(Photo: REUTERS/Molly Riley)
Were the cracks in the Washington Monument really a sign from God?
If it was, one professor believes that just as much as it was a warning to unbelievers, it was equally, if not more, a message to believers and the church today.
Responding to televangelist Pat Robertson’s end time theories posed last week surrounding the cracks in the long-standing monument, Professor Robert Crosby delved further into the suggestion, which has been criticized and ridiculed by many.
“Could the crack in the Washington Monument be a sign, or a message, to us from God? Could it be a wake up call?” repeated the Florida professor on Patheos.com. “It seems that the question at hand is one worth considering...regardless of Robertson’s postulations...”
Robertson had previously broadcasted his thoughts on The 700 Club, saying, “I don’t want to get weird on this, so please take it for what it’s worth, but it seems to me the Washington Monument is a symbol of America’s power. It has been the symbol of our great nation. We look at the monument and we say this is one nation under God. Now there’s a crack in it. Is that a sign from the Lord?”
From an Orthodox Christian point of view, the practical theology professor affirmed God’s use of natural disasters and physical events to evaluate spiritual leaders, nations, and people, i.e. the Great Flood and parting of the Red Sea.
But from a nonreligious perspective, he saw that any significance added to a physical event would seem “preposterous” or “even fanatical” to people outside of the faith.
Specifically addressing the Christian worldview and people of faith, Crosby penned, “there’s an important point to be made. In a fully biblical worldview, judgments from God do not begin among unbelievers or the unchurched; rather the New Testament (1 Peter 4:17, NIV) teaches that ‘it is time for judgment to begin with God’s household.’ If the crack in the monument is a sign of a broken nation, then the message may be meant for the Church first and foremost. Perhaps God is calling the Church, every professing believer and Christian leader, to repent of underestimating the needs, the hurts and the present desperations of this country.”
Perhaps the monument’s brokenness is a call for the Church to repent and to care for our neighbors with renewed diligence and self-sacrifice, Crosby added.
Pointing the finger back at Christians and those within the Church, the professor urged believers not to be so eager to dismiss the “signs of our times,” seeing that more and more Christians were skeptical of any purported “message” from above.
He encouraged his fellow brothers and sisters to at least consider whether or not God was “delivering a wake-up call to a broken nation –and first of all to believers.”
Crosby asked, “If the crack in the monument is, in fact, a God-sent ‘sign’ for the moment, then what might God be saying? And to whom is He speaking?”
“We hear constantly about how ‘broken’ are our government, economy, our political system. As people of faith, shouldn’t the followers of Christ be even more concerned about broken lives, broken souls and perhaps even a broken Church that God is calling to serve a desperate nation and the world?”
The More Than a Savior author hoped that through this wake-up call, Christians will truly be more proactive in serving their fellow brothers and sisters, their nation, and the lost.
“When the cracks in the monument were discovered earlier this week, Robert Vogel, superintendent of the National Mall and Memorial, said in a statement: ‘The Washington Monument is one of America’s most important landmarks, and we will do whatever it takes to ensure that it is restored completely and correctly.’”
“That is the commitment of the caretaker of the historic monument,” Crosby concluded. “While Vogel and his team repair the physical breach, the question remains: Will the church also do ‘whatever it takes’ to restore the nation’s spirit?”
Commenting on the professor’s position, some readers shared:
“I’m not ready to jump on the ‘it’s a sign’ bandwagon, but I think something to consider is John 17:20-21...If we’re going to consider it as a message from God, then maybe we should be more concerned with Christians uniting as one instead of the differences that divide so many of us.”
“If there is a message from God in the earthquakes and hurricane, it would be that our focus needs to be on love and forgiveness and being concerned with the well being of every individual on this planet. Christians also need to stop the practice of hating others who don’t share the same religious/spiritual beliefs and recognize that certain conservative political ideas are at odds with their Christian beliefs.”
Others simply noted that the Washington National Cathedral was also cracked during the earthquake but no one seemed to attribute any religious sign to that.
Historic St. Patrick’s Church near Baltimore also suffered significant damage, as well as two churches in Culpepper, Va.
The Washington Monument is currently closed for repair after a magnitude 5.8 earthquake hit Washington D.C. on Aug. 23. Initially, only four cracks in the structure’s marble were discovered, but recent reports found new cracks inside the mortar.
A U.S. Park Police spokesman told CNN the monument would be shut down until everything was fixed. No new changes were announced.