As part of Saturday ritual, a group of LSU students go to Tiger Stadium (known to sports fans as Death Valley) bearing purple and gold body paint, prepared to cheer their team on to victory. These zealous LSU fans – known as the “Painted Posse” – also happen to be zealous about their Christian faith, reflected by a small purple cross each have painted near their left shoulders.

LSU officials consider the Painted Posse a good marketing tool. Reporting on the win against South Carolina in their weekly Geaux-Mail newsletter, they published a photo of the posse whooping it up in the stands. But something was missing.

LSU officials presented a digitally altered photo that left out the crosses.

At first, the school rationalized the omission, expressing an intention to steer clear of religious overtones. But following a week’s worth of national headlines, LSU Athletic Director Joe Alleva apologized for the alteration.

This incident is a powerful reminder that we live in a culture that wants to “airbrush” Christianity out of the picture. And it’s not hard to figure out why. The cross is offensive. It’s a message of need, a signal that we can’t justify ourselves. Instinctively, we prefer an alternate reality where the cross – and our desperate need for it – doesn’t exist.

Yet, at some point, we all must come to grips with the real world, acknowledging who God is, who we are, and the significance of the cross. Instead of ignoring the cross, we ought to embrace the cross, and the beautiful message it represents: God saves sinners.

That’s why at CRE we strive to protect the message of the cross. We clear the path for those who want the share the truth about God’s love — as demonstrated in the cross. The cross is too important, too real, to be airbrushed.


Post By: Nate Kellum