The American Clergy Leadership Conference - a group founded by Unification Church leader Sun Myung Moon -- announced recently that it wanted to to promote reconciliation among Christians, Jews and Muslims, in part by examining how Christian traditions are understood by members of other religions.

One of the group's leaders -- Archbishop George Augustus Stallings Jr., a former Roman Catholic priest who left the church in 1989 to found the African-American Catholic Congregation - said, "We have realized that, as expressions of faith, there are certain symbols that have stood in the way . . . The cross has served as a barrier in bringing about a true spirit of reconciliation between Jews and ... Muslims and Christians, and thus we have sought to remove the cross from our Christian churches across America as a sign of our willingness to remove any barrier that stands in the way of us coming together as people of faith."

The cross a barrier? Of course it is! There will always be those who want to achieve peace with God through their own efforts. But the cross represents our utter inadequacy to satisfy God by our own efforts. That's why the apostle Paul proclaimed, "For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God" (1 Cor. 1:18)."