ladies—check this out according to God’s Word.